Syria: Disaster or Brilliance?
Two For Thought
By John Fuller
After President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry mastered the art of carrying a big mouth and being hit with a big stick in return, the spin masters of American media are attempting to call the Syria escapade Obama’s greatest diplomatic achievement.
An achievement it is, but not necessarily in America’s best interest. The only achievements have been to Russia’s benefit.
First is the fact that Vladimir Putin got everything he wanted and gave up nothing in return.
By forcing Obama to concede that no military force would by used in exchange for Russia taking over Syria’s chemical weapons he maneuvered Obama into guaranteeing that Assad would remain in power. There is no verification by the U.S. that Assad or Putin will comply.
Third, American diplomacy in this region has been left in a shambles. Only the disaster of the Iranian hostage crisis surpasses this incompetence.
This international crisis initiated by Obama has resulted in a deterioration of American power and influence in a critical area of the world. If the media can call this brilliance, they are as big a dunces as the president.
By Joe Carbonari
U. S. military force, employed unilaterally, will not solve the Middle East’s problems or bring it peace.
Force alone, even if widely supported in the outside world, is insufficient. In the end, the Middle East, and its own neighbors, must police themselves.
It’s their neighborhood.
The Syrian conflict presents the greatest current danger, but Iran, its ruling regime, its nuclear program, and its support of extremist thinking and mayhem throughout the Arab world, poses an even greater, continuing risk.
Russia is more directly threatened than we are by the region’s instability. Its borders and its peoples near the neighborhood. Russia and the U.S. have a commonality of interests, calming Syria, halting Iran’s nuclear weaponry development, and discrediting jihadists overall.
The Iranian regime must be made to believe that the world will simply not allow it to develop or possess nuclear weapons.
By its actions in Syria, Russia can help make the Iranians believers in our combined will and ability. Our common interests call for cooperation – with our eyes open.
Recent U.S. diplomatic activity has appeared ad hoc and uncertain. Nonetheless, we find ourselves in a hopeful place. Assad and his supporters need a way out. Iran needs to change its course. Managed carefully, Russia’s help is better than its opposition.