In the aftermath of the failure of the neocon dream of a free and democratic Iraq along with the following unpredictable winds of the Arab Spring, the ideology of Putinism is taking hold in the minds of some politicians and media bloviators, including in the West on the right and the left side of politics.
In America the growing narrative is that Iraq alone caused all the chaos in the Middle East which is a narrow narrative to say the least. It is good politics because it is bite sized but lacks the complex reality and does not encompass all the factors.
This is not to argue for Americanism via invasion, this is to point out that those who think Putinism is the only alternative are falling into another ditch that is only going to add to the problems of the Middle East and the continuation of sectarianism and extremism in the region.
Those who claim Iraq as the sole cause of the chaos also ignore and deny the agency of the people in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and others who stood up to authoritarian regimes asking for a better future and a better life. The terrorist groups feed not on the aspirations of the people but on the violence and brutal reaction of the authoritarian regimes. When the regimes respond to movements of freedom with violence and brutality the terror groups grow. They become the only sanctuary left to those against a regime that has either killed, imprisoned, or exiled all opponents. It also ignores the crimes of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad that brutalized the people and used sectarian rule and divide to do it.
Similary Putin longs for the old days of a Soviet Empire that adds to the stability of the world, with Putinism the argument is that Stalin is necessary to fight the Nazis. Fight Terrorism with Tyranny?
Democracy has failed so goes the narrative. The Takfiri terrorists agree that democracy has failed and they also give an either or choice of Tyranny or Theocracy.
They have decided that democracy and liberty are too risky let the tyrants crush all dreams good and bad. Like chemotherapy kill the good and bad cells just the same. But the irony is this chemotherapy of authoritarian rule really causes cancer to spread even though it promises to kill it. There is a symbiotic relationship to Tyrants and Terrorism. This is like adding poison and then to demand power as the only antidote. Starting a fire and then demanding obedience and power to stop the fire. Is it really an either or choice of Tyranny or Terrorism? Is there not a better way and another path to organize society and states?
Globally States including the United States are asking for more power over the peoples lives and privacy to keep their citizens safe. This is an ideological argument that must be responded to by citizens who are concerned with the growing power of States and the receding belief in liberty.