Sunday, 15 July 2012

Weak Obama administration propping up Putin

Russia has sent 11 old warships to Syria in a fake show of force

Lee Smith, Senior editor of the Weekly Standard is right when pointing out that a weak Obama administration has allowed a powerless Russia to "get away with just about anything" - particularly with regard to Syria. In reality, "the Russians are all show", and "it is the Obama administration that has provided the stage": 

On Tuesday, Russia announced it was sending 11 warships to the Mediterranean—some of which would dock in Syria, where Moscow keeps a base in Tartus. If some onlookers believed that the “unusually large size of the force” was meant to send a message to Washington, the fact is, the Obama administration has been signaling to the Russians that they can get away with just about anything, especially when it comes to Syria.
Some 16 months into the Syrian uprising and after, according to some estimates, more than 17,000 have been killed, there is little end in sight. U.N. special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has finally conceded that his six-point peace plan, has failed. “We have made significant efforts to resolve this situation by peaceful political methods,” Annan said earlier this week. “Obviously, we have not succeeded. And there is no guarantee that we will succeed.”
But Russia, says Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, is not really “holding on to Assad.” Rather,according to this report, it is “defending basic international principles that prevented powerful nations from deciding the internal conflicts of smaller states.” Anti-imperialist rhetoric, it seems, has entered its baroque phase. Were this sentence not spoken by a Putin apparatchik, it would be hard to hear it as anything but a parodic evocation of golden age Soviet oratory, when smaller states existed for no other reason than for Moscow to tilt their internal conflicts on behalf of Soviet interests.

The point is, the fact Russian diplomats are trotting out this line now, long after it lost the military might to back it up, masks a profound weakness. Maoscow is no longer able to project power the way it could during the Cold War. Regardless of its port in Tartus, or dispatching ships to the eastern Mediterranean, Russia cannot save Assad—not even from a disorganized rebel army that the Obama administration has disdained to support. It is only in diplomatic forums that the Russians are capable of managing any sort of protection for the Syrian president. The Russians are all show. And it is the Obama White House that has provided the stage.
The real reason for Putin´s support of Assad can be found here.

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