Back in the U.S.S.R.

Oy. It seems that Bernard Lewis has decided the United States could learn a thing or two about the need for brutal measures against Muslims from the example of the Soviet Union:

During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire.

Americans, by contrast, were undermined by softie liberals, journalists, etc., etc., etc. Appeasement, blah blah. Lewis' argument, not surprisingly, has some problems in terms of accurately describing Soviet posture in the Middle East. The other thing, though, is Russia has been deploying brutal measures against subjugated Muslim populations for at least two hundred years. The Czars fought Muslim guerillas in the Caucasus, the Soviets fought Muslim guerillas in the Caucasus, and Vladimir Putin has done the same thing. Relations between Russians and the Muslims who live to the south of the Russians is a big, long, giant example of Lewis-favored conservative policy prescriptions not working -- the fighting just keeps going on and on and on and on.