A Reluctant Warrior(Obama), Putin the Thug, and Assad the Butcher
It is like a Laurel and Hardy slapstick movie. At least President Obama is providing some comedic moments regarding his back and forth and back again position in Syria. Yes, he is the classic "reluctant" warrior at all costs. Originally, he did nothing about Syria for two years, even though Turkey early on and other Arab nations, wanted to. Turkey had planned to create a no-fly zone along the border regions to protect the one million refugees that are on both sides. Obama said No to that. Too dangerous. Then, Turkey wanted to use its military in conjunction with rebels to create a corridor of relief to Aleppo, to allow food, water and medical supplies to go to civilians. Obama said No. Too dangerous. Maybe, but now Turkey is not willing and the refugee situation is far worse than a year ago.
It seems, even the non-lethal act of supplying weapons to rebels is too much for Obama, so some Arab states stepped up and have been doing it now. Of course, Obama does know Iran and Russia have been supporting Assad from day one. Obama is a idealist and being made a joke in the world. He draws a redline, then it is crossed, he threatens, then wants permission from Congress, which has said No, and then claims the threat of force is all you need. Really?
Obama wants Putin, the thug and Assad, the butcher, to play fair. Any person on the street will tell you that is not going to happen. Putin orchestrated his own internal election to become President again. Assad has blood on his hands for the past two years by using conventional weapons that have killed tens of thousands to remain in power.
His special Unit 450, which is in charge of the chemical weapons, have been dispersing them all over Syria and although the US satellites can track, they cannot actually see what is being loaded or not. Some intelligence indicates that the out of 50 areas being tracked, only 15 have hard intelligence stating chemical weapons are there. It is changing all the time.
It would take several thousand of outside personnel to inspect the sites during a civil war. At least 60 days would be needed. The problem is that as this show runs parallel to the war, the war rolls on. Is Obama not willing to address this? They are not separate issues, even though that is what is claimed.
Any deal with a thug and butcher should include a ceasefire. As to the threat of force, already Obama is acquiescing. The US naval units that were deployed off Syria's coast have been pulled back to Cyprus and others sent elsewhere. Putin is calling the shots and Obama is the lap dog at this stage. Of course, what happens if the Putin deal falls apart for whatever reason, is Obama going to once again, ask for permission from Congress? If Congress stills states No, is Obama going to wimp out and go home and blame the no action on Congress? Probably.
How embarrassing is this for him and America. You cannot make a deal with two devils and expect it to turn out okay. History has proven this time and time again. Of course, the other issues like what happens when or if Assad falls and if 50% of the rebel factions are actually more jihadist prone than freedom prone, Syria could still be a mess after Assad is gone. Is there a right or better time for him to be killed or leave?
The US interest in Syria is about democracy and peace. Hey, that is not happening. Iran and Russia will see to that. So, what is left of the US interest? At this stage, it is saving a tarnished reputation because of the redline issue, keeping the region out of a Islamic force and defending Israel, and humanitarian grounds.