Russia has one over-riding national interest, with a defined time window, in being ‘good cop’ with both Syria and Iran.
The Sochi2014 Olympic Torch lighting is in Athens, Greece on October 6.
The actual Olympics are in late February, 2014.
Iran is now China’s economic dependent, and two hundred years of Russia’s ’embrace’ of Persia add to the potential for more surprises.
Russia’s second national interest is the hydrocarbon opera in five dimensions.
Russia’s third national interest is, as usual, to smackdown Erdogan’s Turkey.
The Russians have almost certainly told Assad to prevent his guys from using chemical weapons at all costs. And I think the Syrian regime has now been briefed exactly what a catastrophe a American strike would be to their survival chances.
If the regime uses them again it would be just about impossible to stop a strike from the US.
But if they keep a low CW profile and go along with the Russian Option, drawing it out forever, then Russia will be able to muddy the waters enough to keep Mr Obama from ordering a strike. The Iranian ‘look a squirrel!’ offer of nuclear negotiations fits perfectly with this strategy.
No more use of chemical weapons by Syrian regime forces would be the one good thing coming out of this mess.
‘…and singing “fee fie fiddly eye-o”…’
I thought I was the only one who knew that song.
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah, too.