Tag Archives: Putin’s response


B LOG 315 August 15, 2016

This past week the world discovered that the Assad regime used chlorine gas in the battle for Aleppo. Since World War II and before, the entire world has recognized that the use of chemical warfare is a war crime. The Syrian government has done this a number of times and once again has struck babies, women, and children as well attacking the military. They are guilty of a criminal offense against humanity.

And who will bring them to justice?

As readers of Wise On The Middle East know, this blog attempts to avoid political partisanship and reports an objective understanding of every situation occurring across the region. My goal is an unbiased reading of events. Of course, no one can claim absolute neutrality, but at the least, that’s the objective. The following is such an attempt.

On April 26, 2013, President Barrack Obama declared that if Syrian used chemical weapons in their civil war, they would be crossing a red line, a line drawn in the sand. They did. He did nothing.

As a result, Putin invaded Crimea and then the Ukraine. Current reports indicate the Russians are increasing their troops in the Ukraine. In response, the USA gave a slap on the wrist to key Russia oligarchical leaders. But did nothing about chemical warfare in Syria.

The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker said Syria used chemical weapons to slaughter 1,200 people and predicated Putin will escalate military aggression in the Ukraine if the U.S. does not nothing.

So far, nothing has followed.

Previously promised arms from America, Syrian rebels are now complaining that they are running out of weaponry and none is on the way. Apparently, the Obama administration is pursuing a diplomatic rather than military approach to the problem. Secretary of State John Kerry said 54% of the chemical weapons had been removed.

Fifty-four percent? After all these years and months? Really? That only leaves 46% of one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons. How many more citizens can the Assad regime kill with their mountain of chemicals? Probably the rest of the country.

One of the worst legacies that Obama will leave behind is the deteriorating status of the United States in the Middle East. Israel doesn’t trust the US. Egypt doesn’t trust America. And Russia apparently no longer fears us.

Are we weak? Incapable? No, just frighteningly indecisive and uncertain. For the good of the world and the goals of democracy, the next American president must reverse the lack of trust that now exists.

In the mean time, who will stop Syria from gassing babies, women, children, as well as soldiers? Doesn’t appear that America’s ready.

This is a decisive moment for action. President Obama could reverse the situation at the snap of his fingers by reacting decisively against Syria for crossing the line that he has drawn in the sand. Will he?

That’s the question.

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Filed under America, middle east, Russia, Syria


BLOG 274 October 12, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow for a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu’s mission was to warn that Israel was ready to resist any actions by Syria on their northern border in the Golan Heights region. His fear was that Iran was trying to build a terrorist front using Syria as a cover.

Putin’s response was simple. The Syrian army is in no position to open a new front. That was putting it mildly!

Syria is in shambles.

In a civil war with an estimated 250,000 deaths with half of the 23 million citizens displaced, questions are now raised as to whether the country will ever recover. At the least, speculation suggests that the country could be divided up among the warring groups. Rebels continue to knock on the gates of the major Syrian cities and Assad’s control is shakier than ever.

Enter Russia big time.

Syria is the only ally Russia has in the region and Putin recognizes Assad is about to go under. Consequently, the world is now witnessing the Russians moving in aircraft and making questionable strikes against any one in sight. From the Russian point-of-view, anyone fighting Assad is a target (even if allies of the USA).

The indecision and retreat of the Obama Administration over the past years has signaled weakness to Putin. While the America public earlier indicated they did not want any more wars, Obama’s flip-flops and retreats have helped create the Syrian mess today. Whether standing back and letting the Sunnis and Shiites shoot it out was wisdom is highly questionable. The truth is that Washington has done too little, too late and too slow.

So, here come the Russians.

Putin believes in the primacy of the state authority above all else. The collapse of the Soviet Union soured his view of free-wheeling democracy and of the character of his own constituents. He believes in the strong-hand of the state.

Today, no one in the region is sure of what the USA believes.

The result will probably not end in a collision between America and Russia as neither side wants an ultimate confrontation. However, USA policy has left the door open for the Russians and they are walking through.

Americans are only now realizing how massive their failure in the Middle East has been. Setbacks in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan have cost the US billions of dollars. The program to train Syrian rebels has been a miserable failure. A $500 million Defense Department program to train rebels has produced virtually nothing. The Defense Department finally canceled it. While America stumbles, ISIS gains thousands of recruits on a weekly basis.

Syria is in the soup, but America is in hot water.

Time has come for a re-assessment and a change of direction.

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Filed under America, Israel, middle east