Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani have spoken. And they are on the same page. By that I mean not they agree about the issues dividing the two countries but that they are both ready to move forward, to test each other and see if an agreement is possible.
As tentative as all this is, it is a major breakthrough – as anyone who has paid even a little attention over the past 34 years knows. However, I do not see this process leading anywhere because the Netanyahu government and its lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are determined to end the process and they have the ability to do it. Lees verder →
Barack Obama should be thanking Vladimir Putin for getting him out of a dilemma that would have ruined his presidency.
His attack on Syria, as it was (and is) programmed, would have been or will be no “shot across the bow.” The plan is to “degrade” Syria’s entire military and supporting infrastructure, so as to tip the civil war’s balance—as Baghdad was “degraded” in 2003. It would make the civil war far worse, with thousands more dead, by triggering a rebel offensive, covertly supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to take Damascus (or its ruins). … Mr. Putin currently offers Obama the attractive role of a warrior chief whose threats so frightened the world as to force the sequestering and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. It has brought a wide international and U.N. intervention potentially capable of forcing a settlement conference (“Geneva II”), possibly halting the civil war and its multiple threats to the region. Mr. Putin himself chooses to play the peacemaker. And why not?
In the days before President Obama retreated from his arrogant, unconstitutional stance that he could order missile strikes on Syria without congressional passage of even a vague resolution of approval, much less the required declaration of war, administration officials insisted that the goal of such strikes was merely to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons, not carry out regime change. That rationale was, and remains, profoundly illogical—and less than candid. Lees verder →
Ever since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been much talk of revolutions.Not from me.
I’ve argued against the position that mass uprisings on their own constitute a revolution, i.e., a transfer of power from one social class (or even a layer) to another that leads to fundamental change. Lees verder →
Malbrunot: President Obama has postponed a military strike on Syria, how do you explain this?
President al-Assad:Some have seen Obama as weak because of his decision to withdraw or delay a possible strike by days or weeks; by waging a war on Syria, others have seen him as a strong leader of a powerful country. From my perspective, power lies in your ability to prevent wars not in igniting them. Power comes from ones ability to stand up and acknowledge their mistakes; if Obama was strong, he would have stood up and said that there is no evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, he would have stood up and said that the right way forward is to wait for the results of the UN investigations and work through the UN Security Council. Lees verder →