It is truly a strange world that we live in today. Because of inaction on the part of the administration, canceling red lines that it claims it didn't draw, trying to push responsibility on everyone except where it belongs ... and that is squarely on the hands of the administration.
The result of American indecision is the elevation to statesman of the president of Russia, the one and only KGB operative who now believes in world peace.
Now the "Great Putin" is going to broker a peace deal where the Syrians will give up their poison gas and turn it over to international control. Meanwhile our president has been check mated by Putin, who continues to embarrass our fearless leader. Russia protects its ally Bashar Assad, gets its military bases and warm water port and then will continue to manipulate its puppet, Assad.
It strengthens the position of Iran and al-Qaida in the Middle East while it weakens the United States and relegates us to an observer status in the region. It emboldens Iran, North Korea and anybody else who is an "enemy" of America.
By announcing in advance our intentions to use only minimal military force and not seek regime change, the Syrian government has been moving its military hardware from place to place, sometimes into populated civilian areas. One can see the pictures now of men, women and children killed by American missiles on the front pages of newspapers and on every TV station with the headline, America murders our people.
What a great way to win friends and influence people in a region that for the last decade has cost us more than 7,000 killed, thousands more wounded and a trillion dollars in national treasure. Iraq, which was the costliest in human lives, is now in a shamble with the Maliki regime turning into another killing machine.
The flap over the horrible killing of some 1,400 men, women and children is a legitimate concern to the rest of the world. The problem is the rest of the world is only paying lip service to that horrific chemical attack. While many nations have signed a letter condemning the action, none, except France, has pledged troops or military assistance to punish the violator of the Treaty on Chemical Weapons.
That shows the rest of the world's despots that there is no common will to punish wrong-doers. North Korea has announced it is reopening a nuclear facility, Iran continues on with its nuclear weapons program and the administration issues empty threats that are laughed at by these despots.
One can only guess where this mess will finally lead to. Unfortunately, the United States has relinquished its position in the Middle East and has stated it will become more involved in the Pacific Rim area of the world. What will happen when the Chinese challenge our position in their part of the world?
- Len Tria is a former Hernando County commissioner.