Vald the Peacemaker ?

After all the drawing of the ‘Red Line’ by the White House and the reality of Obama actually becoming Bush Lite, right before our very eyes, it’s been a somewhat pleasant surprise to hear the Russian president take up the role of diplomat and peace-negotiator, helping the USA possibly avoid yet another warring action in the Middle East.

Last week reported  “I don’t rule this out,” Putin said during a televised interview with First Channel, a Russian federal television network, and the Associated Press. “But I want to draw your attention to one absolutely principled issue: In accordance with the current international law, a sanction to use arms against a sovereign state can be given only by the U.N. Security Council.”

Putin said he will be convinced only by “a deep, detailed study of the issue and the real presence of evidence that could clearly prove who used what [weapons].”

“After that we will be ready to act in a most resolute and serious way,” he said. He did not say what actions he is considering.

Where just a week ago he may have sounded like a likely advocate for punitive action against his ally in Syria – This week he has played the role of Statesman Extraordinaire offering to do whatever is needed to keep a foreign power from launching an attack there.

Shamed into solution based dialog, America’s UN Ambassador Kerry met on Friday with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, and Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria, in Geneva, where the United States and Russia are conducting negotiations over a Russian plan to remove Syria’s chemical weapons from the country.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that the three diplomats had all agreed during the day’s meeting that a political solution to the conflict was the only realistic way to stop the violence.

A spokesman for Lavrov said he and Kerry had outlined “the logistics, process and agenda for the days ahead, and they agreed on a shared goal of achieving a framework for the path forward.”

Can the Russian president have the credit he deserves for helping America’s floundering chief avoid his worst mistake? He can from me. Jon Dowd, Corvallis Oregon

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