Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Put Upon By Putin

President Barack Obama appears to have fallen victim to the diplomatic equivalent of an epaulet mate.  Hemmed in, on one side, by Secretary of State John Kerry's fanciful suggestion that Syria surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons to the international community, and, on the other side, by his erstwhile ally David Cameron's ill-fated decision to seek Parliamentary approval for military action to punish Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own civilians,  Obama has been pushed to the edge of policy paralysis by Congress and public opinion.  Clichéed though it may be, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have proven himself a master at diplomatic chess by immediately accepting Kerry's offhand offer.  Efforts to build support for military strikes against Syria have struck out - at least for now.