Thursday, September 12, 2013

On Syria and Russia

Two great op-eds on Syria:

My friend Matt Wallin on Putin's Public Diplomacy without listening:
Yesterday in the New York Times, Russian President Vladamir Putin published an op-ed in response to the evolving situation in Syria. This attempt at public diplomacy represented a rather deaf attempt to influence Americans to support the Russian narrative on Syria. It comes off as the equivalent of a touchdown dance before the ball has made it to the end-zone at an away-game.
Andrew Sullivan on The Prince and Obama when it comes to Russia and Syria:
Of course, this argument only makes sense if you don’t believe the US is best served by being responsible for the entire Middle East, and by being the only major power seriously invested there. If your goal is US global hegemony, this was a very bad week. But if your goal is to avoid the catastrophe that occurred in Iraq, to focus on the much more important foreign policy area, Asia, and to execute vital domestic goals such as immigration reform and entrenching universal healthcare … then the result looks pretty damn good. Or at least perfectly good enough.
So when the inevitable cries of “Who lost the Middle East?” are raised by the neocon chorus, one obvious retort remains. Of all the regions in the world, wouldn’t the Middle East be a wonderful one to lose? You want it, Vladimir? Be our guest.

And a good piece by Julia Ioffe, who picks through the op-ed paragraph by paragraph.

Finally, a great response by President Obama, via comedian Albert Brooks.

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