The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House pointedly noted Wednesday that Moscow’s “prestige” was now on the line in the Syria crisis, as diplomatic maneuvering accelerated ahead of crucial U.S.-Russia talks in Geneva.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said it would be interesting to see how the dynamic develops between Moscow and its ally Damascus in the effort to secure Syria’s chemical weapons.

“Russia is now putting its prestige on the line when it comes to moving further along this diplomatic avenue,” Carney said.

“Russia is (President Bashar al-) Assad’s and Syria’s closest ally. Russia has played the role of blocking international efforts thus far to hold Assad accountable,” he added.

Since the start of Syria’s civil war, Washington has frequently vented frustration about Moscow’s refusal to hold Assad’s government to account.

Asked whether the U.S. government believed that Syria would desist from using chemical weapons again to avoid embarrassing President Vladimir Putin, Carney would not give a direct answer.

But he said: “Assad depends on Russia in many ways for support … and so it stands to reason … that Assad would care about the position Russia holds on this specific matter.”

The White House spin appeared to be an effort to turn the tables on Moscow after President Barack Obama spent weeks under pressure, with his own prestige apparently on the line, after Syria infringed his “red line” and allegedly fired off chemical weapons.

The latest comments came hours before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves for Geneva to discuss Moscow’s plan to secure Syria’s chemical weapons with his opposite number Sergei Lavrov.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Russian men crossing border to Georgia after Kremlin issued draft order

It’s never a good sign when a president, following the progress of his war – or lack thereof – starts consulting maps and making decisions for the combat commanders on the ground. It’s happened before in this country, always with disastrous results: Lyndon Johnson picking bombing targets for the Air Force in North Vietnam, Richard Nixon doing the same thing for B-52 strikes in Cambodia and Laos, George W. Bush ordering front line units in Iraq to stop sending out patrols so he could reduce the casualty count in advance of the 2004 presidential election.

Keep reading... Show less

Sean Hannity

Youtube Screenshot

Newly released text messages show that the executive producer of Sean Hannity's radio show, Lynda McLaughlin, asked then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for a meeting with President Donald Trump to share “hard data” that “show[ed] proof of the fraud” being pushed by the White House, Fox News, and the entire right-wing media in the 2020 election.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}