Sarah Katz
Don't fit the mould - MAKE the mould.

Russian Support of Syria as ‘Defiance’ of U.S. Power

Once again, we see the causative effect of contemporary Israel hate. A separate issue from the anti-Semitic mentality within Russia itself, Russian foreign policy has recently angered the U.S. and baffled several other nations as well with its support of the Syrian regime.[1] Having had high hopes for an alliance with Russia, American politicians were deeply disappointed when the Russians provided Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with military weapons.


Why has Russia chosen to support an Arab despot, particularly when Syria could use these weapons against Israel, the U.S.’s only ally in the region? The answer may conjure many nostalgic memories of the Cold War ideologies, the Communist scare, and the many sentiments that led up to this conflict. The fact is that, although Russia has increased its favoritism of capitalism and even striven to mimic the United States in some ways (such as implementing democracy), the Russian government is still quite wary of U.S. power as well as American ideologies and wishes to disassociate itself from the latter, when possible.[2] As international affairs are basically a game of who will support whom, Russia has selected to indirectly oppose the United States by supporting an anti-America regime and one which also targets Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy and ally to America. Thus, the foreign affairs playing field demonstrates the little tricks nations play against one another via political support of one’s enemies, for purposes of indirect resistance.


Now what might all this mean for Israel? Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has become more or less a scapegoat for whatever disasters take place in the Middle East but also bares the brunt of the wrath of whichever countries decide to hate on America. That being said, with powerful countries such as Russia and Iran supplying Arab dictatorships such as Syria with dangerous weapons, a battle of ideologies has suddenly become a battle of arms—with Israel in the dead center.

[1] Cloud, David S. “U.S. Decries Russia Weapons Sale to Syria.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2013. Web. 19 May 2013.

[2] “Russia and America: The Dread of the Other.” The Economist. The Economist, 16 Feb. 2013. Web. 18 May 2013.

About the Author
Sarah Katz is a UC Berkeley alumna, cyber security engineer, and author.