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It appears the attack on Syria has been indefinitely postponed. Russian pressure on both Damascus and Washington has yielded a peaceful solution based upon the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal. To this, it seems Mr. Assad has consented.
As to what to make of this turnaround, there are three popular interpretations:
1. America’s power has declined so far that it cannot now enforce its will on the international stage.
2. Barack Obama is a tactical genius who has shown how to deal with tyrants via the threat – not use – of military force.
3. Obama has been roundly humiliated by the wily and superior Putin.
The first, I believe, isn’t entirely baseless. American power is in relative decline, and has been so for many years. We would be wrong however to view a case like Syria as typical. Had the case for the intervention been more clean-cut and had it attracted support from the American public, there is every reason to believe that missiles would have been launched regardless of Chinese and Russian opinion.
The second interpretation has inevitably been promoted by the American Left, for whom every positive event in the world is part of Obama’s secret agenda. According to these folk, the Putin solution was what Obama wanted all along, and he was only threatening force to bring it into being. This is abject nonsense and can be dismissed without further analysis. If Leftists now believe Obama is imbued with powers of clairvoyance, that is their psychosis, not ours.
The third analysis here is the correct one. Obama and his government have been totally humiliated. The cause of intervention was wrong-headed from the start and both Liberals and Conservatives knew it. John Kerry’s stomach-churning speeches in favour of war were every bit as fake and shameful as Colin Powell’s notorious UN presentation in 2003.
We should be grateful to Russia for the outcome we now have. It would have been a moral disgrace to fire a single democratic bullet in the aid of Islamists. The US army could furthermore have been drawn in ever deeper, possibly tying up defence resources for many years to come. And this brings me to my next point:
There is a country the US army should be engaging, but it isn’t Syria, it’s Iran.
We are now perilously close to a nuclear Islamic regime in the heart of the Middle East. Such a regime would not only threaten Israel, but Europe, India and even China. We must never allow this. At the very least there must be a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, if not on its entire military infrastructure.
It’s a tricky situation, but the longer we wait, the greater the fallout will be.