John McCain must be furious. He came so close this time. But once again his hopes of another war have been dashed. How cruel is that? I bet the aging Arizona senator will hold his breath till he is blue in the face, stamp his feet and tear out clumps of his hair. But it will be to no avail. I don’t see President Obama firing off a flock of Cruise missiles to send Syria’s Assad a message. Not this time anyway.
Assad already got the message, and it came from someone he listens to. Russia’s Putin.
Of course I’m talking about those chemical weapons.
Nerve gas and such.
Putin has made it clear that he wants them out of Syria and in a safe place until they can be destroyed. And Assad has said OK to that.
McCain can blame John Kerry for the surprise ending to the Syrian war saga.
It was Kerry who casually told a reporter in a UK press conference that Assad could avert a military strike by the US if he would hand over his chemical weapons to an international body.
Putin, who had been blocking UN intervention in Syria, said, hey, isn’t that a peachy idea?
And Assad said, why didn’t I think of that?
And the US public is left scratching its head.
What just happened?
According to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who seems to know a lot of stuff that I don’t, Putin is scared that the jehadists who are trying to depose Putin might get their hands on the Syrian dictator’s stash of chemical weapons and send some to the Islamic troublemakers in Russia.
I wonder whether President Obama pointed that out to Putin when they were attending the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg last week?
The way I see it, Obama is smart enough to think of such things; Putin is not. The Russian strong man seems too busy wrestling bears and catching monster fish to do much thinking.
I like to imagine the two of them setting their personal animosity aside for a moment, Putin flexing his muscles and looking skeptical, skinny Obama earnestly whispering the facts of life in his ear, reminding him that chemical weapons don’t pick and choose their victims. Anybody can use the stuff. Even Putin’s enemies.
I realize Obama and Putin are barely on speaking terms, but I can still see them making a deal to avert a head-on clash over Syria. I could be dreaming, of course. It could all be a serendipitous accident, but I want to think it wasn’t. A lot of things go on behind the scenes, so why wouldn’t that be true this time?
Meanwhile, poor John McCain gets foiled again. They wouldn’t let him bomb Iran. They wouldn’t let him tangle with Russia over Georgia. They wouldn’t let him keep American troops fighting in Iraq forever. Or Afghanistan…
Somebody should buy the old guy a bunch of computer war games and send him off to a rest home in the desert.