The JC Leader: The return of Russia on the world stage is a worrying omen

December 15, 2016 17:25

The fall of Aleppo has made obvious what has been clear for some time in Syria and the wider Middle East: Russia is back. Not simply as a presence, which it has always been. But back as a — or even the — major power, which it has not been since the days of the Soviet Union.

President Obama’s deliberate abdication of US influence opened the door to a Russia long desperate to reassert itself. But if there is one thing worse than doing nothing, it is threatening to do something and then doing nothing. So when President Obama said that the use of chemical weapons by Assad would be a ‘red line’, and then did nothing when the Syrian president did just that, he showed the US was both weak and irrelevant.

With Russia allied with Iran, influence and power has shifted, probably decisively. Worse, we now have a president-elect who believes that Russian expansionism is a legitimate cause. To that effect, his nominee for Secretary of State has been chosen almost specifically because he has had a career of accommodating Russian demands. The omens are worrying — to put it mildly.

Warped politics

Nothing better illustrates the warped state of student politics than the treatment of Izzy Lenga by her fellow NUS members. For no more reason than that she has been prepared to speak up and act against campus antisemitism,

Ms Lenga has been bombarded with hate on social media and made to feel a pariah on the NUS executive. Ms Lenga deserves our community’s full support — in word and, more importantly, deed


December 15, 2016 17:25

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