Putin von Arabien

BEIRUT – Beinahe unbemerkt gewinnt Russland momentan viel von dem Einfluss im Nahen Osten zurück, den man nach dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion verlor. Seit der russischen Invasion in Georgien im August überschlagen sich arabische Satellitenprogramme und Internetseiten mit Diskussionen über die Rolle der Region in einem aufkeimenden „neuen Kalten Krieg“. Ist der Schirmherr der arabischen Welt während des Kalten Krieges wirklich zurück und wenn ja, was würde dies für den Frieden in der Region bedeuten?

Mit dem Niedergang der UdSSR war auch des Ende des Kommunismus gekommen, den die Muslime als Widerspruch zu ihrem Glauben betrachten. Der Kommunismus hinderte zwar nie ein mit den USA verfeindetes arabisches Regime daran, Waffenlieferungen aus dem Russland der Sowjetzeit zu beziehen, aber er verhinderte sehr wohl, dass Russland jene Art von vertraulichem Einfluss gewann, den sich Amerika bei seinen regionalen Verbündeten sicherte. Heute begrüßen sogar die Islamisten die Rückkehr Russlands als lokalen Akteur, der ihnen im Kampf gegen die Hegemonie der Amerikaner den Rücken stärkt. Dabei vergessen sie aber geflissentlich, wie brutal Russland in den 1990er Jahren die tschetschenischen Muslime unterdrückte.

Diese Entwicklung markiert eine völlige Abkehr von den in den 1950er Jahren herrschenden Gepflogenheiten. Damals unterstützten die USA den Islam als Bollwerk gegen den Kommunismus. Die amerikanischen Verbündeten im Nahen Osten, allen voran Saudi Arabien, rechtfertigten den amerikanischen Einfluss damit, dass es sich bei den Amerikanern um Christen handelte, die eben zu den Ahl al-Kitab (Schriftbesitzern) gehören. Die Sowjets dagegen wurden regelmäßig als gefährliche Feinde Gottes geschmäht. 

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