A couple of days ago, President Obama was deep into the bribery, arm-twisting and intimidation of trying to get the votes in Congress to give him cover to do some wrist-slapping in Syria with a couple of United States' missiles. Many experts were pontificating at how fragile and unstable the situation in Syria had become, and no matter what the U.S. did, it could bubble over into a regional conflict that would involve Israel and the United States in a full-fledged, boots-on-the-ground war. And then like magic, Vladimir Putin stepped out from behind the Iron Curtain to broker a deal that would save the day, and more importantly, Barack Obama's need to be a leader.
There are several questions I have about the so-called Russian deal. First, who comprises the "International Community" to whom Assad is supposedly handing over his chemical weapons for safe keeping? Secondly, how does this yet-to-be-named group, called "The International Community" verify that any weapons Bashar places in their custody are all the chemical weapons he has and that he is not holding any back for future use? Third, are the chemical weapons in the hands of the Al Qaeda-lead rebels to be handed over to "The International Community" as well, or proof be shown that they do not have chemical weapons?
The motivation for the Russians' deal-making is two-fold, one is to keep their debtor, Syria, from becoming a parking lot and therefore being even less likely to repay the Russian debt. And two, this "deal" is the perfect opportunity to drain even more power from the United States with respects to its influence in the Middle East. The cost of the Russians forcing Bashar Al Assad (the proxy of the Russian's proxy Iran) to "part" with his chemical weapons is most likely the fulfillment of Barack Obama's promise made before last year's election. Remember when he told Russian President, Medvedev, that he should transmit a message to Putin that after the U.S. election, Mr. Obama would have more flexibility in reducing the United States nuclear arsenal? One does not have to be a genius to figure out that Barack Obama's newly found flexibility will be the vehicle with which he will repay Putin for saving him the messiness of military intervention in Syria.
The solace and downright exuberance over the Russian deal is exemplary of the willful blindness on the Left to believe that everyone, especially Communists, have only good and pure intentions. Russia is not brokering this deal to be magnanimous humanitarians, but because of their ulterior motives. People, especially on the Left, forget that ever since Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union in the cold war in the 1980s, they have been working hard to be a fly in our ointment. Their non-support of the Iraq invasion, not on any moral or diplomatic basis, but because Russia had continued to trade with Saddam Hussein in violation of United Nations' sanctions, is just one recent example. Does anyone on the Left or the Right really think Bashar Al Assad would have jumped so quickly at this deal had it come from anyone else? Our leaders would do well to look this Russian gift horse right in the mouth and say, "No thank you."