picture – potlatch: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3064516/posts?page=46
Putin takes advantage of Kerry chemical weapons blunder:
In what looks like an off-the-cuff blunder, Secretary of State John Kerry might have accidentally given Russian President Vladmir Putin the opportunity to muddy the international diplomatic waters and buy his friends in Syria some time.
During a press briefing on Monday, Kerry said that Assad could avoid American air strikes by giving up all his chemical weapons within a week. Within hours, the State Department was forced to walk Kerry’s new red line back with the claim that he was making a “rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used.”
A stunning geopolitical move by Russia and Syria involving the surrendering of
Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal…
The surrendering of Syria’s chemical weapons will set back rhetorical arguments being made to justify war with Syria, and will also preempt future false flag operations. The “special interests” (CFR, Trilateral Commission, Brookings Think Tank, et al) seeking war have now been forced by Putin to adjust their rhetoric.
Bottomline: The casus belli for war appears to be dissolved. 🙂
September 13, 2013 4:00 PM
Every American ally is cringing with embarrassment at the amateurishness of the last month.
For generations, eminent New York Times wordsmiths have swooned over foreign strongmen, from Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer-winning paeans to the Stalinist utopia to Thomas L. Friedman’s more recent effusions to the “enlightened” Chinese Politburo. So it was inevitable that the cash-strapped Times would eventually figure it might as well eliminate the middle man and hire the enlightened strongman direct. Hence Vladimir Putin’s impressive debut on the op-ed page this week.
It pains me to have to say that the versatile Vlad makes a much better columnist than I’d be a KGB torturer. His “plea for caution” was an exquisitely masterful parody of liberal bromides far better than most of the Times’ in-house writers can produce these days. He talked up the U.N. and international law, was alarmed by U.S. military intervention, and worried that America was no longer seen as “a model of democracy” but instead as erratic cowboys “cobbling coalitions together under the slogan ‘you’re either with us or against us.’” He warned against chest-thumping about “American exceptionalism,” pointing out that, just like America’s grade-school classrooms, in the international community everyone is exceptional in his own way.
All this the average Times reader would find entirely unexceptional. Indeed, it’s the sort of thing a young Senator Obama would have been writing himself a mere five years ago. Putin even appropriated the 2008 Obama’s core platitude: “We must work together to keep this hope alive.” In the biographical tag at the end, the Times editors informed us: “Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.” But by this stage, one would not have been surprised to see: “Vladimir V. Putin is the author of the new memoir The Audacity of Vlad, which he will be launching at a campaign breakfast in Ames, Iowa, this weekend.”
As Iowahawk ingeniously summed it up, Putin is “now just basically doing donuts in Obama’s front yard.” It’s not just that he can stitch him up at the G-8, G-20, Gee-don’t-tell-me-you’re-coming-back-for-more, and turn the leader of the free world into the planet’s designated decline-and-fall-guy, but he can slough off crappy third-rate telepromptered mush better than you community-organizer schmucks, too. Let’s take it as read that Putin didn’t write this himself any more than Obama wrote that bilge he was drowning in on Tuesday night, when he took to the airwaves to argue in favor of the fierce urgency of doing something about gassed Syrian moppets but not just yet. Both guys are using writers, but Putin’s are way better than Obama’s — and English isn’t even their first language. With this op-ed Tsar Vlad is telling Obama: The world knows you haven’t a clue how to play the Great Game or even what it is, but the only parochial solipsistic dweeby game you do know how to play I can kick your butt all over town on, too.
This is what happens when you elect someone because he looks cool standing next to Jay-Z. Putin is cool mainly in the sense that Yakutsk in February is. In American pop-culture terms, he is a faintly ridiculous figure, with his penchant for homoerotic shirtlessness, his nipples entering the room like an advance security team; the celebrities he attracts are like some rerun channel way up the end of the dial: Goldie Hawn was in the crowd when Putin, for no apparent reason, sang “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,” which Goldie seemed to enjoy. In reality, Putin finds his thrill by grabbing Obama’s blueberries and squeezing hard. Cold beats cool.
Charles Crawford, Britain’s former ambassador in Serbia and Poland, called last Monday “the worst day for U.S. and wider Western diplomacy since records began.” Obama set it in motion at a press conference last year by drawing his famous “red line.” Unlike, say, the undignified scrums around the Canadian and Australian prime ministers, Obama doesn’t interact enough with the press for it to become normal or real. So at this rare press conference he was, as usual, playing a leader who’s giving a press conference. The “red line” line sounds like the sort of thing a guy playing a president in a movie would say — maybe Harrison Ford in Air Force One or Michael Douglas in The American President. It never occurred to him that out there in the world beyond the Republic of Cool he’d set an actual red line and some dime-store dictator would cross it with impunity. So, for most of the last month, the bipartisan foreign-policy establishment has assured us that, regardless of whether it will accomplish anything, we now have to fire missiles at a sovereign nation because “America’s credibility is at stake.”
This is diplomacy for post-moderns: The more you tell the world that you have to bomb Syria to preserve your credibility, the less credible any bombing raid on Syria is going to be — especially when your leaders are reduced to negotiating the precise degree of military ineffectiveness necessary to maintain that credibility. In London this week, John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, capped his own impressive four-decade accumulation of magnificently tin-eared sound bites by assuring his audience that the military devastation the superpower would wreak on Assad would be “unbelievably small.” Actually, the problem is that it will be all too believably small. The late Milton Berle, when challenged on his rumored spectacular endowment, was wont to respond that he would only take out just enough to win. In London, Kerry took out just enough to lose.
In the Obama era, to modify Teddy Roosevelt, America chatters unceasingly and carries an unbelievably small stick. In this, the wily Putin saw an opening, and offered a “plan” so absurd that even Obama’s court eunuchs in the media had difficulty swallowing it. A month ago, Assad was a reviled war criminal and Putin his arms dealer. Now, Putin is the honest broker and Obama’s partner for peace, and the war criminal is at the negotiating table with his chances of survival better than they’ve looked in a year. On the same day the U.S. announced it would supply the Syrian rebels with light arms and advanced medical kits, Russia announced it would give Assad’s buddies in Iran the S-300 ground-to-air weapons system and another nuclear reactor.
Putin has pulled off something incredible: He’s gotten Washington to anoint him as the international community’s official peacemaker, even as he assists Iran in going nuclear and keeping their blood-soaked Syrian client in his presidential palace. Already, under the “peace process,” Putin and Assad are running rings around the dull-witted Kerry, whose Botoxicated visage embodies all too well the expensively embalmed state of the superpower.
As for Putin’s American-exceptionalism crack, he was attacking less the concept than Obama’s opportunist invocation of it as justification for military action in Syria. Nevertheless, Democrats and Republicans alike took the bait. Eager to mend bridges with the base after his amnesty bill, Marco Rubio insisted at National Review Online that America was still, like, totally exceptional.
Sorry, this doesn’t pass muster even as leaden, staffer-written codswallop. It’s not the time — not when you’re a global joke, not when every American ally is cringing with embarrassment at the amateurishness of the last month. Nobody, friend or foe, wants to hear about American exceptionalism when the issue is American ineffectualism. On CBS, Bashar Assad called the U.S. government “a social-media administration.” He’s got a better writer than Obama, too. America is in danger of being the first great power to be laughed off the world stage. When the president’s an irrelevant narcissist and his secretary of state’s a vainglorious buffoon, Marco Rubio shouldn’t be telling the world don’t worry, the other party’s a joke, too.
Mark Steyn does an excellent job at reading my mind.
US Won’t Insist U.N. Resolution Threaten Force on Syria, Officials say
By PETER BAKER
Published: September 13, 2013
WASHINGTON — President Obama will not insist on a United Nations resolution threatening to use force to ensure that Syria lives up to its commitment to turn over chemical weapons, but will seek other tangible consequences for Syria if it does not comply, senior administration officials said Friday.
Although Mr. Obama reserves the right to order a punitive military strike on his own without United Nations backing if Syria reneges, the officials said he understood that Russia, because of its veto power in the Security Council, would never allow a resolution that authorized such a use of force.
France, which has been America’s strongest ally in the push to punish Syria for an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on civilians, this week proposed that a Security Council resolution invoke Chapter 7, a clause that allows United Nations members to use military action to enforce its provisions. Mr. Obama essentially is conceding that he cannot overcome Russian opposition, but he believes that a resolution must have teeth in it, and he will not agree to Syria’s demand that he renounce force altogether.
Instead, the officials said, the Obama administration will seek a Security Council resolution that builds in other measures to enforce a deal with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, possibly including sanctions or other penalties. The administration will give negotiations now under way with the Russians a couple of weeks to see if they have any traction.
The position laid out by the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss diplomatic negotiations, could remove one obstacle in a difficult three-way geopolitical dance with Russia and Syria.
The officials described the position of the Obama administration as Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov conducted a second day of negotiations in Geneva. Administration officials said the discussions had been serious enough to convince them that the Russians were not simply playing games, but they added that there was no guarantee that they could resolve other disagreements on the shape of an eventual deal.
Mr. Obama expressed cautious optimism after a meeting with the visiting emir of Kuwait, Amir Sabah al-Sabah. “I shared with the emir my hope that the negotiations that are currently taking place between Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva bear fruit,” the president said. “But I repeated what I’ve said publicly, which is that any agreement needs to be verifiable and enforceable.”
The administration has not laid out publicly what would constitute verifiable and enforceable, and officials on Friday left open the possibility that there might be an acceptable alternative to a Security Council resolution, although they said they could not imagine what that would be at the moment. Verification, they said, cannot simply be a vague commitment, but a concrete process.
They flatly rejected Russian and Syrian demands that the United States forswear possible military action, because they said it was that threat that forced Moscow and Damascus to the table in the first place. While they expressed wariness about a negotiating process that drags on, they said talks served as a deterrent of their own because Mr. Assad presumably would not use chemical weapons in the interim.
Putin is an authoritarian KGB strongman, however the actions he takes benefit traditional Russian nationalists, traditional Russian Christians and traditional Russian families including children, as well as himself.
On the other hand, Obama’s actions do not benefit traditional American nationalists, traditional American Christians and traditional American families including children. In fact, these groups suffer significantly while morally degenerate groups prosper.
Putin does his job and Obama fails in his.
Bottomline: Putin has now manipulated Obama’s UN Resolution – all Syrian’s WMD must be put under UN control. Putin will then stress that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Putin will insist that Obama (and Israel) put their WND’s on the table. The negotions will continue, on and on, and on…ad infinitum. I can envision it.