Sometimes you really hope that the Obama administration thinks we are all so stupid that we believe whatever they say, because if they actually believe the stuff they are saying we are really f***ed.
The Russian airstrikes on Syria are a sign that U.S. policy is working, a senior State Department official told shocked Syrian-American advocates in a private meeting on Monday.
The “Russians wouldn’t have to help Assad if we didn’t weaken him,” U.S. special envoy for Syria Michael Ratney said, according to multiple participants in the meeting and contemporaneous notes. Russian intervention, he went on to say, is a sign of success for American policy on Syria.
The special envoy’s remarks come even as Russia began launching long-range cruise missiles into Syria from the Caspian Sea. It’s a move that Pentagon officials called an attempt to both emasculate the United States and support the Assad regime.
“This is Russia demonstrating on a global stage that it has a lot of reach,” one U.S. defense official explained. “And we are not responding.”
I really don’t even know what to do with this. It seems that Ratney is saying that provoking a civil war in Syria that has now spilled over into Iraq and Turkey was a feature rather than a bug. It also seems like that he’s claiming the failure to remove Assad was a success. Is he saying that Russia putting together a coalition that is actually fighting ISIS, while we have assembled a huge, inactive Potemkin coalition, is a sign Putin is weak?
Never mind our declining influence now, says Ratney, we have Putin just where we want him:
Ratney went even further when directly asked what the United States was doing, even diplomatically, to protect civilians from the aerial assaults led by the Assad regime. He said, in essence, that Assad’s aerial bombardment had become Russia’s problem.
“With the Russian intervention, they really own the barrel bombs now. We hope that they would use their influence to make that practice stop,” Ratney responded. “If Russians are coming in to bolster the regime, they should use their influence to stop attacks on civilians… What Russia is doing is disgusting.”
A cynic might ask that in the wake of Obama apologizing for a US airstrike on an MSF hospital how are we going to pin civilian deaths on Putin. But you wouldn’t even have to be a cynic to observe that the Russians engaged in what could easily be described as low-level genocide during the Chechen wars; that they killed as many as 200 Russian hostages and caused debilitation of over 700 more — some with long term and permanent injuries — to retake the Dubrovka Theater from terrorists. Or that they set off, Obama-style, a civil war in Ukraine and carved out a huge chunk of its territory. This is the same nation that starved as many as 7 million Ukrainians to death. The idea that they will be deterred by having to “really own the barrel bombs” is patently ridiculous. The Russians are using cluster bombs themselves.
For all of [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ]’s manifest faults he sees this for what it is:
“He should be on Saturday Night Live. I strongly recommend it. I guess if Russia takes all of Syria and Iraq, then that shows they’re really weak. It’s ridiculous… just delusional,” McCain told The Daily Beast.