Putin & Syria: What's he up to?
The good news appears to be that President Obama won't be ordering our military to fire a cruise missile or two up the proverbial camel's hiney in some Syrian tent. At least not in the immediate future.
But the bad news appears to be that few have a clear picture of what nut-covering operation that squirrel known as Russia's Vladimir Putin is engaged in.
Mr. Obama took to the airwaves Tuesday night in the equivalent of a “Yeah, that's the ticket” address to the nation. Initially requested as an attempt to make the case for striking at Syria for its alleged chemical weapons attack, it was downgraded to a scrambling exercise in catching up to Mr. Putin's opportunistic bluff-call of Secretary of State John Kerry for his off-the-cuff — but self-dismissed — talk of Bashar Assad relinquishing any chemical weapons to international control and, ultimately, their destruction.
While it might have given Obama a political cover from certain congressional rejection of his attack authorization request, his embrace of the Putin plan (no matter that embrace being akin to a Hollywood air kiss) poses significant risks of its own.
“I am deeply skeptical about the motivation of the Russians and the viability of their plan to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. And with good reason, considering much of the stockpile likely is Russian-engineered and/or -supplied to begin with.
While we don't know what Putin's true motivations are, it's a good bet they are not designed to benefit the United States. And it's a given that they are not intended to rid Syria of Assad.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.