Helping Washington decode what the Russians are really after.
And we won't get another one
On Friday night, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted into being a resolution they floated 24 hours earlier to great acclaim. The resolution, number 2118, was hammered out over the last two weeks by the Russians and the Americans, and is supposed to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international control and, ultimately, to destroy them.
On Wednesday, LGBT activist Alexey Davydov was supposed to take part in a protest against the Sochi Olympics but had to go to the hospital instead. Last night, he slipped into a coma. This morning, he was gone.
This man wants a teen bride to share his gold and fur with
This man is looking for a wife. A woman "with no bad habits, with good external characteristics, and the presence of intellect." A woman "who knows the meaning of loyalty, fidelity, and love," a woman "without an intimate past," a woman "between the ages of 16 and 20." (You should not write, he adds, if you are "an egomaniac" or are "the illiquid assets of the marriage market.")This man is 39, this man is lonely. This man says "my kingdom is growing but I don't have a worthy Cinderella with whom to share it."
Because we haven't spent enough time plumbing the depths of the psyche of Vladimir Putin this month, he offers us more diagnostic fodder. Speaking at the international conference at Valdai, Russia—which, if we're honest, is just a glorified session of reading the magic eight ball that is Putin—he let us know some things.
The funniest thing about Bashar al-Assad's interview with Fox's Dennis Kucinich and Greg Palkot was not Dennis Kucinich, surprisingly. It was the fact that Assad, a man responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 of his subjects, for the largest chemical weapons attack in recent history, and for doing it all with absolutely no remorse, speaks softly and carries a big lisp.
It takes some balls for a man who started two wars to reach out to the American people on 9/11 and plead for peace. But since President Obama can't seem to find his way out of the corner he's painted himself into and since nature hates a vacuum, Vladimir Putin has done just that.There are many choice moments in Putin's artful op-ed in the New York Times:
As the President addressed the nation about the crisis in Syria, I sat waiting for the Acela to Washington at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station when an old man walked past me, trailed by an entourage from the K-9 unit. The hard, squinting eyes behind the glasses, the pinched brow, and the pencil-line lips were unmistakable: It was Donald Rumsfeld, just shrunken and more frail.
Okay, so Secretary of State John Kerry inadvertently opened the door to getting President Barack Obama off the hook, and saving him from an inevitably embarrassing vote in Congress on the use of force in Syria. Now, the White House can, as opponents of a military strike have argued, really try the diplomatic channel while regrouping up on the Hill.
This, apparently, is how diplomacy happens these days: Someone makes an off-hand remark at a press conference and triggers an international chain reaction that turns an already chaotic and complex situation completely on its head, and gives everyone a sense that, perhaps, this is the light at the end of the indecision tunnel.