Putin Challenges Obama Responsibly

Global Research, September 13, 2013

Russia’s going all out to avoid war on Syria. Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov and other top officials are doing so responsibly.

On September 11, Putin addressed Americans and US officials directly.

His New York Times op-ed headlined ”A Plea for Caution From Russia,” saying:

“Recent events surrounding Syria prompted (him) to speak directly (at) a time of insufficient communication between our societies.”

Post-WW II, the UN was “established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.” More on what Putin said below.

Post-WW I, “never again” was vowed. The League of Nations was created to assure it.

In August 1928, America, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, and nine other nations adopted the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy (Kellogg-Briand).

It promised wars would no longer resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them.”

Violators “should be denied the benefits furnished by this treaty.”

“Never again” was ignored. WW II followed. Hope again sprung eternal when it ended. It wasn’t to be.

UN Charter Preamble promises fell short of fulfillment, stating:


  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom….”

The body affirms international support for tolerance, peace, security, and resolve to promote universal economic and social advancement.

It failed on all counts. Post-WW II, wars raged every year. They still do. America bears full responsibility. It deplores peace. It prioritizes war.

It does so for unchallenged global dominance. It vetoes Security Council resolutions opposing its imperial agenda. It’s waging war on humanity. Putin wants it stopped.

UN founders “understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus,” he said.

“No one wants the United Nations to” replicate League of Nations failure. It “collapsed because it lacked real leverage.”

It’s happening again “if influential countries (like America) bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization,” Putin stressed.

If Washington wages war on Syria, “conflict (may spread) far beyond (its) borders.” War “would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.”

Doing so “could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

It would “further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”

Syria’s conflict is “fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition.”

Throughout the conflict, CIA operatives supplied anti-government insurgents with weapons, funding, training and direction.

In late June, Russia Today said the agency stockpiled arms for insurgents in Jordan. They’re in secret warehouses. They include anti-tank missiles and other powerful weapons.

While East/West Syrian peace talks continue, CIA operatives actively aid anti-government forces. They do so covertly. Doing it undermines chances for peace.

Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other extremist elements are actively supported. They’re death squad killers. They’re terrorists. They’re invaders. They’re not homegrown.

They’re imported from dozens of foreign countries. Putin acknowledged their involvement. He raised concerns. “Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria,” he asked?

Since conflict erupted in March 2011, Russia urged “peaceful dialogue” resolution, Putin said. Syrians alone should determine their future. International law must be respected.

“We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos,” Putin stressed.

“The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not.”

“Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council.”

“Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.”

“No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria,” he added. He pointed fingers the right way. Government forces never used chemical weapons any time.

They weren’t involved in what happened on August 21 in Ghouta. “(T)here is every reason to believe opposition forces” bear full responsibility, said Putin.

They did so “to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with (extremist) fundamentalists.”

Reports indicate they’re “preparing another attack – this time against Israel.” They “cannot be ignored.”

Putin expressed grave concern about America initiating conflicts in numerous foreign countries. He called doing so “commonplace.”

“Is it in America’s long-term interest,” he asked? “I doubt it.”

“Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan ‘you’re either with us or against us.’ ”

Force is “ineffective and pointless,” Putin stressed. “Afghanistan is reeling.” Libya and Iraq are cauldrons of violence.

America bears full responsibility. Why do US officials “want to repeat (past) mistakes,” Putin asked?

Civilians suffer most in all wars. Stopping them matters most. Settling disputes diplomatically alone can avoid them.

A chance to prevent war on Syria “emerged in the past few days,” said Putin.

World leaders must embrace Assad’s willingness to place his chemical weapons under international control and destroy them.

Avoiding war on Syria improves chances for world peace. It “strengthen(s) mutual trust. (S)hared success open(s) the door to cooperation on other critical issues.”

Putin wants to work cooperatively with Obama. He strongly disagrees with him saying US policy “makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.”

This type rhetoric is “extremely dangerous,” said Putin. We’re all different, he added, “but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

New York Times editors surprisingly gave Putin op-ed space. They’ve been hostile to his efforts to avoid war.

They’re against his support for Syrian sovereignty. They’re furious about his opposing Obama’s agenda. A separate Times article responded to his op-ed.

It headlined ”As Obama Pauses Action, Putin Takes Center Stage,” saying:

He’s “been many things to (Obama): a partner at times, an irritant more often, the host of the elusive Edward J. Snowden, and ‘the bored kid in the back of the classroom’ who offered so little on the administration’s foreign policy goals that Mr. Obama canceled plans to hold a summit meeting in Moscow last week.”

“(S)uddenly (Putin) eclipsed (Obama).” He’s the world’s leading peacemaker. He wants Syria’s conflict resolved diplomatically. He deplores war. He wants peace prioritized.

He’s “offering a potential, if still highly uncertain, alternative to what he has vocally criticized as America’s militarism and reasserted Russian interests in a region where it had been marginalized since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” said The Times.

He “handed a diplomatic lifeline to his longtime” Syrian ally. He slowed Obama’s rage for war. He bought time. He did so to give peace a chance. He faces long odds to achieve it.

Eureasia Group president Ian Bremmer said “Putin probably had his best day as president in years yesterday.”

It didn’t stop The Times from railing against him. They do it repeatedly. They do it unconscionably.

“When Mr. Putin returned to the presidency a year ago,” The Times said, “he moved aggressively to stamp out a growing protest movement and silence competing and independent voices.”

“He shored up his position at home but, as his government promoted nationalism with a hostile edge, passed antigay legislation, locked up illegal immigrants in a city camp, kept providing arms to the Syrian government and ultimately gave refuge to the leaker Mr. Snowden, Mr. Putin was increasingly seen in the West as a calloused, out-of-touch modern-day czar.”

Now (he’s) relishing” the role of “statesman.” He’s that and much more on resolving Syria’s crisis diplomatically. Don’t expect The Times to explain.

Obama prioritizes war. Putin’s a peacemaker. Justice demands stripping Obama of his Nobel Peace Prize. It was wrongfully awarded. Putin rightfully deserves it.

Not according to The Times. He “us(ed) (his) veto repeatedly to block any meaningful” Security Council action, it said.

He’s “intent on opposing the United States regardless of any contrary facts or evidence.”

The Times failed to point out any justifying its statement.” It can’t. None exists.

“Mr. Putin’s palpable hostility to what he views as the supersized influence of the United States around the world explains much of the anti-American sentiment that he and his supporters have stoked since he returned as president last year,” it said.

He temporarily succeeded in elevating diplomacy over force. Doing so “carries the risk of Russia (vetoing) any security council resolution that would back up the international control over Syria’s weapons with the threat of force, as France proposed.”

The Times backs Obama’s agenda. It supports ousting Assad. It endorses war to do so. It opposes Putin’s peace initiative.

An accompanying editorial headlined ”Diplomacy as Deterrent.” Times editors lied, saying:

“Russia will continue to make seemingly unreasonable demands until a deal is finally signed and is unlikely to admit that the Syrian regime carried out the gas attack.”

Throughout months of conflict, Russia acted responsibly. It’s doing so now. Putin opposes Obama’s agenda. He does so for good reason. He wants peace, not war.

No evidence links Syrian forces to chemical weapons attacks any time throughout months of conflict against insurgents or Syrian civilians.

Plenty shows Western-enlisted terrorists used them multiple times. Don’t expect Times editors to explain.

A Final Comment

CNN headlined ”White House responds to Putin’s NYT op-ed.” It did so through the cable channel’s chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper.

He called Putin’s comments “stern (and) standoffish.” The White House said “(h)e put (his) proposal forward and he’s now invested in it. He now owns this. He has fully asserted ownership of it and he needs to deliver.”

Tapper left what’s most important unsaid. Obama wants war. He intends to get it. His plans are slowed. They’re not deterred.

He’ll go all out to obstruct Putin’s peace initiative. He’ll blame Russia’s president for doing it. So will supportive mainstream media.

Longstanding US plans call for ousting Assad. Replacing Syrian sovereignty with pro-Western subservient governance is prioritized. War is Obama’s option to do so.

Putin’s initiative changes nothing. Obama’s war machine intends pursuing what it does best. It wants Syria entirely ravaged and destroyed.

It wants Iran isolated. It wants Shah era harshness restored. Obama threatens world peace. It bears repeating. He’s waging war on humanity. He risks WW III.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at

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