There has so far been deep disagreement over the significance of Russia’s offer and Obama’s backdown on conducting “unbelievably small limited operations with no boots on the ground” in
Libya Syria. Was this a victory for Kerry / Obama, or a brilliant chess move from Putin / Lavrov?
Assad has agreed to remove his chemical weapon arsenal and war has been avoided or at least delayed, so all sides may claim victory.
The more important question may be whether this opens the door for the White House to “act” should anything go wrong. Before the deal was struck, Obama had very little chance of getting congressional approval, but now the spin seems to be that the US must act if Assad isn’t sincere.
The key doublespeak term for the moment is “act.” The “limited operations” and “no boots” lines have failed and given way to the more ambiguous “action” and “acting.”
President Barack Obama has welcomed an agreement on the Syrian chemical weapons reached during the US-Russian talks in Geneva, but warned that America will remain prepared to act if diplomatic efforts fail.
“…if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act,” Obama stated.
Obama’s first step, or “act,” has been to waive “provisions of a federal law which ban the supply of weapons and money to terrorists.”
RT: Obama ‘should be grateful’ for face-saving chance to backpedal on Syria
Sepahpour-Ulrich said that Russia’s proposal allows Obama and America “to save face,” given the fact that a military strike on Syria would be “contrary to the people’s will” and receive little international support.
Washington Examiner: Obama administration already taking victory lap over Russia lifeline
Naturally, Obama’s cheerleading squad jumped at the chance to declare Obama the winner in all this.
A Plea for Caution From Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks directly to the American people in an attempt to circumvent the Washington spin machine.
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.
Top Lawmakers Pile On Putin Op-Ed: ‘Almost Wanted to Vomit’, ‘An Insult’
Congressional leaders are upset over the lessons in statesmanship and leadership (and even peace-making) that Putin has given the Obama administration as they remind us that “military operations,” otherwise known as “holding the Assad regime accountable,” is right around the corner should anything go wrong.
“Leaders in Damascus and Moscow should understand that Congress will be watching these negotiations very closely,” the Nevada Democrat (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) said Wednesday. “If there is any indication these are not serious, that it’s a ploy to delay, to obstruct, to divert, then I think we have to again give the president the authority to hold the Assad regime accountable.”
Congress presumably understands that the American people will be watching Congress very closely and if there is any indication that they are trying to start another pointless war, the people will hold the Obama regime and Congress accountable.
World Turns to Russia for Leadership Instead of Corrupt U.S.
Alex Jones interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Marvin Kalb: Syria and Russia: What’s Putin Up to?
…the Islamic fanaticism that appears to be growing in the Syrian opposition may one day spread to such restless parts of southern Russia as Chechnya and Dagestan…
Pepe Escobar: Russian chess move stalls US actions as Al-Qaeda Air Force
True diplomats are supposed to prevent wars – not pose as warmongers. American exceptionalism is of course exempted. So just as Secretary of State John Kerry had the pedal on the metal selling yet another war in a London presser, his beat up Chevy was overtaken by a diplomatic Maserati: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Weekly Standard: Putin Didn’t Save Obama, He Beat Him
Some neocon sour grapes 😦
More sour grapes. This time in the form of bad Russia jokes from the Huffington Post:
National Journal: Obama’s Foreign Policy by Faux Pas
If we see “a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized,” that would be a “red line” that would “change my calculus,” Obama famously said.
And this guy is supposed to be more eloquent and articulate than Bush? Marginally perhaps. I guess it depends on your eloquence calculus.
A would-be war bookended by verbal gaffes.
Fine, let’s keep it “would-be.”
Syrian Rebels Furious At U.S.-Russian Deal
General Salim Idris (head of the opposition Syrian Supreme Military Council) notes that this allows Assad “to escape being held accountable,” and, while unverified for now, Idris added, “we have told our friends that the regime has begun moving a part of its chemical weapons arsenal to Lebanon and Iraq. We told them do not be fooled.” But another military council official, Qassim Saadeddine, was a little more aggressive: “Let the Kerry-Lavrov plan go to hell. We reject it and we will not protect the inspectors or let them enter Syria.”
Sikorski reaffirms role in Syrian weapons deal
“If my suggestions have helped someone change their mind, or prompt reflection, then we have cause for some small satisfaction,” he (Sikorski) told journalists on Wednesday
Syria Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Barack Obama
According to this article, Obama is unflappable. Here is the evidence:
From all public appearances, this was the “no drama Obama” his aides brag about. Certainly, he was affected by public criticism and even swayed by polling, but the president kept searching for a way out of a complicated situation. He may have stumbled into peace but that’s better than rushing into war.
Keiser Report: Selling Syria
US, Russia agree on dismantling Syria chem weapons
Hollande is working hard to compete with the British and American warmongers for the position of World Gendarme:
“We can now seriously think of a diplomatic solution, but the military option must remain. Otherwise there is nothing to stop Syria,” Hollande said as cited by Reuters.
…the proposal “must include the threat of sanctions.”
Thank you for calling! Can you hold, please?
Syria Accepts Russia’s Chemical Weapons Plan, Setting Up a Long Day for Obama
Putin: Syria chem arms handover will work only if US calls off strike
Obama: Strike ‘Absolutely’ on Hold if Syria Abandons Chemical Weapons
Reuters: Obama to explore diplomatic route on Syria chemical weapons
Obama is prepared to act should anything go wrong, though he seems to have forgotten that he has yet to convince Congress, the American people, or even the UN that we should act at all.
“The international community expects the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments,” President Obama said in a statement Saturday. But he also insisted that the United States “remains prepared to act” should diplomatic efforts fail.
‘To bomb or not to bomb?’ Obama’s Hamlet omnishambles
Americans are almost unanimously “mixed”
Yahoo: Americans still mixed, hesitant after Obama’s Syria plea
It’s not clear how Americans are “mixed” and “hesitant” when as low as 9% of the American people support military action in Syria. A glance at the comments at the bottom of the article indicate a “no” vote.
Americans Reject World Police Role, Fear Being Drawn Into War
Sen. Bernie Sanders – The American People Have Spoken: No More War Abroad, More Jobs at Home
At a time of great political division in our country President Obama has found a remarkable way to unite Americans of all political persuasions — conservatives, progressives and moderates. With a loud and clear voice, the overwhelming majority of the American people, across the political spectrum, are saying NO to another war in the Middle East — Syria’s bloody and complicated civil war.
The alternative media have played a critical role in blocking the Syria
invasion limited operations, as the mainstream media lose their audiences and credibility:
In a truly powerful augmentation of history, spreading the word over staged events like the Syrian chemical attacks has ultimately forced the Obama administration and its affiliates to push back their plans to launch military action.
There’s no longer the need to play into the psychological minefield of labeling certain sources ‘alternative news’ when we can go back to leading Gallup polls and show that virtually no one trusts the mainstream media.
The Big Story: Lingering Doubts
Former Bush and Clinton Administration Insider – Nobody is Asking the Basic Question
“The rest of the world does not believe what we’re saying for good reason. We made it up last time”.
Mann Leverett said, “It is strikingly similar to the lead up to the war in Iraq . I was in the Bush administration in the Bush White House dealing also with Congressional Democrats and with members of the media, with the New York Times, with NBC. The herd mentality that took over to buy into the Bush administration’s narrative that Saddam Hussein had to have chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction and was determined to use them against us was something unquestioned. I remember going with a key member of the Bush national security team to see President Clinton and he putting his arm around her, telling her not only was the intel right, but she was doing the right thing morally. It was not only a mistake, it was based on manufactured evidence.”
Yet, the Pacific Standard claims that people who believe in evil will probably support a strike:
Should We Bomb Syria? The Answer Is Easy if You Believe in Evil
Investment Watch: U.S. Admits No Imminent Threat from Syria, No Clear Evidence Assad Ordered Chemical Weapons Attack
RT: Obama orders US military to ‘maintain posture’ on Syria
CNN Propagandist Amanpour Demands “Moral” Intervention in Syria
“I can barely contain myself at this point,” said the journalist. “How many more times do we have to say that weapons of mass destruction were used and as bad as it is to decapitate somebody it is in no means equal?”
Although the Obama administration and the establishment insist the al-Assad government used chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, there is scant evidence to back up Amanpour’s assertion or justify her emotional outburst.
Obama: I might lose congressional vote on Syria
Congressman Jeff Miller Questions Secretary Kerry on Syria
McCain & Graham Seize on ‘Peace’ Initiative to Push War
From the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass Files:
“Today’s development should make Members of Congress more willing to vote yes,” McCain and Graham said in a joint statement. “This will give the President additional leverage to press Russia and Syria to make good on their proposal to take the weapons of mass destruction out of Assad’s hands.”
The move represents a last ditch gambit to secure congressional authorization for what amounts to open ended war, a green light that otherwise looks doomed, with the latest whip count showing that less than 10% of the House supports Obama’s resolution for a strike on Syria.
Senators say Russia plan boosts prospects for Congress Syria vote
Reuters: The vote on Syria hardly matters
Obama punted on the issue, asking for congressional backing (but all the while stressing he could strike without Congress’ permission). And now, thanks to gaffe diplomacy, it’s possible that America won’t strike Syria at all, as the administration is willing to delay a vote in favor of pursuing a diplomatic solution — like Russia’s proposal that Syria hands over its chemical weapons to the international community. That Russia’s plan is likely aimed more at scuttling strikes than at actually rounding up Assad’s chemical arsenal seems beside the point.
“This is not a game,” Kerry said. “It has to be real. It has to be comprehensive. It has to be verifiable. It has to be credible. It has to be timely and implemented in a timely fashion. Finally, there ought to be consequences if it doesn’t take place.”
Kerry cautioned that a U.S. military strike could occur if Assad doesn’t agree to dismantle his chemical arsenal properly.
Sour over Syria: American senators attack Russian banks
Sheldon Adelson to President Obama: ‘I Would Be Willing to Help’ on Syria
Is this a set-up?
Is Syria Setting Itself Up for International Prosecution?
France is currently working on a resolution to put before the United Nations Security Council that demands the inspection, confiscation, and destruction of Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile. Should Syria agree to and then later violate the agreement, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there would be “very serious consequences.”
If Syria signs on to the CWC and publicizes its storage sites, a flood of U.N. inspectors will likely enter the country to inspect the stockpile. Although not everyone in the international community is convinced, U.S. officials say they’ve already got enough evidence to say that Assad was behind the Aug. 21 attacks that killed more than 1,400 civilians. If that’s true, and future investigations start to sway the public to that claim, what will happen to Assad?
Is Assad Being Tricked Into Sacrificing Syria?
Could the precondition of Syria destroying its chemical weapons actually be used to rescue a congressional vote that had looked doomed to fail?
NATO Leader: Syria Not To Be Trusted
Is Assad Being Set Up?
Israel Awaits Cyberattack From Syrian Electronic Army
Al-Qaeda calls for strikes against US
And in case you were wondering what Chuck Norris thinks…
Chuck Norris explains Assad’s real motivations in Syria
- Obama Double-Backpedal Liveblogging (firedoglake.com)
- Muallem: Syria ready to sign chemical weapons convention (theiranproject.com)
- SYRIA -USA- RUSSIA – Obama postpones attack on Syria , allowing himself and Russia more time (asianews.it)
- Why Does John Kerry Still Have a Job? (nakedcapitalism.com)
- Obama pledges to explore Russia-proposed diplomatic plan on Syria (panarmenian.net)
- Putin: Syria Chemical Weapon Handover Will Work Only If U.S. Calls off Strike (hapblog.com)
- How Saint Obama Masterminded The Entire Diplomatic Solution in Syria (topekasnews.com)
- Your Move, Putin (slate.com)
- Vladimir Putin writes opinion piece in The New York Times on Syria (telegraph.co.uk)
- Win or loss for Obama? (cnn.com)