You're probably thinking, eh, that doesn't sound like Putin at all. Putin is usually a real asshole when it comes to what the rest of the world wants, particularly if what the rest of the world wants is what the USA wants as well.
So here's what appears to be happening. Reports are the real targets of Putin's forces are rebel forces who oppose current Syrian President Basha Assad. And yes, Vlad and Bash are like best buds, totally, you know? They have matching BFF bracelets and, like, everything.
Yeah, I ship it: call 'em Bashmir. Works for me.
Now Putin stands by his assertion that these airstrikes are meant to take out ISIS and only ISIS. This has nothing to do with propping up the regime of his best bud, Basha. Putin actually blames the United States for not cooperating in providing intelligence on where ISIS is or at least telling Russia where to not shoot. So if Russia took out Assad's enemies in the process, well, that's on the Americans. Russia is only trying to help.
Damn, Putin is one slick bastard. He'd do great in American politics, wouldn't he? I mean, he would have the GOP nomination for President sewn up by now, for sure. Putin, shirtless, on a horse? Donald Trump wouldn't stand a chance!
But you gotta given it to ol' Vlad. He saw an opening and took it. And it looks like American held the door open for him.
Two years ago I wrote a post about the situation in Syria. I noted at the time that "President Obama, I think, can be too deliberate, too measured in his responses, in his actions." I added of course that he has an entire political system arrayed to counter him at every move.
On that point, I noted that "John McCain and other GOP leaders chided the President for not taking action. Now President Obama is faced with the very real prospect that military action is needed to show that the use of chemical weapons will not stand; now the GOP is pulling back on the reins."
Still, it seemed to me that President Obama would have to take some kind of action. I wrote, "Only history can judge if whatever decision the President makes is a good one or a bad one. But ultimately, a decision will be made."
Except a little over 2 years after I posted that, it seems a decision was not made at all. Unless you can count "kick the can down the road" as a decision. 2+ years later and...
- Assad is still in power after using chemical weapons against his own people and suffered no consequences for that action.
- Civil war still rends Syria asunder which has left thousands upon thousands of Syrians dead.
- A refugee crisis threatens to overwhelm Europe's resources as Syrians do whatever they can to flee the deadly and desperate circumstances of their war ravaged homeland.
- The Islamic State continues to fester and spread across Syria and all of the Middle East like a cancer.
- Diplomacy doesn't work.
- Economic sanctions don't work.
- Dropping bombs doesn't work.
- Going in with boots on the ground and guns blazing doesn't work.
In other words, it was boring.
To sum up:
- Hillary didn't screw up.
- Bernie didn't screw up either.
- Joe didn't show up.
- Those three other guys did show up but we're not sure why they were there. And neither were they.
- Hillary will still be ahead.
- Bernie will still be nipping at her heels.
- Joe ain't gonna go.
- Those three other guys are still those three other guys.