It is not just peace for our time - Ezra Klein actually sees a possible White House victory on Syria!
The White House may really be about to win on Syria
Inspired by an AP report that Syria will sign the chemical weapons treaty and declare its arsenal, Ezra gets on his knees:
Assuming that sticks, it’s game. The White House just achieved its goal.
Remember: The White House’s aim here wasn’t to topple Assad, or even hurt him. It was to affirm and reinforce the international norm against chemical weapons.
Uh huh. Putin can't read the newspapers so he had no idea that the US public, the US Congress, and the international community has abandoned Obama on the military option. Unnerved by Obama's steely resolve and by Kerry's threat of an "unbelievably small" response, he forced Assad to back down. Maybe!
Or maybe not. Back when Obama was drawing red lines like a three year old with mom's Sharpie, Obama's goal was that Assad must go. The US plan was a peace conference, including Russia, that would negotiate a graceful transition to power-sharing with Assad out. Maybe Ezra has forgotten that, but I doubt Putin and Assad have.
So in the improbable scenario in which everything goes according to Ezra's current fantasy, Assad sacrifices some rarely used weapons and remains in power. Sort of a pawn sacrifice. And Putin is firmly positioned as the guy who can fend off the American dragon.
Please. Putin is playing chess while Obama is playing golf. If this is victory then our hands are too small to hold it.
UNSADDLING THE UNICORNS: The NY Times isn't playing along:
But even as the president earned praise for being willing to pursue a diplomatic response in Syria, it was what he did not say in his 16-minute address from the East Room of the White House on Tuesday night that may ultimately shape the broader reaction to his remarks in the days ahead.
The president did not say how long he would wait to see if President Bashar al-Assad relinquishes control of the chemical weapons that administration officials say he used to gas his own people.
Mr. Obama did not detail the steps that the United States would demand from Syria as proof that the diplomatic efforts were more than a delaying tactic to avoid a punishing strike from cruise missiles and American bombers.
And the president did not use his speech to describe his expectations for the role of the United Nations, which has been all but stymied by Russia and China during the two-year civil war in Syria.
if the Times isn't willing to put a favorable gloss on that, allow me - at least Obama is no longer issuing ultimatums and drawing red lines he can't or won't enforce.
MORE MUSH FROM THE WIMP: Nikes Gardiner drops the Peanut Bomb:
Barack Obama’s Syria speech was an incoherent mess – he is outperforming Jimmy Carter as the most feeble US president of modern times
There is still time for Obama to call for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Russia.