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Putin Wins Big in Syria, With Assist From Obama

President Barack Obama's threat to use force against the Syrian chemical arsenal paved the way for the initiative by Russian President Vladimir Putin and maybe a solution.  
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds out his arms as he walks past U.S. President Barack Obama (L) during a group photo at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg September 6, 2013.  Above Obama is British Prime Minister David Cameron. At right is Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (RUSSIA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) - RTX139JC

It's difficult for me to admit it, and it’s not easy for me to write it, but Russian policy on Syria has the one-up on American policy. Although it is convenient to welcome the final outcome, I still find it hard to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, on their policy, which blindly backed and supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad all along the body-strewn way.

When the horrific images of dead civilians filled television screens around the world, Russia claimed that it was a provocation on the part of the rebels. When chemical weapons were introduced to the fighting, killing 1,400 people, a quarter of them children, the Russians brazenly argued that there was no evidence that Assad was the culprit responsible for the horror, and that most likely, the rebels were the ones who had made use of the banned weapons, unleashing the deadly sarin gas against civilians, to induce the international community to step in and bail them out of the series of losses they had recently suffered on the battlefield.

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