This momentous upset didn’t really occur on the basketball court but it did in the arena of international diplomacy. The whole incident started with Secretary of State John Kerry loudly beating the drums of war over Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people. The day after Kerry had made his fiery speech for military action, the President countered by saying he would delay such action until Congress had voted one way or the other. Shortly thereafter, Putin grabbed the diplomatic initiative by saying he would broker a deal where Assad would destroy his chemical weapons. This seemed to take the baton out of Obama’s hand when it came to diplomatic strategy in the Mideast. Soon after his initial declaration, Putin threw a clinker into the matter by saying the United States would have to give up any thought of military action against Syria now or in the future to make the deal go through. Putin then followed this up several days later when he said he had proof that the insidious gas attack was caused by the rebel forces rather than by the regime.
The muddied waters became even more darkened when the entire matter was turned over to the United Nations for a resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons. That body soon came up with language that was extremely vacuous when it said that if Syria did not destroy such weapons it would face serious consequences.
It would seem that the entire Syrian matter is being dictated from Moscow and that the Russian leader has assumed greater influence over the final outcome. The latest information available indicates that the Syrian government is expecting the United States to pay for the destruction of the chemical weapons. Economically this may be cheaper than firing a host of missiles at Syria.
As the whole Syrian crisis continues to bubble and boil, President Obama could not be more relieved because the situation has completely obliterated from most news sources the many scandals which have been plaguing his Administration for over a year.
One of those scandals, perhaps the longest lasting, Benghazi, did receive some notoriety lately when family members of the men who were killed appeared on Capitol Hill. The mother of one of the victims gave impassioned testimony before an investigative committee. She noted that Obama, Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had assured her at the time, when the four caskets arrived in this country, that there would be an immediate accounting of what took place in Benghazi. All of the people who spoke to her said that the incident had been caused by an anti-Muslim video and the persons responsible would be rapidly brought to justice. Since that time, the mother testified that she has heard nothing more despite her many requests for an explanation.
Depending on what happened over the past weekend, today could be a portentous one for the country as the government may shut down but Obamacare is scheduled to kick in.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.