Stunner: Russians keep firing on Syrian fighters even after U.S. asks them nicely not to

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday June 17th, 2016

A bear comes in the room, and you keep on going 'cos you're unaware . . .

If any one event could sum up the Obama approach to foreign policy, and its result, this would have to be it:

Russia launched a second air strike on Syrian fighters, including some backed by the United States, even after the U.S. military asked Moscow through emergency channels to stop following a first strike, a U.S. official said on Friday.

 

The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said a "small number" of Syrian fighters were killed in Thursday's air strikes in southern Syria.

Wait . . . why would Russia keep firing on our guys? We asked them to stop!

The better question, of course, is why would they stop? And if the U.S. had an administration that understood geopolitical power and diplomacy as it really works, there could conceivably be a good answer. Maybe the Russians would stop because the U.S. could make it in their best interests to do so. Maybe the Russians would understand that there would be a serious price to pay if they continued with the airstrikes.

Or maybe the situation we're facing right now would never have presented itself in the first place, because we would have worked the Middle East landscape more skillfully so as not to set up a conflict between Moscow's guy Assad on the one hand and a bunch of freelance rebels the U.S. is backing as its least-bad option.

But that's not the world we're living in today. We live in a world in which the Russians have no fear of the U.S. making any sort of move to threatens its interests or its international agenda. We live in world in which we had one Secretary of State who thought she would make things right with the Russians by pushing a dumbass "reset button," only to be followed by another Secretary of State who likes to make nice with our enemies by trashing the United States in public, and probably even more so in private, on the theory that this will make them believe we pose no threat to them, and thus they will trust us and behave themselves.

How well does this work in practice? Not at all. That's why we got nothing from Iran or Cuba in exchange for letting them become a nuclear power and a fully functional player in the international economy, respectively - and it's why the Russians simply laugh when we ask them to do anything they don't want to do.

Vladimir Putin doesn't respect good will or niceness. He is not impressed by American leftists who share their sentiments about the wrongness of capitalism and U.S. imperialism. Putin respects one thing: Power, and the willingness and skill to use it effectively.

Neither Obama nor Kerry possess an ounce of these things. They have no leverage because they never try to acquire any, so they have absolutely no ability to influence what the Russians do or don't do.

The result of this in Syria is that Assad will stay in power as long as Putin wants him there. The result around the world is that the United States will stay geopolitically impotent as long as Obama is president - or longer if people are stupid enough to elect Secretary of State Reset Button as his successor.

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