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    Historic site in Palmyra destroyed in military operations

    In Syria, Russia Has Taught 'Cowardly Western Democracies' a Lesson

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    The Russian military operation in Syria has taught the 'cowardly democracies' of the West a striking lesson: that Islamists understand only the language of force. That's according to Le Figaro. At the same time, the paper says, Vladimir Putin refuses to hide behind flowery definitions, and calls a spade a spade in relation to the terrorists.

    Palmyra has been liberated. "Who should we thank? We should thank Putin," journalist and essayist Ivan Rioufol writes, in his op-ed for the French newspaper. 

    Even those who are "prejudiced against the former KGB agent cannot detract from this result: It was thanks to the preliminary airstrikes on Daesh's positions by Russian aviation that Bashar Assad's Syrian army was able to free Palmyra on Sunday," he adds.

    "The ancient city, the home of Queen Zenobia, had been occupied by the jihadists since May 2015. They devastated part of it, in their rage to kill history inherited by these eradicators of past civilizations." Thankfully, archeologists have said that the city can be partially restored.

    "The Russians, who made a withdrawal from the battlefield, in order to make recovery of the ancient city possible, came out the winners in this symbolic re-conquest. This event also revealed the weakness of the US and their French allies, in their absence among the liberators."

    Ultimately, Rioufol suggests, "the lesson which should be learned from Putin's strategy is simple: only force can push Islamist ideology back; it is the only language that it understands."

    "Of course, Putin's brutality is unpleasant for the sophists. They are always ready to indulge in a discussion over the ignorance of the Koran, about 'moderate Islamism' and the 'quietist Salafism', just as on the eve of the fall of Constantinople in the fifteenth century, when the wits were equally willing to submit to the invaders…"

    Russia, Rioufol notes, does not mix words in relation to its enemy, calling a spade a terrorist spade. At the same time, "when Francois Hollande speaks of 'annihilating Daesh', it sounds so unconvincing that it can only draw the wrath of the terrorists, who promise him the apocalypse, and hold to their word. And it will not be by minutes of silence or candles at the Place de la Republique in Paris that the [Islamists], which operate in both Syria and France, will be defeated." The fight against them, he suggested, "must be fierce."

    Unfortunately, the journalist writes, the West has gotten too used to anti-Christian violence. The massacre of 72 people, including 29 children on Easter Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan by Islamists "did not arouse the indignation of the French," and served only as a "signal of the torpidity of liberal democracies: they see only the suffering of the Muslim minority in their own countries, while ignoring the grief of Christians in Islamic countries." This, the columnist warns, "foreshadows their own fate."

    Related:

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    Tags:
    opinion piece, op-ed, commentary, persecution of Christians, Christians, terrorism, Islamists, Daesh, Vladimir Putin, Russia, France, Syria
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