- Posted September 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obama Abdicates, Putin Usurps
Within 24 to 36 hours, the world is seeing two of the most powerful men on the planet trying to grab the wheel and steer the car.
On Tuesday night in his address to the American people and reluctant lawmakers, many throughout the world, as well as citizens right here in the US of A, believe President Barack Obama abdicated his position and authority as the most powerful political leader in the world in the face of crisis in Syria over the use of chemical weapons.
Many see the President as caving into world pressure and wilting in the sunshine of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Hours before the President's speech, the Russian leader proposed and Syria's embattled President Bashar al Assad apparently agreed to placing the chemical weapons stockpile under the control and direct supervision of the international community. With the prosal on the table, Obama while stating the US had a moral obligation to punish the Syrian regime for use of chemical weapons, called on Congress not to vote on his request for authorization of use of force until the diplomatic solution from Putin played out.
While Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry and pretty much all White House surrogates noted suspicion of Russia and Syria following through, it was the consensus that the US would trust, but verify Assad would put his money where his mouth is.
This perceived capitulation, seeming abdication of a strong position by the President, may have led to one of Obama's Republican allies, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, to say to CNN's Dana Bash he thinks the President is "uncomfortable being Commander-in-Chief".
Then the world wakes up Thursday morning to an op-ed in the New York Times written by Putin and addressed to the American people. Putin made some strong arguments for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis and as to why the US would be wrong to go it alone in punishing the Syrian regime.
Putin was making his move.
In the vaccum resulting from the President's bungling of the red line starting on August 12, 2012, when he did not clearly define or draw the line to the hesitancy and "reassessing" the red line when reports surfaced months ago about chemical use in Syria to the President's failure to gather a broad coalition for his moral obligation to rain down brimstone on Assad, Putin saw his chance to assert his claim to the throne and the title as the most powerful political leader in the world.
This play to usurp the long-held position of the President of the United States shows that Putin is shrewdly playing international politics while our current President appears to be an inept understudy not ready yet for the world stage.
Putin may, however, not understand the American people. His challenge to the notion that the citizens of the land of the free and home of the brave are not exceptional could have been an overplay of his hand. This becomes more glaring when Putin ended with saying that we are all created equal no matter what land we hail. The critics quickly lashed out and asked if this meant that Putin believes gays are created equally as well.
For the moment it does appear that Putin is stealing the spotlight. At the same time, his position that the US must forego any use of force in or at Syria now and in the future is more than the Americans will stand. Congress is not going to allow a foreign leader to dictate what the US military will or won't do.
Kerry and his Russian counterpart are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to try and hammer out the details of the turnover of the chemical stockpile to international control. Syria has formally signed on to the United Nations convention against use of chemical weapons.
But there are reports from the Syrian opposition that the government has begun moving its chemical stockpile out of the country and sending it to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to Iraq and Iran. That has not yet been verified.
At this hour, Putin is on his horse looking to be the white knight riding in to save the day. The President is turning his sights to domestic issues and leaving the Syria question up to Kerry.
Will Putin wrest the title and crown away?
Will Obama be able to reclaim the throne?
Has the US and its allies been duped by a game of sleight of hand by the puppet master Putin and his marionette Assad?
From the Cornfield, it looks to me as if I am viewing a Shakesperean drama unfolding where the usurper is gathering strength while the rightful heir practices his ignore.
Read Putin's op-ed in the New York Times.
The analysis from the Washington Post.
The Christian Science Monitor's report.
The take from The Hill.