Can someone explain why Putin and Assad decided to 'blink' on the weapons standoff? The Obama people are trying to describe it as Putey Poot getting scared into taking the international road due to the threat of a miniscule bombing raid designed not to change the regime or eliminate the chemical weapons. Which sounds a little incredulous.
The most credible threat of force existed during the days leading up to Friday August 31st when every pundit thought the bombs would fly over the weekend. Then Friday night Obama took a walk around the White House grounds with a trusted advisor only to announce Saturday that he had decided to take his burden to Congress.
So why didn't they blink that Friday when everyone thought the attack was eminent? It seems more like our president blinked that Friday night.
Following Obama's about face (and afternoon round of golf) everyone watched as public opinion tanked while Congressional straw polls showed very little support. No major world governments were pledging military support for a coalition. Yet with a possible Congressional vote coming up that looked hopeless somehow this pressure convinced Assad/Putin there would be an attack and they caved? Either Putin's dumber than he looks and let Assad blink, or something's up.
Maybe the eye doctor blinked and Putin couldn't stop him. That doesn't sound completely impossible, except for the fact he gave an interview to Charlie Rose on the same Monday that Kerry blubbered out his rhetorical goof (that Putin and Assad immediately pounced on). He didn't say anything to CBS that would indicate he was about to blink, and nothing more was threatened by the administration that day.
So what if there's something up? Well, it's sure fun to wildly speculate. For instance, what if Snowden has delivered some very private information to the Kremlin? Something about the president perhaps. After all, the NSA had been snooping for years before Obama came to power. Or what if Putin knows something about the origins of Syria's WMDs? Obama keeps bringing up Iraq in every speech about Syria, thinking that somehow he can always shine in comparison to Bush/Iraq no matter what. The bluffing is over now, so they either know something and have threatened to spring it or they are out of options and stalling for time. Taking an op-ed in the New York Times was a very interesting move.