Finally — Friday!
A little wispy-overcast this morning on California’s north coast as we prepare to handle the weekend — and we’re way-ready for a warm and sun-splashed two days. And it will be fairly serene, too.
Not like this planet we inhabit. If the sniping, backtalk and phoney smiles at the G-20 summit in Russia is any indication, the formal rules of earth are flying off into never-never land.
The testy problem of Syria and spying are keeping the heads of supposedly-civilized governments from acting like adults.
Of course, in the long run, we’re all screwed.
(Illustration found here).
The US and Russia, of course, are at logger-heads over Syria and the gays and Ed Snowden, and just about everything else. And UK peoples should feel a slight vibration in their middle fingers this morning, even as David Cameron lost out badly last week when Parliament nixed a Syrian attack — and the Russkies added insult to shame:
Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s official spokesman, is said to have highlighted that embarrassment, telling Russian journalists that Britain was now diplomatically irrelevant.
Britain is “just a small island … no one pays any attention to them”, Mr Peskov is reported to have said.
The blunt remarks appeared to realise British fears that the Russians would use the St Petersburg summit to upstage Mr Cameron over his criticism of Syria, Russia’s closest Middle Eastern ally.
And this morning, a walk-back:
“I simply can’t explain the source of that claim. Definitely it is nothing to do with reality. It is not something I have said,” Mr Peskov told The Times when challenged about the quotation.
“I don’t know whose views it reflects.
“We have very positive dynamics in our relationship between Britain and Russia.”
The big pow-wow in St. Petersburg was supposed to be about economics, but the Syrian horror has overshadowed all the proceedings and President Obama has spent a great deal of time on the phone back home — Obama or his direct surrogate have blathered on to at least 60 senators and at least 125 House members as of Thursday, and despite a seemingly overwhelming view of Americans to stay out of Syria, the White House keeps trolling along.
The biggest gasp comes from Vladimir Putin.
This telling graph from this morning’s Washington Post:
The loudest critic of military action in Syria is Putin, who has scoffed at U.S. allegations about the attack.
Putin welcomed Obama to the ornate Constantine Palace, once the summer playground for Russian czars, with a formal handshake and about 15 seconds of chitchat.
The two leaders do not plan to meet here, although U.S. officials said Obama and Putin may interact informally on the summit’s sidelines.
And this (from the same Post story) is also a reflection of how America sounds:
“I’ve had more phone calls on this issue than on any issue I’ve ever had since I got here in 2001, and my phone calls, e-mails, faxes are running 96 percent no,” said Rep. John Abney Culberson (R-Tex.).
He said that there’s “absolutely no question” that Assad attacked innocent civilians but that “America has absolutely no strategic interest involved, and we should stay out of it.”
That’s been the norm this week for DC Congresscritters and their constituents, as most polls have shown a huge chunk of Americans are against getting involved in Syria — Obama’s remaining time in office appears to hinge on a display of US penis power.
And Obama can’t even get that right, at least out of the mouth of his secretary of state, John Kerry — one asshole to another and not telling the reality of the situation, or maybe lying about it..
Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic near-about agrees:
Adding to the absurdity of Kerry’s position is his previous statement that the United States faces a “Munich moment” in Syria.
That analogy that never made much sense, but that makes even less sense when the person who is making it then insists that he isn’t calling for war.
I guess Neville Chamberlain’s Britain needn’t have declared classical war against the Nazis, just “degraded their capacities,” like the Japanese did to us at Pearl Harbor, where they didn’t put “boots on the ground.”
Trying to fool Americans into thinking you’re not trying to take the country to war when you plainly are is among the more disgraceful things a secretary of state can do, and Kerry is discrediting himself by doing so.
And it’s telling that he initially declined to commit the Obama Administration to never putting any boots on the ground, saying it could conceivably come to that if Syria descended into chaos and the U.S. had to secure its stocks of chemical weapons.
Make no mistake: What’s being decided is whether America will be at war in Syria.
Whatever you think ought to be done, that is the question now before Congress.
And the fact that the Obama Administration won’t acknowledge the truth is telling.
Like I said, we’re screwed.