September 7, 2013

Coalitions, Interventions & Consequences


If a picture is worth a million words, this picture has to be worth a million more. With the eyes of the world understandably fixated on all the images coming out of St. Petersburg today, only Syrian president Assad will take some comfort in the body language of three potential allies or powerful foes.
US president Barack Obama made his case at the G20 Summit, and insider reports suggest that the European counterparts didn’t jump aboard as he hoped. Not too many people are too surprised, because Russia has been very outspoken about their stance, and it didn’t seem like President Obama’s presence was going to charm them much.  But the coalition is an important one, and it is worth the pursuit. Yes the Eurozone has its issues, and Germany and France are still dragging through the mud to pluck out their Euro brothers; needless to say they have ample drama brewing in their backyard to keep them occupied for the next few years. No wonder they look almost disinterested to sign on to President Obama’s case against Syria. But inability is not the same as inaction, or even presumed indifference.
Sources indicate that Barack Obama, Francois Hollande and David Cameron are nudging their counterparts to cross over to their side of the curtain. British Prime Minister David Cameron is the intriguing piece in this puzzle; although the British parliament voted against committing troops in any military action, he is still Obama’s strongest advocate.
We are still a few days away from the U.N. report that may turn the tide in this crisis, but if other world leaders will sign onto the punitive strikes against the Assad government, the U.N. may perhaps be emboldened to address this issue from a position of strength. There is video footage of chemical attacks alleged to be actions by military personnel under Assad’s direction, but the big question that remains, is who the really behind it? That is what makes the argument a little muddy, but I wont be surprised if President Obama knows something you and I don’t know.
So, back to the picture worth a million words, it is entirely possible that time will end up being President Obama’s friend because the European Union may get the chance to garner the necessary support from their own discussion makers, while the Arab League and NATO partners continue to push for action from their side. The wildcard will be the U.N. report, which is due in another week, but will all that time be too late for Syrians on the ground?
Just a thought.