US SECRETARY OF STATE VLADIMIR PUTIN
The Obama threat to strike Syria over the use of chemical warfare seems to be over for a few months thanks to our new Secretary of State Vladimir Putin.
I am thrilled that Obama’s dangerous plan has been put on hold by the Russians, along with cooperation they have obtained from the Syrians. A plan will now we drafted to inspect, destroy and verify the end of chemical weapons in Syria, with military action to be approved by the security council of the United Nations.
In a well-written article to the New York Times titled “Plea for Caution from Russia” Putin says, “The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”
Putin further declares: “Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multi-religious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government.”
There is no question that Putin is trying to put Russia once again in the league of respected, if not authoritative, countries. The tragedy here is that Putin’s arguments make a lot of sense; a lot more sense than those of John Kerry or Barack Obama.
In his final remarks Putin says, “It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”
“But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.”
It is too bad that the balance of wisdom over the past three weeks has to come from a former KGB strongman. However, in many ways this isn’t surprising. Putin has forgotten more about the real world than Obama and Kerry will ever know.