The translation of this is that Putin suddenly became the head arbitrator between Syria and the United States. He proposed that Syria turn over its chemical weapons stock to an independent agency and thus avoid the impending confrontation between Obama and Assad.
This move put everyone in a standstill position. Secretary of State John Kerry was quick to respond to the solution by scheduling a meeting with his Russian counterpart late last week. Harry Reid postponed a trial vote in the Senate, and the President himself was scrambling to deliver a coherent television message to the nervous populace.
A special meeting of the UN was called for by Russia for last Tuesday at 4 p.m. and then strangely canceled at the last minute. Of all the international Press, only Reuters in Great Britain seemed to have the inside story, and it revealed that Putin had thrown a wild card into the situation when he said the chemical weapons turnover would depend on the U.S. agreeing never to strike Syria now or in the future.
By his adroit moves, the Russian leader seemed to have once again put Obama on the defensive and forced him into an almost untenable position.
During the last Presidential contest, Mitt Romney correctly identified Russia as our chief adversary. He was roundly criticized for doing that by the liberal Press and the President himself.
What all of this seems to indicate is that the Russian leader has taken the spotlight from our President when it comes to international foreign affairs. Many of the commentators who were bewildered by the fast moving events of last week suggested that Putin himself might be eligible for the next Nobel Peace Prize.
All of this seems to point out the many failures in foreign policy that occurred during the term of previous Secretary of State Hillary “Benghazi” Clinton. She began her tour of duty by taking a “reset button” to Russia and when she presented it, the translation failed to mention “reset.”
As she flitted about the world during the next four years, one of her most significant photographs was taken of her swilling a beer and dancing with a bunch of inebriated women. Perhaps her most ineffective area of supervision occurred when the Middle East Embassies were stormed on Sept. 11, 2012.
As to the lingering issue of the Benghazi attack, which saw four Americans murdered, she had this to say in front of Congress, “What does it matter?” Although she eventually said the buck stopped at her desk, she covered her tracks by saying there were “systemic failures” in the State Department. Since she was head of the department, maybe the failures came from the top down.
Now she is being touted for a Presidential run in 2016, maybe she will run on a platform “I’ll do for the country what I did for Benghazi.”
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.