This cliche ridden attack on Putin as political opportunist and international spoiler is unsurprising. It follows the usual invective from The Financial Times: in sum Putin the Monster. Add to the cast Obama the Political Paralytic, yet America dropped bombs on a hospital in Afghanistan and readily denied responsibility, blamed the Afghanis and then admitted this ‘mistake’. And the drone attacks on any target the president and his advisers choose continue unabated. This is the definition of paralysis?
Mr. Gardner’s other rhetorical ally is a self-satisfied cynicism, that is used with what can only described as too free a hand! Cynicism doesn’t offer any usable insights, nor does invective, unless your motive is not to share your thoughts on a vexing dilemma, but to engage in an act of propaganda? For an antidote to Mr. Gardener’s screed see Vijay Prashad’s essay titled ‘Russia’s Syria gambit’ at The Hindu:
Read the first two paragraphs of Mr. Prashad’s essay and experience what thoughtfulness and consideration more closely allied to the exercise of empiricism can offer to the reader.
On the first day of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin took the stage. Mr. Obama spoke for twice the designated length, but little in his speech was new.Then, he said, hauntingly, “Nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in Syria.” The antidote to this test came in one sentence, “The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict.” That was that. It suggested that the Western policy toward Syria had failed. Another approach was needed.
Mr. Putin did not offer many details of the alternative direction, but he did propose another view of things. The central crisis in West Asia, he suggested, was the emergence of the “Islamic State”(IS). What caused IS, Mr. Putin argued, was the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. “It is now obvious that the power vacuum created in some countries of the Middle East and North Africa led to the creation of anarchic areas which immediately started to be filled with extremists and terrorists.” Mr. Putin has sought a UN Security Council resolution to clarify the main enemy in Iraq-Syria. In doing so, he has put the West on the back foot.
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