Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, a British subject, welcomes with a kiss William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the EU Foreign Affairs Council devoted on Egypt, (EC Audiovisual Services 21/08/2013).

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, a British subject, welcomes with a kiss William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the EU Foreign Affairs Council devoted on Egypt, (EC Audiovisual Services 21/08/2013).

The fact that the American President Barack Obama unexpectedly decided to “seek authorisation for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress”, in order to launch an attack against the Syrian government forces, is the first direct and open recognition of the limits of the American military and political supremacy, after the fall of the USSR. The denial of the British Parliament to support PM David Cameron’s plans to join the US in bombarding Damascus was a premonition of that.

The truth is that the Anglo-American plans for Syria, supported actively by France and less enthusiastically by Germany have been effectively blocked by Russia. The whole affair stands as a proof that Moscow, on the one side, and Washington along with its NATO allies, on the other, are about to reassess their relations. This means there would be frictions until the two sides find again an equilibrium position. Moscow would not allow any more that easily the repetition of what happened in Libya. China is an obvious ally of Russia in this.

Russia: With all it’s got

The European Sting writer George Pepper was quite right on 29 August when he insisted that “Russia will resist with all it’s got the US-European plans for Syria…Russia not only has a lot to lose in Syria but at the same time Moscow has the ability to effectively protect its interests there. The question is up to which point the Kremlin will choose to confront the West militarily”. Seemingly the Kremlin chooses to cross the needed grounds to rein the Americans. Some weeks’ time will show how effective Russia will prove in protecting its interests in Syria and how far is it prepared to go on that.

In Washington the problem becomes even more pressing because all the US allies in the Middle East, many Arab countries and Israel, are in various degrees disappointed with Obama’s decision. More so because it is now clear that this was a personal ruling of the American President. On top of that Obama left to be understood that even in the case the US Congress approves the attack against Syria, his decision to launch it will not be automatic.

Washington stressed

This was pretty clear after Obama stressed that the US military chief, General Martin Dempsey, reassured him that the effectiveness and the success of the operation will not be compromised “if it is launched after one day, or after one week or after one month”. This observation clarifies that the time horizon of the attack is presently quite uncertain. Apparently this is like that, because before the American missiles are fired the US and Russia must have come to an agreement about the whole Syrian issue. It’s as if in this case the American action is totally confined by Moscow.

This is the first time after the fall of Communism that the US is effectively stopped, from doing whatever they like. In Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf kingdoms and Libya the West had it its own way despite the negative reactions from Russia and China. Now that Syria’s destiny will largely determine also the plans the US and Europe have for Egypt, Russia has reached its limits and decided it is time to put whatever it’s got on the table.

On top of that, the Russian side (that is President Bashar al-Assad’s regular army) is winning the battle on the ground against the rebels backed by the West. This development may put in danger even the Kurd establishment in the northeast, a piece of the map that is most precious for Washington. Probably this is what the Americans and the Russians have not yet agreed upon, making the ‘Syrian Kurdistan’ a dark spot that holds the whole Syrian issue in the air. Given that the Americans and of course the British and the French have ex ante excluded a ground operation, it is very difficult for the West to defend a holistic position.

More war more massacred civilians

As a result the whole affair will remain unresolved until the West and Russia have concluded an agreement on the ruins of Syria and the hundreds of thousands of its dead, massacred and poisoned civilians. It is clear that the Russians have now the prerogative on the ground and they are quite determined to fully exploit it. The negative vote of the British Parliament opened the way for Moscow to register its first win over the West after the Soviet Union collapsed. Putin will fully exploit this chance. He needs this victory badly given that Russia’s position is questioned even in Europe. The EU is about to absorb Moldova while it increases again its influence in Ukraine. Even Belarus questions Moscow’s powers.

All in all, the people of Syria, Shia, Sunni and Alevite Muslims, Christians and Zoroastrians are all paying with their lives the price of living in a part of the earth, where the big powers have not yet decided whose is what part of it.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

European Council, 19-20 March 2015. From left to right: Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. The European Commission and the European Council hand in hand are trying to keep Europe united. (European Council-Council of the European Union Audiovisual Services, Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium, Shoot date: 20/03/2015).

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

Participation of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, in the "Simply innovation: EU Government and Innovation" conference
(EC Audiovisual Services)

E-Government can be a remedy for the crisis

World Retail Congress DUbai 2016

World Retail Congress announces Dubai 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

Agriculture/Fisheries Council - General view (Council of the European Union, photographic library).

EU Council: The US airlines may freely pollute the European air

For Chancellor Angela Merkel the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the  Franco-German friendship “Elysée Treaty” kicked off with a lot of questions and even more visitors. Along with French President François Hollande she took part in a discussion at the Federal Chancellery with some 200 young people from Germany and France. (German Federal Government’s photo gallery)

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Visit of Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Icelandic Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, and Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, to the European Commission. Round table: (from left to right) Thórir Ibsen, Head of the Mission of Iceland to the EU, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Maria Damanaki EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Andreas Papaconstantinou, Member of the cabinet of Maria Damanaki. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Tiny Iceland teaches the West how to treat bankers

Special meeting of the European Council. Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council 1st from the right, David Cameron, British Prime Minister, in the centre, and Joseph Muscat, Maltese Prime Minister, 2nd from the left (in the foreground). (EC Audiovisual Services).

What next after more sanctions against Russia, will the Ukrainian civil war end?

Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC, delivering a Press conference on 17 July 2012 on a case of abuse of dominant position concerning Microsoft. This was one of many occasions that Commissioner Almunia had to deal with Microsoft’s attitude towards fair competition.

Why Microsoft is a regular to Almunia’s

Hannes Swoboda's exclusive interview by Carlo Motta at the Sting’s pavilion during EBS 2014

“Austerity was not the alternative!”, President Hannes Swoboda of the European Socialists and Democrats on another Sting Exclusive

JADE Logo

JADE May Meeting last call for participants – join us in Zagreb

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission in the podium. The EC published country-specific recommendations for Member States along with an overarching communication on what was needed to return to growth and jobs, (EC Audiovisual Services, 29/5/2013).

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

epg

Why Renewable Energy is an attractive investment

European Parliament.European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi (first from right) participated in the fourth Monetary Dialogue of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs this year. He presented the ECB's perspective on economic and monetary developments. The Committee will also vote today on the report regarding the establishment of a Single Resolution Mechanism and Single Bank Resolution Fund. (EP Audiovisual Services, 16/12/2013).

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

Border Security SMI European Sting

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

Lost in translation

On 7-8 June 2015, Germany hosted the meeting of the G7 heads of state and government. The 7 leaders are photographed here with their outreach guests. (European Council – Council of the European Union Audiovisual Services).

The G7 adopted dangerous views about Ukraine and Greece

(C) International Monetary Fund Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department, Olivier Blanchard, (L) Division Chief, Research Department Thomas Helbling, and (R) Deputy Director of the Research Department, Jӧrg Decressin during a press briefing on the World Economic Outlook during the 2013 World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, October 8, 2013 at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC. IMF Staff Photograph/ Michael Spilotro.

Preparing for developing countries the ‘Greek cure’

COP21 Paris Transport

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

Participation of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC, at the seminar "Women on top", organised in Amsterdam (EC Audiovisual Library)

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

Visit of Neven Mimica, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation and Development, to Antalya, Turkey where he attended the first and second plenary meetings of the Comprehensive High-level Mid-term Review of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the Least Developed Countries. © European Union , 2016   /  Source: EC - Audiovisual Service   /   Photo: Yasin Akgül.

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

The culture and education committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday 27 November 2012 adopted the new YES EUROPE.

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

Google logo__

Can the EU really make Google and Facebook pay publishers and media?

Event Date: 28/06/2016
Extraordinary Plenary session - Vote of a resolution analysing the outcome and ways forward
Reference: EP-038833A
Copyright: © European Union 2016 - Source : EP.

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

European Parliament. Plenary session, week 9, 2014 in Strasbourg. Discussion and vote of amendments on insurance mediation. Commissioner Michel Barnier in charge of Internal Market and Services, has the floor. (EP Audiovisual Services, 26/2/2014).

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Eurpeam Commission in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, gave a press conference on the modernisation of travel rules for consumers and businesses. (EC Audiovisual Services, 09/07/2013).

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany participated at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council which focused on Energy, on 8 June 2015, in Luxembourg. Gabriel is also Vice Chancellor of Germany since 2013 and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany as from 2009. Recently he is at odds with his colleague the German Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble over Greece's position in or out from Eurozone. (European Council - Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Services, Shoot date: 08/06/2015, Location: Luxembourg. Snapshot from a video).

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

European Council in Brussels. From left to right: Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council welcomes rather typically David Cameron, UK Prime Minister and Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus looks on. (Council of the European Union photographic library, 24/10/2013).

Britain and Germany change attitude towards the European Union

Lidija Globokar is Co-Founder & General Manager of Project 668

European Youth, quo vadis?

LPAA COP21 Paris

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

Group photo: Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus, Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Günther Oettinger Vice-President of the EC in charge of Energy, and Karel De Gucht, Member of the EC in charge of Trade (from left to right). They all went to went to Minsk where they participated in a Forum between the Eurasian Customs Union, EU and Ukraine. The crisis in eastern Ukraine dominated the agenda, and Poroshenko called on the Forum to accept his peace plan for the country. The meeting focused on two areas: the economic aspects of the discussions between the different nations, especially between Russia and Ukraine and the role of the EU; and on the peace and security issues. (EC Audiovisual Services, 26/8/2014).

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

Discussion between Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, 3rd from the right, and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, 3rd from the left, in the presence of Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania, on the left, and Herman van Rompuy, 2nd from the right (in the foreground). They all pay attention to what the German Chancellor has to say.(EC Audiovisual Services).

Germany: A grand coalition may trouble employers and bankers

IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 2016. AM16 CNN Debate on the Global Economy
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble participate in a CNN Debate Seminar on Global Economy October 6, 2016 at part of the 2016 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C. (IMF Staff Photo/Stephen Jaffe).

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

In the in the margins of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (on the right) and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (on the left) met with Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine. (EC Audiovisual Services, 24/09/2013).

Ukraine undecided over a strategic partnership with the EU

Extraordinary meeting of EU heads of state or Government on Ukraine. Russels. (from left to right) Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council shakes hands with Arseniy Yatseniuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine in the presence of Angela Merkel , German Federal Chancellor. (Council of the European Union photographic library, 6.3.2014).

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

European Parliament. Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, LIBE, meeting. Discussion on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens by the NSA. Moraes, Claude (third from left), Constanze Kurz, Dominique Guibert, Nick Pickles. (EP Audiovisual Services, 14/10/2013).

The EU-US trade agreement, victim of right-wing extremists and security lunatics

From left to right: Pierre Moscovici, French Minister of Finance; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF; Wolfgang Schauble, German Federal Minister for Finance; Maria Fekter, Austrian Federal Minister for Finance, (Council of the European Union photographic library).

Eurozone plans return to growth

European Parliament, Plenary session, 12/06/2013, Financial services. Jean-Paul Gauzes, MEP, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) member of Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (on the left) and Michel Barnier EU Commissioner in charge of Internal Market and Services. (European Parliament photographic library).

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

Press conference by Olli Rehn, Member of the European Commission, on the spring economic forecasts for 2012-2013. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Eurozone hasn’t escaped the deflation danger

Press conference by Michel Barnier, Member of the European Commission, on the establishment of a Single Resolution Mechanism for the Banking Union. He is probably showing the dimensions of connections between governments and banks. (EC Audiovisual Services).

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and several members of the EC College participated in the European Parliament plenary session and the weekly Commission meeting, which was held on 05/07/2016. From the left to the right: Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Jean-Claude Juncker and Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of Commission, in charge of Energy Union. Date: 05/07/2016. Location: Strasbourg – European Parliamnet.© European Union, 2016 / Photo: Jean-François Badias.

EU free-trade agreements with Canada and US: imagine the fallout if put to national referendums

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

Athens informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade). European Commissioner Karel de Gucht, responsible for Trade (on the left), shakes hands with Greek Deputy Minister Notis Mitarachi, who held the rotating Presidency of the Council. (Greek Presidency photographic library, 28/2/2014).

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

European Parliament, BUDG - Budgets Committee Meeting: 2014 budget Presentation. Alain Lamassoure, Chair BUDG, second from left, Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner in charge of Financial Programming and Budget, third from left. (European Parliament Audiovisual Services, 26/06/2013).

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Štefan Füle, Member of the European Commission in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) (on the left), and Volodymyr Hroisman, Ukrainian Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services (on the right), gave a joint press conference following the plenary session of the Committee of the Regions on Ukraine. The way the Ukrainian minister looks, could mean that one cannot be a minister in this country if one doesn’t look like a fighter. (EC Audiovisual Services  02/04/2014).

Russia and the West use the same tactics to dismember Ukraine

Photo taken outside the House of Commons on 20 June 2016. Hundreds of people have showed their sorrow and paid tribute to the tragic loss of Jo Cox's life. This photo was taken by the European Sting during its London coverage of the EU referendum (The European Sting, 20/06/2016)

The IMF sees Brexit’s ‘substantial impact’ while the world’s economy holds its breath

Mrs Mogherini is trying hard to convince EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs to increase sanctions against Russia at the extraordinary Foreign Affairs meeting during last Thursday's Council. Her Greek colleague, Mr Kotzias, apparently is not an easy one. Mrs Mogherini is the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (TVnewsroom Council, 29/01/2015)

EU finally to extend sanctions on Russia despite arguments; Greece again in Europe’s spotlight

Matteo Renzi

The umpteenth Italian overturn takes Renzi and PD to unprecedented victory at EU elections

A High-level Conference on Employment in Europe was organized in Milan by Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister and President in office of the Council of the EU during the second half of 2014 (second from left). On that occasion Renzi raised his concerns about the faltering growth in Eurozone. The French President Francois Hollande (next to Renzi) took the opportunity to support the Italian prime minister’s views in the presence of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (first from left) and the then President of the EU Commission Manuel Barroso were also present. (EU Commission Audiovisual Services, 08/10/2014).

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

More Stings?

Comments

  1. If Obama goes ahead and attacks Syria without approval from the House, the GOP side is bound to find some fault and use any fallout to impeach him. That’s the nature/friction of US politics these days.

    This way Obama covers any such GOP action.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s