Washington Post: Obama Isn’t A Catasrophic Mess, This Is All Standard Negotiation On Syria

Here’s one of those articles I promised would be forthcoming which would show that no, Obama’s not a screwup, that he’s not getting played and owned by Putin and Assad, in fact, he’s super awesome and things are going according to plan

(Washington Post) Watching the maneuvering between the United States, Russia and Syria over the plan to remove Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons, it can look like a catastrophic mess. No one seems to be on remotely the same page, everyone is making crazy demands and it looks functionally impossible that everyone could actually reach an agreement.

Here’s the thing to understand: Everything that happens now between these three countries is a negotiation. Everything. The United States wants to see Assad’s chemical weapons removed as surely and as quickly as possible. Russia wants to protect Assad from Western military strikes and, if possible, from Western meddling of any form. Assad wants to keep the West uninvolved in his war.

Almost every single thing you’re seeing these three countries do right now, no matter how crazy it looks, is about getting as close to their desired outcome as possible. But these are high-stakes negotiations, which means they’re starting from maximalist positions, making crazy, unfulfillable demands, trying to game the process. That’s actually all normal. It’s just part of the game.

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Put Max Fisher in the Obama Fan Boy Club, a club that is devoid of any sense of reality. He goes on to discuss Putin’s op-ed in the NY Times and how, no, it’s not giving Obama a massive wedgie followed by flushing his head in the toilet, it’s just an “act of public diplomacy”. How Russia supposedly backed off their own plan to get some horse-trading done (why would they do that when Obama seems perfectly willing to give Putin what he wants? Heck, he blew off Poland over the missile shield in a heartbeat). Then there’s Assad, who said he’d give up the chemical weapons if the US stopped arming the rebels (mostly made of Islamists). That’s not standard negotiation, that’s rubbing Obama’s face in the fact that Obama has made America very weak. No little pissant should be able to dictate terms to the USA.

And then there’s going to the United Nations, which Obama may or may not do, which Fisher finds to be Brilliant!!! And Obama is sorta keeping the potential for military strikes on (between rounds of golf) to pressure Assad.

The fact is, US Obama foreign policy is a mess, with contradictory messages from Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, and they’re always trying to play catch-up. They’re getting played by Putin and Assad. This is not standard negotiation. When Reagan gave his “tear down this wall” speech, that was not standard negotiation: that was a strong-arm tactic, blindsiding Gorbachev. Putin is not negotiating, he’s playing Obama while attempting to turn Russia into a powerhouse and diminishing America thanks to Obama’s weakness.

While a deal will probably get done (there’s a breaking news banner at Fox about the US and Russia reaching a deal on a framework), only a complete Obama zombie would think this is standard negotiation, and that Obama doesn’t come off looking weak and a fool internationally.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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