Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Rachel Maddow explains how Russia became a player in the possible avoidance of an American strike against Syria. But she just might be missing something.
For one thing even with the internet and Twitter this whole thing came together incredibly fast. I mean when was the last time you saw a problem of this magnitude potentially solved in a day? Yeah, me either.
And the other things is...well first let me link to how this story is being reported on the Maddow blog:
It's too soon to say with confidence whether the diplomatic solution for Syrian crisis will stick, but if it does, we can probably guess the story the White House will be eager to tell. President Obama took the lead in responding to Syria's suspected chemical-weapons attack and threatened to use military force. At the same time, Obama and his team pointed the way to a political resolution that forced an end to Syria's entire program of chemical weapons, and it was the White House's threats that made diplomacy possible.
That's obviously the most favorable possible spin -- it's also assuming the proposal solution will work, and it may not -- but it's rooted in plausible claims. A longtime Republican strategist told the Huffington Post, "It looks like Obama drew an inside straight here."
And for the right, the notion that Syria could become a political plus for Obama just won't do. So what's the alternative for U.S. conservatives? Quick, praise Putin!
"From the claws of defeat and humiliation, Obama is claiming victory.... The way this was handled was a complete embarrassment and near-disaster, saved only by Vladimir Putin. [...]
Putin comes across as the world leader."
So suddenly Putin, who was being attacked and vilified by just about EVERYBODY over the Snowden affair, is suddenly the new conservative hero? The same conservatives who like to believe that their hero Ronald Reagan arm wrestled the Soviets into knocking down the Berlin wall and whose recent presidential candidate said that Russia was "without question, our number one geopolitical foe?" That Vladimir Putin?
Well that's certainly an unexpected outcome.
Or is it?
It seems to me that I remember an incident, barely reported on, from about four days ago at the G20 Summit:
President Barack Obama met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the midst of their dispute over how to respond to chemical weapons use in Syria.
Putin told reporters they spoke for 20 or 30 minutes Friday and focused on Syria.
The Russian president says while they disagreed, the meeting was constructive.
The White House confirmed the meeting but offered no details.
But hey I get it. Kerry made a gaffe, and while the President was "dithering," Russian President Putin rode in on a white horse to solve the problem.
Sounds reasonable, right? After all this President was simply a one term Senator and former community organizer, how could HE be expected to solve such a complicated problem?