Looks like it.
After bringing this country to the brink of a Dubya-sized disaster, our president now gets to gloat and smirk
and smirk and gloat. Well, let him. And if his die-hard admirers
do some smirking and gloating
of their own, fine. All that matters, at least in the very short run, is that we are not "saving" Syrians by dropping bombs on them.
I agree with Joan Walsh:
For so many pundits, it seems, the surprise Russian diplomacy that postponed the president’s planned use of force has to be explained by one thing or the other – it was either Obama’s threat of force, or else citizen antiwar outrage; the president’s brilliant 11th dimensional chess diplomacy (to diehard Obama zealots) or his typical Keystone Kops bungling (to Obama haters). We won’t know the truth for many years, but whatever the cause, the pause in the momentum toward a military conflict is welcome.
Personally I think one of the most important factors in the surprising events of the last few days was the president going to Congress. Since antiwar public opinion forced the president to do that, I give a lot of credit to antiwar public opinion. And since it was the president who decided to go to Congress, when he believes he didn’t have to, I give him credit, too. I guess it’s clear I think the search for credit and blame is useless right now, as well as divisive.
Blessedly, Obama didn't make any reference to the anniversary of you-know-what. This was not the time to play that card.
The key factor mentioned by Walsh is that bit about going to Congress. A Republican neo-con would have simply flung bombs (no doubt to resounding media applause). There's a good argument to be made for the idea that Obama was being pushed toward a war he did not want. Going to Congress was his way of stalling for time.
Obama must have understood that an "unbelievably small" military strike against Syria could have spiraled into a horrifying war. I honestly do not believe he wanted that outcome. So the question is: Who
can push a president into an unwanted war?
I like what this blogger
(previously unknown to me) has to say:
As the daughter of a cold war warrior — I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be hoping and rooting for a Russian despot to out maneuver a USA despot — and I never thought Americans would ever elect despot Presidents. I was raised to believe that everything about the USSR was evil — and there was a whole lot of evidence — the gulags, imprisoning political prisoners, spying on all citizens etc etc.
Yet with Assad’s willingness to say — yes he could give up his chemical weapons — and Russia ready to assist — lives may have been saved.
It is ironic that the Syrian rebels are against the deal — as is Israel’s leaders.
The points go to Putin — 0bama — it’s still a wait and see.