Phew! That Putin “lifeline” to Obama

September 10, 2013 at 9:55 am (Democratic Party, Jim D, Middle East, Obama, Republican Party, Russia, Syria, war)

Obama, Putin Briefly Interact at G20 Beginning
Above: it’s almost as though they like each other

Most decent people will, instinctively, welcome Putin’s proposal that Assad places his chemical weapons under some kind of international control. Anything that makes an escalation of the conflict less likely can only be A Good Thing. Whether the proposal actually comes to anything is, of course, highly doubtful.

Juan Cole (, as usual, carries a pretty shrewd analysis of what’s going on, noting that Putin has (for whatever reason) helped Obama “avoid the most embarrassing defeat in congress on a major international issue since that body told Woodrow Wilson where he could stick his League of Nations.”

However, it seems to me that Cole is a little too willing to give credit to Putin (Cole of course is a liberal-leftist, but the right-wing media, like Fox News, are taking the much same line). After all, the proposal came initially from John Kerry, even if it was an off-the-cuff remark. And Cole’s dismissal of Obama’s claim that the Putin initiative “would not have come about without his own sabre-rattling” seems to be a dismissal of something that’s merely a self-evident statement of fact.

Of course, Assad (against all the evidence) has still not admitted to having used chemical weapons in Ghouta on 21 August, though Putin now seems (de facto, at least) to accept that even if Assad didn’t personally order the atrocity, elements within the Syrian army were responsible.

If the Syrian rebels were supportable, we’d be calling for their victory over the mass-murderer Assad. But they’re not, so we can’t. The best we can realistically hope for is a compromise between the rebels and the regime: as Cole argues, when both sides are sufficiently exhausted, there may be the sort of agreement that ended the Lebanese civil war in 1989. Not ideal, but probably the least-bad option going.


  1. Mike Killingworth said,

    Fixed grins, indeed…

    I agree: “least bad” is all that the international community can hope for.

  2. Jim Denham said,

    • jimmy glesga said,

      I am sure the Yanks will conjure up more lies to attack Syria. They do not give a toss for the chemical weapons but have put themselves in a spot after using it as an excuse.
      Well done Putin for maybe saving some lives. The wee shit Hague will not be happy as he has been at the forefront for the last two years to ovethrow Assad.

  3. kellie said,

    The point to welcome it would be if and when it comes with a UNSC Chapter VII resolution. And even then the war goes on.

    • jimmy glesga said,

      The war will go on until the Sunni Islamic fascists are defeated. Saudi, Qatar and Turkey have a lot to answer for.

  4. angrysoba said,

    Apparently this photo I am trying to nick from you was nicked from something called “The Blaze”. Is that Glenn Beck? Argggghhh!

    • Jim Denham said,

      Bloodyhell Mr angrysoba, I’ve checked and it would seem that the loathsome Beck is indeed a contributor to that blog. Still, all I did was nick a photo off them.

      Btw, I note that some otherwise apparently sane people on the “left” were recently promoting an article on a site run by ultra-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, purporting to show that Syrian rebels, and not the regime, carried out the 21 August atrocity…

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