So now Putin is saying that for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, the U. S. has to renounce the use of force first. Okay, this makes a little more sense, this sounds more like the Vlad I know.
Aside from that ridiculous, DOA demand, the thing is already falling apart at the U. N. The Russians have told the French that a Security Council resolution must be toothless — it can’t contain any threat of military action if Syria doesn’t follow through on transferring its chemical weapons to international authorities.
We don’t have a potential solution here, people, just an ever-expanding mess.
What’s Russian for rope-a-dope?
The perfect description. Mohammed Ali couldn’t have said it better himself.
Ali certainly would have handled it better!
You have so little faith in Obama’s ability, it almost sounds like you have completely accepted the neo-con view. Of course Putin is posturing. Just like the Congress is posturing. The media has been so absorbed in the “battle” between the Congress and Obama they have missed all the clues that he has dropped along the way. Going to Congress did two things; it has exposed all of the hypocrites in the Republican Party who were all for military intervention when Romney was proposing before the election but are now against it, and second it was a delaying tactic to get past the G-20 meeting. Obama said in an interview right after he said he would go to Congress that they had good polling that showed them where the country and Congress was leaning. He goes off to the G-20, has a meeting with Putin and then said in the press conference in Stockholm that he and Putin agreed that “we both agree that the underlying conflict can only be resolved through a political transition as envisioned by the Geneva I and Geneva II process.” This was the bombshell in that press conference but the media missed it and kept asking if Obama would bomb Syria if Congress didn’t give their support. Then what do you know, right after the G-20 meeting, John Kerry is asked a press conference in London if there is anyway Assad can avoid being attacked? (can you say planted question). The press calls Kerry’s answer a “gaff” (BS, this was no gaff) and within hours Russia says they agree that putting Syria’s chemical weapons under the UN control is a workable solution. Hours later, Syria’s foreign minister agrees they could agree to this arrangement.
Putin has his own concerns about Assad’s chemical weapons ending up in the hand of the opposition, so it would be to his benefit to get them out of the country. His objection to the French resolution is that it would mandate the UN support military intervention if the transfer failed. But more importantly it would have required that Assad be brought before the Hague on war crimes. This is what Russia want out of the UN resolution. They are trying to protect Assad’s ass. I am sure that is part of his deal with Russia. Obama’s objective is to get control of the chemical weapons. Not to get involved in the civil war and not to bring Assad to the Hague.
This is not an ever-expanding mess. This is geo-politics at the highest levels.
You’re about the only one who thinks so.
Putin wouldn’t accept a resolution w/o Hague, but with potential for force.
I must plead guilty to having some neo-con tendencies, that’s been the one constant in my politics, being hawkish.
I think the use of force in the UN resolution is a non-issue. It doesn’t matter if it is in or out because Obama is willing to proceed alone if necessary. If they have to throw Putin a bone to get Syria signed on to the chemical weapons ban treaty, they will do it and the right-wing will scream that Obama caved to Putin. But once Syria has signed on to the ban, if they back out it will change international opinion. We can always go back to the UN, build a coalition outside of the UN or the U.S. can still go it alone.
I am not a dove and I would support a U.S. strike against Syria. However not sending in ground forces. We heard a lot of the same hand-wringing before we struck in Libya, and that did not escalate into troops on the ground. I think Assad realizes that even if the U.S. hits him with a “limited” (whatever that means) strike that it would be a net benefit to the rebels. The rebels seem to think so too which is why they want a U.S. intervention.
From a U.S. national interest standpoint our concern is to get control of the chemical weapons. We don’t want them in Assad’s hands, but also there a factions within the rebel groups that would be a real problem for the U.S. if they got control of them. Russia doesn’t mind if Assad has control, but they also do not want the Islamist factions within the rebel groups to get control. That is a threat to Russia and the various “stans.” The best outcome for both the U.S and Russia is to remove the chemical weapons from the civil war and let the Assad government and rebels fight it out conventionally. If Obama had an significant interest in the outcome of the civil war we would have been involved much deeper a long time ago.
I wish he had just done his strike ten days ago as we expected and as he did in Libya, despite the hand-wringing. No need for boots in Libya, and no need here.
But what is the end goal? If we dropped bombs 10 days ago where would we be today? Obama has said in several interviews that he and Putin have been talking for more than a year about Syria. I think Obama’s main objective has always been securing WMD’s, both chemical and nuclear. If that means Assad stays in power in the meantime, so be it. There needs to be some form of government, no matter how bad, in order to secure, remove or destroy the chemical weapons. The so called “good guys” among the rebel groups are not big enough to run the government. So we would still get a continuation of the civil war (just like Iraq) only without anyone really being in charge. One of the biggest mistakes (among many) that the Bush administration made when they took out Saddam was they made no provisions for securing the weapons arsenals, which were immediately raided by the rebel groups and Saddam loyalist. If that same thing occurred in Syria it wouldn’t be just conventional weapons. No one would know who grabbed the chemical weapons.
Our best case scenario (in this bad situation) is that Assad stays in power, agrees to turn over his chemical weapons to the international community for destruction because he believes a U.S. bombing would tip the balance of power in favor of the rebels, Russia cooperates because they want to keep Assad in power so they can maintain their naval base and they don’t want the chemical weapons to fall in the hands of the various Islamist rebels. The civil war in Syria will continue, but the chemical weapons will be off the table, which is our only real national interest in their civil war.
If he’d done his missile strike, we’d be talking about the budget and debt ceiling. Assad either wouldn’t use cw again or we’d strike again.
I don’t think the Putin proposal is real or that anything will come of it.
The Prez looked weak, first going to Congress when he didn’t need to, and now getting rolled by Vlad. He doesn’t seem in charge.
Sounds like you have been watching to much Fox News. If Obama had done the strikes (which would still be going on) the media would have gotten their wargasm on and there is no way we would be talking about the budget and debt ceiling. Except for the Republicans demanding the restoration of the defense sequester cuts and more domestic cuts to offset them. In fact you are already starting to hear that from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. ” Buck” McKeon.
How can you say Obama doesn’t seem to be in charge when he has gotten Syria to admit that they have chemical weapons for the first time. He has moved Russia into publicly stating they support putting Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and then Syria agreed to the so-called “Russian proposal.” Even Iran’s new president issued a statement of support on international control of the chemical weapons. So far he is moving the ball in the direction he wants without firing a shot. This is not weakness! This is how you leverage international support and cooperation. If Russia and Syria start backing away from their public position that Syria’s chemical weapons should be put under international control you will see many more countries lining up behind Obama. You will also see him get approval by both the House and Senate to use force. If not, he will proceed like Clinton did when the Congress would not give him approval in Kosovo.
People have gotten so use to the neo-con approach to foreign policy they cannot see when Obama is moving things in his direction while still holding back his big stick. There will be complications along the way, the Fox News pundits and neo-cons will say Obama is doing it all wrong every step of the way, and Obama will still be holding his ace-in-the-hole if Vlad or the Syrian’s play too many games. But don’t mistake posturing for public appearances as backing away from the ultimate goal.
He won’t use force in Syria, the moment has passed.
The purpose of using force was to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons again by degrading his ability to use them. If that can be accomplished without bombing, then good for Obama. He accomplishes his primary goal and satisfies the majority of Americans who do not want to go to war in Syria. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Anything that makes Putin look good and strengthens Assad is not a win for O.