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The Hill: Syria – Diplomatic Disaster Or Triumph?

From The Hill:

Syria: Diplomatic disaster or triumph?

By Julian Pecquet | September 11, 2013

A full-fledged debate emerged Wednesday over whether Syria has turned into a diplomatic disaster or triumph for President Obama.

Is there really anything to debate? This has been an unmitigated disaster by any measure. Obama and Kerry have come off as bumbling buffoons. And Putin looks like a man of peace, while gaining more power for Russian in the Middle East since Anwar Sadat kicked the last of the Soviets out of Egypt in the early 1970s.

The White House portrayed a Russian proposal to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons as a master stroke made possible only by Obama’s military threats.

And, lest we forget, the idea of making Syria turn over its chemical weapons was really Obama’s idea, after all.

Critics say the administration bumbled its way into an illusory solution that will strengthen Russia’s hand in the Middle East and keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power.

Remember way back to a couple of days ago when Obama told us his credibility wasn’t on the line?

The administration’s own explanation of how the diplomatic solution came about has changed, raising questions about whether it emerged from off-the-cuff remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry or discussions between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Apparently, no one at The Hill reads the New York Times. That has been settled now, by the newspaper of record. It was all Obama’s doing.

Democratic lawmakers argue having Syria join the Chemical Weapons Convention and turn over its arsenal to the international community would achieve Obama’s stated goal of preventing new attacks while avoiding sucking the United States into another Middle East conflict.

The proposal also puts the onus on Russia, Assad’s main weapons supplier, to play a useful diplomatic role. “The ball’s in their court, and that’s where it belongs,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) told The Hill. “Can they produce, or can they not produce?”

Produce for whom? Putin will do whatever is in Russia’s best interest. Unlike Obama and our country. Besides, Mr. Putin doesn’t really worry that much about world opinion.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said the proposal “may turn out to be the best thing to come out of Russia since vodka.” …

And there will be a similar hangover, too.

Skeptics say the proposal empowers Putin and makes Obama look incompetent. And they have serious doubts about the feasibility of having U.N. experts collect, move and destroy a vast chemical weapons arsenal in the middle of a civil war.

“I’m worried that we have a game of rope-a-dope for a while, and the slaughter goes on,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a leading hawk on Syria, told reporters Wednesday. “I think if you were sitting in Putin’s seat, you would feel pretty good today.”

Some pundits suggest Obama knows the proposal is unworkable but is biding his time until public attention shifts elsewhere. “The proposal, he must know, is absurd,” columnist Peggy Noonan wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “But it will take time — weeks, months — for the absurdity to become obvious.”

Those critics say Obama had no choice but to jump on Putin’s lifeline after bungling his Syria policy for the past two-and-a-half years. They say the White House should have armed the rebels early on, taken tough action months ago when Assad first allegedly crossed the president’s chemical weapons “red line,” and built support with lawmakers before asking them to approve military action.

The critics are misinformed. Obama was secretly working with Putin behind the scenes all during this time. Trapping Putin into accepting his masterful plan.

“It gets him off the hook of painting himself in the corner he did, drawing the red line that he did and then not acting,” said Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee…

By the way, why shouldn’t we assume that Obama is just as incompetent in everything else as he is in foreign policy?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, September 12th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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