Alexandr Dugin: "Why we fight in Syria"

 Prof. Alexander Dugin

Prof. Alexander Dugin

On October 31st, 2015, Russian passenger jet Airbus A321, charter flight 7K9268, heading from the Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula. All 224 people on board were killed. Almost all were Russian nationals. The plane was only airborne for about 20 minutes before it crashed. The "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the crash immediately after the disaster. The "Soldiers of the Caliphate have managed to shoot down a Russian aircraft in the province of Sinai," the IS group declared. More than 220 "Crusaders" aboard were killed. The attack was an act of revenge against the Russian military intervention in Syria. Russian foreign experts have ruled out that there was a "shooting", but investigators believe that a bomb detonated aboard the aircraft and caused the crash.    

The "Islamic State" terrorist organization already declared war on Russia last year. And, as a terrorist organization, the IS kills civilians and enjoys the death of civilians. Killing civilians is the essence of terrorism. Terrorists kill innocent victims in order to achieve a political objective. This also corresponds to the nature of the "Islamic State" that has nothing to do with Islam or a state. After all, the death of innocent civilians is unacceptable for a devout Muslim. However, the death of civilians is the price Russia will have to pay today and, likely, in the future for its military aid to Syria. The "Islamic State" terrorists view all Russians as enemies—not just this country’s military. On social networking sites, certain Western commentators also openly expressed glee over the plane crash.  

But why does Russia provide military aid to Syria? First, this is a geopolitical conflict. The front between Atlanticists and Eurasians runs in Syria. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a political vacuum was created in the East and in the Middle East as well. There, the U.S. pursued a project focused on destroying nation-states—dubbed the "Greater Middle East Project." It even destroyed states that had behaved more or less loyal to Washington. The U.S. creates chaos to project itself as a hegemonic power. In the 1990s, Russia was weak and did not react, but in the early 2000s, it began to recover slowly. Today, Vladimir Putin has decided to actively oppose the U.S. policy of chaos in the Middle East. Russia’s military help against terrorism in Syria can be seen as an act of Eurasian geopolitics. Syria is located at the center of the battle between the representatives of a unipolar (U.S.) and a multipolar (Russia) world order.  

But beyond that, we need to perceive the "Islamic State" as a direct threat to the Russian Federation. This terrorist organization is a product of American politics created to spread chaos and to provide the United States—at any time—a template for its own military intervention, as you can see by the example of Syria. However, the "Islamic State" is not only present in Iraq and Syria, but also in Central Asia. Terrorist gangs—that have the same sponsors and the same ideology as the "Islamic State" in Syria and Iraq—are also active in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan close to Russian borders. These groups also operate in the North Caucasus within the Russian Federation itself. Vladimir Putin understands quite well that this is about creating chaotic conditions using the "Islamic State" and similar terrorist groups in Central Asia and the Caucasus.  

The logic behind the Russian military intervention is therefore clear. If we do not contain the U.S.-created and supported terrorism in Syria, we will soon have to fight it on our own borders and even on our own land. Syria is our external line of defense. The next line exists on the territory of the Eurasian Union and even within the Russian Federation.

Furthermore, the Russian military intervention in Syria, in contrast to the U.S.-led so-called "anti-terrorist campaign," is absolutely legitimate. Moscow cooperates closely with Damascus, whereby the Syrian government has officially requested Russian support. The Russian air force is working with the Syrian army, while the U.S.-led attacks take place against the will and despite the protests of the Syrian government. Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the legitimate and elected President of Syria, supported by more than 50 percent of the Syrian population. This means that in Syria we fight together with our Syrian allies against the expansion of the "Islamic State."

We must bear in mind what the total collapse of Syria would entail. This would automatically trigger the collapse of all other Muslim states in the region; even North Africa would be completely thrown into chaos, as we have already seen in Libya. We can, therefore, speak of a chain reaction or a domino effect in the event of Syria’s collapse. This, in turn, would mean that millions of refugees and migrants would march toward Europe, because there would be no more future for these people in total chaos.  

The American-created chaos is thus directed not only against the Middle East and Central Asia, but also against Europe. The more chaos and disorder in the Middle East and North Africa, the more migrants will come to Europe. This, in turn, will lead to the destabilization of social infrastructure and, therefore, to the political paralysis on the European continent. And here we should not forget that thousands of terrorists flow into Europe as part of the migration process. Should this trend continue, and with the future arrival of 10, 20, or even 30 million immigrants coming to Europe, this would actually mean the end of Europe. The European continent would not be "Islamized" per se, nor would a "Caliphate" be built, but instead Europe would sink into total chaos and be wiped out.  

Today, Russia is fighting against this development, which is in Europe's interest as well. Russia needs Europe, and Europe needs Russia. Europe's collapse is bad for Russia, and the same notion applies the other way around, even if it is not accepted by many European governments today, which are even working against it. There also is some historic continuity: in the past, Russia saw Europe as a shield against Turkish Ottoman expansionism. Europe sinking into chaos automatically meant Russia being threatened at its western and southern borders. Hence, the protection of Europe is in the interests of the Russian Federation. In order to preserve Europe from falling into chaos, today’s Russia is the shield of the European continent.

Therefore, Russia is fighting in Syria on a number of levels: we are actively taking up the fight against global and hegemonic aspirations of the U.S.; we are protecting our own national and Eurasian security interests by fighting the enemy before it can come to us; we are preserving Europe ahead of its decline because such a development would be harmful to us as well.

Prof. Alexander Dugin

This article was originally published in German language in ZUERST! news magazine.

What will Russia do?

 Prof. Alexandr Dugin is a philosopher, and a  professor at Moscow State University. Dugin is the leader of the International “Eurasian Movement”,    He is known for the book  Foundations of Geopolitics    

Prof. Alexandr Dugin is a philosopher, and a  professor at Moscow State University. Dugin is the leader of the International “Eurasian Movement”,  

He is known for the book Foundations of Geopolitics


Prof. Dugin, the world faces right now in Syria the biggest international crisis since the downfall of the Eastern Block in 1989/90. Washington and Moscow found themselves in a proxy-confrontation on the Syrian battleground. Is this a new situation?

Dugin: We have to see the struggle for geopolitical power as the old conflict of land power represented by Russia and sea power represented by the USA and its NATO partners. This is not a new phenomenon; it is the continuation of the old geopolitical and geostrategic struggle. The 1990s was the time of the great defeat of the land power represented by the USSR. Michail Gorbatchev refused the continuation of this struggle. This was a kind of treason and resignation in front of the unipolar world. But with President Vladimir Putin in the early years of 2000, came a reactivation of the geopolitical identity of Russia as a land power. This was the beginning of a new kind of competition between sea power and land power.

How did this reactivation start?

Dugin: It started with the second Chechen war (1999-2009). Russia by that time was under pressure by Chechen terrorist attacks and the possible separatism of the northern Caucasus. Putin had to realize all the west, the USA and the European Union took side for the Chechen separatists and Islamic terrorists fighting against the Russian army. This is the same plot we witness today in Syria or yesterday in Libya. The West gave the Chechen guerrilla support, and this was the moment of revelation of the new conflict between land power and sea power. With Putin, land power reaffirmed itself. The second moment of revelation was in August 2008, when the Georgian pro-western Sakashwili regime attacked Zchinwali in South Ossetia. The war between the Russia and Georgia was the second moment of revelation.

The Syrian crisis is now the third moment of revelation?

Dugin: Exactly. Maybe it is even the final one, because now all is at stake. If Washington doesn´t intervene and accept the position of Russia and China, this would be the end of the USA as a kind of candidate of a unique and super power. This is the reason why I think Obama will go far in Syria. But if Russia steps aside and accepts the US-American intervention and if Moscow eventually betrays Bachar al-Assad, this would mean immediately a very hard blow to the Russian political identity. This would signify the great defeat of the land power. After this the attack on Iran would follow and also on northern Caucasus. Among the separatist powers in northern Caucasus there are many individuals who are supported by the Anglo-American, Israeli and Saudi powers. If Syria falls, they will start immediately the war in Russia, our country. Meaning: Putin cannot step aside; he cannot give up Assad, because this would mean the geopolitical suicide of Russia. Maybe we are right now in the major crisis of modern geopolitical history.

So right now both dominant world powers, USA and Russia, are in a struggle about their future existence…

Dugin: Indeed. At the moment there is no any other possible solution. We cannot find any compromise. In this situation there is no solution which would satisfy both sides. We know this from other conflicts as the Armenian-Azeri or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is impossible to find a solution for both sides. We witness the same now in Syria, but on a bigger scale. The war is the only way to make a reality check.


Dugin: We have to imagine this conflict as a type of card game like Poker. The players have the possibility to hide their capacities, to make all kinds of psychological tricks, but when the war begins all cards are in. We are now witnessing the moment of the end of the card game, before the cards are thrown on the table. This is a very serious moment, because the place as a world power is at stake. If America succeeds, it could grant itself for some time an absolute dominant position. This will be the continuation of unipolarity and US-American global liberalism. This would be a very important moment because until yet the USA wasn´t able to make its dominance stable, but in the moment they win that war, they will. But if the West loses the third battle (the first one was the Chechen war, the second was the Georgian war), this would be the end of the USA and its dominance. So we see: neither USA nor Russia can resign from that situation. It is simply not possible for both not to react.

Why does US-president Barrack Obama hesitate with his aggression against Syria? He did he appeal the decision to the US-Congress? Why does he ask for permission he doesn´t need for his attack?

Dugin: We shouldn´t make the mistake and start doing psychological analyses about Obama. The main war takes place right now behind the scenes. And this war is raging around Vladimir Putin. He is under great pressure from pro-American, pro-Israeli, liberal functionaries around the Russian president. They try to convince him to step aside. The situation in Russia is completely different to the situation in USA. One individual, Vladimir Putin, and the large majority of the Russian population which supports him are on one side, and the people around Putin are the Fifth column of the West. This means that Putin is alone. He has the population with him, but not the political elite. So we have to see in the step of Obama administration asking the Congress a kind of waiting. They try to force the pressure on Putin. They use all their networks in the Russian political elite to influence Putin´s decision. This is the invisible war which is going on right now.

Is this a new phenomenon?

Dugin: (laughs) Not at all! It is the modern form of the archaic tribes trying to influence the chieftain of the enemy by loud noise, cries and war drums. They beat themselves on the chest to impose fear on the enemy. I think the attempts of the US to influence Putin are a modern form of this psychological warfare before the real battle starts. The US-Administration will try to win this war without the Russian opponent on the field. For this they have to convince Putin to stay out. They have many instruments to do so.

But again: What about the position of Barrack Obama?

Dugin: I think all those personal aspects on the American side are less important than on the Russian side. In Russia one person decides now about war and peace. In USA Obama is more a type of bureaucratic administrator. Obama is much more predictable. He is not acting on his behalf; he simply follows the middle line of US-American foreign politics. We have to realize that Obama doesn´t decide anything at all. He is the figure of a political system that makes the real important decisions. The political elite makes the decisions, Obama follows the scenario written for him. To say it clearly, Obama is nothing, Putin is everything.

You said Vladimir Putin has the majority of the Russian population on his side. But now it is the peace time. Would they also support him in a war in Syria?

 Prof. Alexandr Dugin and Manuel Ochsenreiter 

Prof. Alexandr Dugin and Manuel Ochsenreiter 

Dugin: This is a very good question. First of all, Putin would lose much of his support if he does not react on a Western intervention in Syria. His position would be weakened by stepping aside. The people who support Putin do this because they want to support a strong leader. If he doesn´t react and steps aside because of the US pressure, it will be considered by the majority of the population as a personal defeat for Putin. So you see it is much more Putin´s war than Obama´s war. But if he intervenes in Syria he will face two problems: The Russian society wants to be a strong world power, but it is not ready to pay the expenses. When the volume of these costs becomes clear, this could cause a kind of shock to the population. The second problem is what I mentioned already, that the majority of the political elite are pro-Western. They would immediately oppose the war and start their propaganda by criticizing the decisions of Putin. This could provoke an inner crisis. I think Putin is aware of these two problems.

When you say the Russians might be shocked by the costs of such a war, isn´t there a danger that they might not support Putin because of that?

Dugin: I don´t think so. Our people are very heroic. Let us look back in history. Our people were never ready to enter a war, but if they did, they won that war despite the costs and sacrifices. Look at the Napoleonic wars or World War II. We Russians lost many battles, but eventually won those wars. So we are never prepared, but we always win.

Mainstream fairy tales: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Western mainstream media claims that there are right now moderate and extremist rebel groups fighting against the Syrian government. The moderates in the understanding of the West are the militias of the so called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), and the extremists are the militant Islamist groups with ties to Al-Qaida. Western leaders claim: “We have to strengthen the moderates with arms and supplies so that the extremists don´t gain more ground.” The German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel published on its website a reportage from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo where the author of the article claims that the moderate rebels are doing now a better performance in battle thanks to the western arms delivery.

To distinguish between “good” and “bad” rebels on the Syrian battle ground is an important element of the Western war propaganda. The propagandists – Western politicians and mainstream media give the impression that it is possible to support moderate, secular, democratic, and liberal rebel groups without supporting extremists. The propagandists claim furthermore that the so called “good” rebels have aims other than the so called “bad” rebels.

The Syrian reality has nothing to do with those fairy tales. The Islamist extremists are the dominating fighting groups among the rebels. “FSA” is just a type of brand name for some militias. The term “Army” is wrong since they don´t have an army structure and hierarchy. Even the press releases of the different “FSA”-related groups contradict themselves because there is no such thing as military order.

 Talking to soldiers of the Syrian Army

Talking to soldiers of the Syrian Army

I spoke to many witnesses of the Syrian war, to refugees, and soldiers of the Syrian Army. They all report the same: Units of FSA and “extremists” cooperate closely on the battle field. FSA groups who receive arms from foreign powers sell them for dollars to groups like the extremist Al-Nusra-Front to make profit. Syrian security sources say that more than 100 Stinger rockets were sold by the FSA militias to Al-Nusra-Front. In FSA controlled areas the “moderate” groups establish “sharia courts” and start to persecute Christians, Alawis, Shiites, and “disobedient” Sunnis. The FSA groups behave as sectarian and aggressive as the so called “extremists”. In the Syrian capital of Damascus I saw even conservative Sunni refugees who escaped from the rebel controlled areas. The people flee from areas under rebel control (in Western term “liberated”) to government controlled areas (in Western term “dictatorship”).

When I visited areas that were under FSA control in the past, I didn´t even find just one single graffiti calling for democracy, freedom or human rights; instead, all the FSA graffiti “informed” the people who the “dogs” are: the Christians, the Alawis, President Bashar al-Assad, his wife Asma and anyone else who doesn´t support the “revolution”. In addition to those sectarian hate slogans they painted the black-white-green rebel flag with the three red stars. By the way, the inhabitants of those areas were fleeing from the rebels and came back after the Syrian army took control again. And again, no word about this in Western media.

 FSA graffiti in al-Midan, Damascus, 2012: "Leave, you traitor Bashar, you dog..."

FSA graffiti in al-Midan, Damascus, 2012: "Leave, you traitor Bashar, you dog..."

In Aleppo FSA fighters and Islamist extremist militants cooperate in establishing a blockade against around two million civilians in the city. Supply convoys are attacked by the rebels, perhaps with new delivered Western arms. The Western media and politicians keep silent, and nobody dares to accuse the rebels of going on war against the civilians of Syria.

The rebel commander who ate the organ of a killed Syrian soldier was a “moderate”, not an “extremist”. After he cut out the corpse’s liver and heart he is filmed holding the organs in his hands and speaks to the camera: ”I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers you soldiers of Bashar the dog.”

A militant “brigade” calls itself “Osama bin Laden”. This brigade belongs to the “Souqour Dimashq” (Hawks of Damascus) Battalion of the FSA.

The truth is simple, maybe too simple for Western mainstream journalism: You cannot deliver arms to militants in Syria and claim that those arms are used for “good aims”. If you claim this, then you are either stupid, or a liar, or both.


German Jihadists fighting in Syria

 Refugee from Harem with Manuel Ochsenreiter

Refugee from Harem with Manuel Ochsenreiter

Conversation with a refugee from the Syrian city of Harem (Idlib province) at the Turkish-Syrian border: He reports that he and other locals saw there six German fighters among the radical Islamist al-Nusra-Front who conquered and occupied Harem. Those terrorists are ethnic Germans who had an interpreter with them, as per the witness.

Harem is since months under the control of “al-Nusra Front”, an Al Qaeda associate operating in Syria. During the siege of Harem the terrorists of al-Nusra-Front were said to have committed horrible war crimes towards the civilians of Harem. Even the medics of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent couldn´t help the wounded and the injured defenders and civilians of Harem. The refugees accuse Turkey to provide arms and supplies to the terrorists.

Right now there are several thousands of fighters of the Nusra Front in Syria who fight alongside the so-called “Free Syrian Army” against the Syrian government. Foreign Jihadist terrorists from more than 25 nations are right now in Syria according to the security authorities in Damascus. The German minister for inner affairs, Hans-Peter Friedrich confirmed in July 2013 that 60 German citizens are fighting alongside the Islamist combat groups in Syria.

Until today the German authorities and the German mainstream media claim that the conflict in Syria is a “popular uprising” and support the so-called “armed opposition”.