Sam Fields: Obama Gets Lucky On Syria





That’s the question Napoleon would ask about military officers who were being considered for promotion to General.

Right now no one is luckier than Barack Obama.

He was about to have his political head handed to him in Congress on bombing Syria. Then a fluke question to Secretary of State John Kerry about alternatives to bombing opened a course of events that saved Barack’s butt.

Kerry sarcastically responded we would not bomb if Assad gave up all his chemical weapons.  Nevertheless, out of nowhere, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syria’s #1 ally, jumped into the fray and offered to make it happen.

Within hours Syria accepted the deal in principle.

Exactly why Putin did this is open to speculation. Was he worried that Obama, notwithstanding Congress and public opinion, would attack anyway? Did he fear that American intervention would lead to further destabilizing the Middle East and that such destabilization would spread to the already shaky Muslim population in the Russian Caucasus?

Did the former KGB operative see that this was an opportunity to put Russian diplomacy back on the world stage for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union?

Then, of course, is the idea that he thought it was the right thing to do. Probably it was combination of all of the above.

If Putin pulls this off, he will probably win the Nobel Peace Prize.  It is circumstances that will hearken back to 1905 when Teddy Roosevelt won the award for bringing the Russo-Japanese War to an end.

TR was proclaimed as a peacemaker in Biblical terms.  The truth is that Japan’s unexpected continued routing of Russia threatened U.S. interests in China.

I strongly suspect that the threat of American direct military involvement in Syria similarly unnerved Putin.

Of this I am certain:  Unless Assad does not actually control his Generals, there is no chance that these weapons will be used while negotiations are ongoing.  To do otherwise will make Putin look like a fool.

If Putin does succeed, Obama’s spin with be that this all happened because of his threat of military actions.  You can’t argue with that without insisting, absent Obama, the Syrians would have done this anyway.  There was exactly zero chance of that.

At home the big losers in the GOP will be the Rand Paul Libertarian faction. The big winners will be the John McCain wing of the party who will have “won the Syrian war” without America firing a shot.

But let’s assume that that the dismantling negotiations breakdown.  In that case Putin will be the loser and Obama will still be the winner. After all, it will now look as if Putin lost control of an Assad who loves his illegal chemical weapons more than peace or his chief ally.

Under that circumstance, the American public, with the Congress following in tow; will be forced to rally behind Obama for having gone more than halfway with Assad.  Even Putin would be hard-pressed to continue supporting Assad in the UN Security Council.

Of course there is the possibility Assad will lie and retain some of the weapons.  Once again, if that came to light, the loser would be Putin who is vouching for Assad.  It’s like the Mafia where those who bring in the new members are swearing under oath for them.  And we all know what happens when that goes wrong.

Deserved, undeserved or mostly dumb luck, Obama has the opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

He should try not to do the reverse.

14 Responses to “Sam Fields: Obama Gets Lucky On Syria”

  1. Christine says:

    For once your head is clear, Sam.

  2. Sam The Sham says:

    Obama gets his fat pulled out of the fire by Putin and now appears to all the world to be Putin’s ineffectual poodle-boy.

    John Kerry is a bumbling fool who needed to be extricated from under the bus, (where Obama threw him.)

    Rand Paul looks good for saying no military action in Syria.

    McCain still looks like the crazy old man he is.

    The idea that Asshead could move his stock pile of chemical weapons in the middle of a shooting war is laughable. Half of them would get hijacked by al Qaeda.

    And BTW, where did all the chemical weapons come from? That’s right, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Just like GW Bush said all those years ago.

  3. Christine says:

    Congratulations Sam! So how long have you been off “the stuff” now and joined the ranks of the thinking Adults of this country?

  4. Duke says:

    I find this all rather humorous.
    Would Reagan or Bush have sought congressional approval to drop a bomb on Assad’s house or take-out his nuclear arsenal?
    Obama was nowhere near having his political head handed to him. He was following the law and in the process of getting the necessary support. That address to the nation was superb. He had key republicans in his corner. Putin knew it. He called Assad and said they better do something before this Obama dude kicks somebody’s ass. So Putin comes to Assad’s rescue under the guise of diplomacy. This is nothing more than one tough guy telling his other tough guy friend that he picked a fight with the wrong dude and he better make nice. Assad is nothing more than a little Hitler Jr. Somebody needs to smack him around some. It’s easy to do that without declaring WW3.

  5. Gall Stone says:

    This is another example of Obama’s failed foreign policy to join his failed domestic policy.

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Putin doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, but if Assad actually does declare and eliminate all chemical weapons then it will certainly be one of Putin’s memorable achievements.

    The person who does deserve the Nobel Peace Prize is Edward Snowden. He has already been nominated and is already under consideration for the Peace Prize.

  7. Former Public Sector Employee says:

    Finally Sam has a few lucid moments.

  8. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I love all these bloggers that have all the answers. When you have family members in the military, than by all means lets chat. If I was Al Asaad I would be very afraid, very…….

  9. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    Why did Putin do it?

    It is obvious. Nobody on his side has anything to lose and everything to gain. What will happen is that Syria will make a show of handing over its chemical weapons, but won’t hand them ALL over. When the dust settles, Putin looks like a statesman and Assad still has the weapons he didn’t hand over and can keep murdering his people. Iran still has an ally in Assad’s Syria, Russian influence and prestige soar. And Obama? He is still incompetent, unqualified and unprepared to be President. And on the job training has not worked. Because of it, America has been made a fool of again.

  10. Plain Language says:

    It doesn’t matter what Putin has to gain. What matters is containing the use and proliferation of chemical weapons. If that can be negotiated reliably it is a win for all concerned. If not the plan fails and an attack will be required. Nobody will be able to blame America for attacking if Assad fails to cooperate fully.

    If means are to be judged by ends then so far the means have gotten us to place from which a workable solution can be negotiated. It remains to be seen whether an acceptable outcome can be achieved.

  11. Your Pal Al Lameberti says:

    Russia doesn’t want Syria to battle the US because then the world would see that all the substandard military crap that Russia sold to Syria really doesn’t work or breaks. That would be bad for business. Obama is a fool and so are the sheeple that blindly follow him.

  12. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    Dear … Dear “Plain Language”:

    Do you REALLY think Obama drew that red line on use of chemical weapons LAST YEAR so we could 1) come to the brink of war; and 2) start negotiating a disarmament NOW????

  13. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Russia’s Stealth Fighter Could Outfly, Outshoot American Jets

    T-50 is fast, long-ranged and has fearsome new weapons

    China, too, has a new stealth fighter, the J-20. It’s big, heavy and potentially fast like the T-50, likewise concentrates its stealth features up front and also has apparent new weapons.

    … it wouldn’t take many of the new Russian or Chinese jets to make a huge difference in any future air war. So Sweetman’s prediction that the T-50 won’t be built in large numbers any time soon is cold comfort. With its powerful performance and weapons, Russia’s new warplane could tip the balance of power in the air.

  14. Well played says:

    President Obama did the right thing by not jump into a war with Syria. He gave Congress the opportunity to make the decision to go to war or not. Election time is coming up. He can say he is not a hot head but a statesman. But Congress as usual did nothing to address a major concern involving the USA. The handling of Syria along with the budget sequestration (which he wanted any way but now can blame republicans for it) will help to shave off some seats in the house of representatives. The mantra will be the do nothing congress does not deserve to be reelected.