Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Russian Gambit

So it looks like Vladimir Putin has found a way to be relevant on the global stage.  By being the "honest broker"... stop laughing... stop it... it's just a phrase... Putin can claim the lion's share of global glory for averting US strikes in Syria.

Right now, with the Winter Olympics and the headaches of likely protests from athletes and LGBT activists around the corner, Putin needs a little international good will.  With John Kerry doing his Travis Bickle imitation, the US played bad-cop to the hilt.  Whether this was ironed out at the G-20 seems doubtful.  Kerry seemed surprised when the offer came through.

And let's be clear, there are a million ways this could fall apart.

But this always had to be about the chemical weapons.  Not regime change, not feeding the war pig.  It was about the chemical weapons.

And now, with this offer on the table, the question of chemical weapons is back in the forefront.

Obama obviously needs to make his case - to the public and the UN - in order to keep the pressure on Assad.  But if Assad even turns over MOST of his chemical weapons, Obama can rightly proclaim a victory in his fight for the non-proliferation and non-use of WMD.

It's not over, by any stretch, but this is the first good option the US has had in weeks.

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