Russian President Vladimir Putin all but broke into song in his New York Times editorial today. And why wouldn't he now that he's the number one player in the Middle East? Alas, the Obama Administration's response did nothing to disabuse us of that notion.
The only thing Putin didn't do was say, "Edward Snowden works for me!!! Nah, nah, nah!!!"
What is most notable about Putin's op-ed is his suggestion that rebel forces were responsible for the chemical weapon attacks of August 21:
No one doubts poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was not used by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists.
So Putin is taking a page out of the Rand Paul playbook. But unlike Rand Paul, Putin is in charge of one of the largest intelligence gathering agencies in the world. Surely if Russian intelligence had evidence that the rebels were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, Putin would have said so. Instead, Putin can say is "there is every reason to believe" the rebels did it. Like Rand Paul, Putin has bupkis.
Besides if the Assad regime wasn't responsible for the attacks then why propose a program to monitor Syria's chemical weapons (which Putin acknowledges they possess)? Honestly, Putin doesn't really care who launched chemical weapons in Syria. He's the top dog in the Middle East and can now taunt the Obama Administration and the U.S. like the French taunted King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table in Monty Python's Holy Grail. Make no mistake. Putin is farting in our general direction.
Speaking of foul odors, Putin smelled blood in the water not long after President Obama took office. Putin has been biding his time since Hillary gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the wrong reset button in March 2009. Six months later, Obama cancelled placing the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic further arousing Putin's olfactory senses. And along came Syria. Following Obama's dithering and Secretary of State Kerry's offhand remark, Putin bit with his teeth, dear. Vlad the Knife, you could say.
While it's true that Putin might have fooled George W. Bush about his soul, Putin could not stop Bush from announcing American withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in December 2001. Putin didn't love Bush, but he certainly respected him. Vladimir Putin has no such respect for President Obama and this came across clearly on the pages of The New York Times today.
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