Etiket arşivi: Obama-Putin

Obama’s Redline in Syria

March 29, 2016

Roughly a year ago I wrote that President Obama’s decision to refrain from military action in Syria, despite a previously declared “redline”, would best be judged by history. However, the controversy around his decision seems to continue. For example, Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post, with reference to what he had heard from dozens of foreign ministers and senior officials of US allies wrote,
“… Japanese, South Koreans, Singaporeans and even Indians confided that they were convinced that Obama’s failure to use force against the regime of Bashar al-Assad was directly responsible for China’s subsequent burst of aggression in territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea. Poles, Lithuanians and French drew a line between the back down and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. As for the Sunni Arabs, Turks and Israelis, it is an article of faith that Obama’s decision accelerated the catastrophe that Syria, and much of the rest of the Middle East, has become. They have an obvious point: Hundreds of thousands are dead, the European Union is in danger of crumbling under an onslaught of refugees, and the Islamic State and Assad remain unvanquished. Who would not call this a bad outcome?” (*)

To me it is just as obvious that countries mentioned in Mr. Diehl’s article look at the Syrian conflict primarily from their own perspective with little regard, if any, for the plight of the Syrian people. Okumaya devam et

The Unhappy Trajectory of US-Russia Relations

October 12, 2015
Only hours after having delivered clashing remarks, Presidents Obama and Putin met on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly. This was on September 27 and their first meeting in two years. Within a span of two weeks, however, relations appear to be further strained as result of Russian intervention in Syria. For someone who has put faith in the wisdom of US-Russia cooperation this is a disappointment. Okumaya devam et

UNGA’s Big Day and the Syria Conflict

October 1, 2015

Julian Borger of the Guardian called the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly (UNGA) “the greatest political show on earth”. He said:
“The drama will be greater than ever this year… within the space of two hours on Monday morning, Presidents Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and François Hollande will take their turn to speak. Each will try to anticipate and respond to the other, seeking rhetorical advantage and one-upmanship in their claims to global leadership…”

Indeed, September 28, 2015 was a remarkable day for diplomacy. World’s attention understandably focused on what Presidents Obama and Putin had to say, above everything else on Syria. Mr. Obama’s remarks were consistent with the worldview contained in his earlier major speeches. He paid particular attention to remaining on the moral high ground. Perhaps his remarks also had a presidential legacy dimension. President Putin’s remarks were just as consonant with what he had said in the past and they reflected greater pragmatism. Both engaged in some self-criticism. President Obama was more generous in this respect. Following the two leaders’ remarks on the UNGA rostrum, many analysts referred to their competing, clashing visions on Syria and their exchange of blunt criticism. Of course there is much truth in that. They disagreed not only on Syria but also Ukraine and the parameters of transition in the broad Middle East. But equally important is where they appeared to agree. Okumaya devam et