significantly that they could be called a turning point. Did we just see such a turning point?
Was this a Kerryism, did he say it by accident. Or was this carefully planned to get Obama
off the hook and avoid what looks like a defeat in the House.
Was this planned at the G20. Is this a spontaneous event?
Perhaps we will have to wait until the memoirs are released to find out.
Anyway for whatever reason Kerry added a footnote onto his speech. Assad could turn
his chemical weapons over to international control and there would be no need for airstrikes
or missiles. No more gas, problem solved.
It took an hour for this to filter through at the international level, the media at the time
didn’t notice that it was anything serious. But then Russia said they would support it.
Suddenly that throwaway line had become US policy and the US was scrambling to respond.
Today it’s all “We have been planning to work with Russia for years”, “Obama has been talking
to Putin about resolving the Syrian issue since it started”, “Give diplomacy a chance, we don’t
need to bomb” and lots more.
Given that mere days ago it was a headlong rush to start bombing this is a complete change
of policy, all caused by that one throwaway line from Kerry.
Obama and the US are left looking confused and not in control of the situation. Which given
that they were talking about months of bombing or was it days of bombing or a rapid strike
or punishment or a regime change or limited retaliation or significant support, well it’s hard
to work out just what they are planning to do other than drop bombs since there do not
seem to be any actual plans on either side of the Atlantic.
The US media have been reporting that the vote to launch Obama’s attack was looking uncertain.
Now Obama has a get out of jail card, remove the gas and remove the justification for attack.
The US looks like a petulant child with missiles while the Russians are the peacemakers. Yep,
Putin and Russia, the peacemakers. What a crazy world we live in.
So now it is Assad who has some control. Can Russia talk him into handing over his chemical
weapons. This doesn’t end the fighting, far from it. Syria is winning, ignore the doom and
gloom on the BBC or Sky. The Syrian armed forces and Hezbollah are winning which is why
the Free Syrian Army such as it is and the many Jihad groups are calling so loudly for US
attacks, US weapons, US training, US money etc.
Assad is not going to want to end up in a Lose/Lose situation and neither will Russia want
that. Syria is not powerful enough to made demands or bargain but Putin is powerful enough
to bargain for their ally.
These seems to have moved from the war bunker to the bargaining table and it seems to be
Russia that is sitting at the head of this table.
Turning these weapons over to the UN or international support will take time. It is not something
that can happen in a war zone. So at least a temporary end to the fighting would be needed.
That requires the anti Assad forces to stop fighting and pull back. This could require UN troops
maintaining a line between Assad controlled territory and rebel held land. This could involve
a massive western intervention to maintain the peace without a regime change.
If the west refuses to support this then Russia can stand there and say that Assad and Putin
had tried to resolve the situation peacefully but it was the west and Obama who are the
Can you imagine Russia going before the UN to condemn US imperialism and aggression?
The world has become that strange these days.
There are other problems here that have not been mentioned.
Obama has painted himself and the west into a corner with his Red Flag. He specified a
chemical weapons attack as being unacceptable and in doing so made every other form of
attack acceptable. Calling gas and only gas inhumane somehow makes napalm, white
phosphorus, cluster bombs, Fuel Air Explosives, rockets, mortars, bombs, machine guns,
sharp sticks and rocks not inhumane. By refusing to object to these in the past they make
if far more difficult to object to them in the future.
Obama and Cameron put so much effort into demonising one use of gas, having ignored
every other weapon used over the last two years that they clearly demonstrated that
they don’t care about the death toll, the number of refugees, the murder of Christians,
the cannibals or every other atrocity that has come out of this civil war.
Only this single Gas attack is important to them. Nothing else matters.
So if Russia can take those gas stockpiles out of Assad’s hands then the West, the US and
the UK have left themselves with no grounds to do anything else. Having done nothing for
two years and having focused entirely on a single weapon use the west will now look like
complete idiots if they start objecting to cluster bombs or napalm or any other single type
On the world stage Obama and Cameron look like rank amateurs and Putin looks like the
elder statesman with all the influence. Russia looks to be in control and the west look like
trigger happy children. We have fallen down the rabbit hole and d
As things stand, it no longer matters if the US bombs or does not bomb Syria. The UK
refusing to vote yes after our PM spent so long banging the war drum, France stepping in
to replace us and then running away as soon as it looked like they were alone and the
US having a policy that changes twice an hour have simply added to the global view
that the west is last century’s power.
Russia comes out of this looking like a super power. China is demonstrating that it can
influence events on the other side of the world with a single ship and a few words.
Europe looks divided the leadership wildly out of touch with the electorate. The US looks
like an incompetent bully.
The perception coming out of this serves to reinforce that the west is a fading power and
that the East and the Far East is going to be this century’s power base.
Russia and Putin look to be the peacemakers and the stable influence.
America on the other hand looks to be a government in chaos, who can trust that they will
or will not attack or even stand by any agreement.
Truly the world has turned upside down of late.
Still everything that has happened so far has not saved a single life in Syria. It has simply made
Europe and the US look less important on the world stage and made it more difficult for anyone
to act on Syria in the future.
Another outstanding contribution from Obama and Cameron.