An America That’s Out of Clout
The latest example of this government’s dishrag diplomacy.
By Michael Podwill
Per the July 1 New York Times, nine “major world powers” met last weekend in Geneva, supposedly to find a solution for the bloody mess that is Syria.
The result? Certainly nothing good for those Syrians who continue to be hammered by the ruthless Bashar al-Assad.
In fact, the carnage rages on with more ferocity than ever. On the same day the big shots pontificated in Swiss comfort, more than 100 Syrians, almost all civilians, were slaughtered.
Here’s another fact: the “solution” offered by this “Action Group,” as they call themselves, is nothing but spin, obfuscation and more proof that when it comes to world affairs, no one — no one — takes Obama’s America seriously.
These “powers,” consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus four Middle Eastern countries, couldn’t even agree on demanding Assad’s ouster.
Thus, their meeting was meaningless. But that didn’t stop Kofi Annan, the UN/Arab League mediator in this farce, from declaring they had agreed on “a perspective for the future that can be shared by all in Syria, a genuinely democratic and pluralistic state.” Under Assad?
We haven’t heard reasoning like this, loopy and utterly sheared from reality, since Chief Justice Roberts bequeathed his its Constitutionally kosher ’cause it’s a tax opinion on ObamaCare.
Annan might be happy because he’s obviously living in a fantasy world. The Russians are certainly happy because Assad, their lackey and business partner, remains nested on his blood-soaked throne. The warmongering Iranian mullahs are happy — because what’s good for Assad is great for them.
But the Syrian opposition, the ones getting annihilated, are understandably upset. “The Action Group on Syria just gave Assad license to kill for another year,” said Rafif Jouejati, an opposition spokesman.
Besides all else, Russia cleaned America’s clock at this conference. Or, to put it another way, Putin ate Hillary’s (and Obama’s) lunch.
This “Action Group” had originally intended (pretended?) to structure a Syrian unity government and, by American mandate, to send the brutal Assad running. But the Russians gave a great big “nyet” to that idea. Instead of throwing Assad out, America caved and the powers simply threw out any reference to dumping him.
To anyone with half a brain, this was an obvious victory for the Russian bullies — who had their way completely. Meanwhile, the Americans come off yet again looking pathetic, craven, diffident or all of the above.
Of course, that truth didn’t stop Secretary of State Clinton from emulating Annan and declaring a ludicrous victory of her own at the end of the meeting. “Assad will still have to go,” she said, offering no basis whatsoever for this claim, other than to avoid looking like Putin’s patsy. Just to be sure her pointless point was made, Madame Secretary huffed that the United States “made clear to Russia and China that it is absolutely incumbent on them to make clear to Assad that the writing is on the wall.”
The only clarity worth noting here is the real writing on the wall — which says two things: 1) Depend in any way upon this American government at your extreme peril. And 2) Accordingly, it pays to be an enemy of America a lot more than it does to be a friend.
This latest fiasco puts a starker-than-ever light on Obama’s recent accidentally overheard whispers to Russian President Medvedev, when he outrageously promised “more flexibility” in his dealings with the Russians after his re-election. But how is more flexibility even remotely possible when, this past weekend alone, Putin bent Obama & Co. into a pretzel?
Michael Podwill’s Viewpoints appear in The DC Post on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He is a freelance writer and a creative marketing/advertising consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @michaelpodwill on Twitter.