Rachel Marsden

As ubiquitous as the Syrian civil war may seem in the Western media, it really isn't America's war, at least not in the sense that its resolution represents any significant geopolitical gains. It certainly isn't about U.S. energy policy, as America is becoming less dependent on foreign supplies. And America's primary regional ally, Israel, is more than adequately equipped to look after itself and keep the mess contained.

The Syrian war really isn't Iran's strategic problem or that of its Hezbollah proxies (both fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad), either. Iran is the insufferable trophy wife of the global village: not too swift, no real aim in life beyond petty skirmishes, mouthy and obnoxious, and would have no suitors or friends if it weren't swimming in inadvertent wealth (oil). And the war certainly isn't the problem of the various other ragtag Islamic groups that are basically fighting for whichever side will toss them a weapon. It isn't even Syria's war, since precisely no one likes the guy in charge, and he's entirely dependent on Russian arms to keep his head above water.

If the Syrian people have any ally in this struggle for their future, it's Russia's role to accept or refuse.

Russia has long been fostering trade and diplomatic relationships with the Islamic world, taking advantage of a vacuum willingly left by Western nations. All of the Islamic belligerents in Syria have a Russian connection, and the conflict is squarely within Russia's sphere. Russia is supposed to be the Islamist Whisperer. We thought you had these guys under control, Russia. Here's your chance to show America how saving the world and defending human rights is done.

Russia shouldn't be calling on John Kerry to do anything, but rather walking into talks with commitments in hand from all the other players, particularly Iran and Syria, for Russia to negotiate on their behalf. That's the role for which Russia has long positioned itself -- that of reasonable, rational mediator between Islam and the West -- isn't it? Well, it's showtime.

Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
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