Obama or Putin – Who is the Syrian Chess Master?

Check, please.


Alex Eylar via Compfight

My comments in my previous post about Syria were uncannily accurate, within hours of hitting the publish button, the British Parliament voted against any UK involvement in military action against Syria.

I do not for a moment believe my post influenced a single vote, nor do I claim any special powers of foresight. My crystal ball is no better than any one else’s.

It seemed to me that most of the world, including a substantial majority of Americans were against any direct involvement. Only three major players wanting to send in the planes and missiles, the USA and French administrations and the Syrian opposition including those elements sympathetic to our enemies in Afghanistan.

I am certainly not a pacifist, having served in the military defending my country against terrorism, I have no wish to repeat the experience myself or see younger generations exposed to similar dangers. War, declared or otherwise is bad, but sometimes necessary to defend our or our allies sovereignty and freedom.

As I stated in my previous post, this is not one of those situations. More evidence to support non-involvement came in BBC coverage this week of the pleas from Christians in Maaloula, Syria for the West not to support the opposition. The jihadist fringe of which is attacking them and destroying their churches. It appears the Christians are volunteering to support the Syrian government forces defending them.

Which brings us to the events of the past week and the question of which President is the better chess player, Obama or Putin? Russians have long been masters at formulating strategic chess moves, both on the chess board and on the world stage.

Did Putin have the idea of putting Syria’s chemical weapons under UN control up his sleeve at the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg, but wait for the American President to make a few more moves?

Did he then wait a few more days until it became more likely that the vote in congress would go against the use of force? Set him up for checkmate?

Was Putin’s proposal and the timing of it, a major face-saving exercise for President Obama? If so will there be a cost attached and what will it cost? When and how must it be paid?

My money is on the Russians coming out ahead in this game of high stakes chess.





p.s. You might enjoy this post on my other blog about the media bias to reporting trivial and negative news


  1. Tim Gibney says:

    Isn’t it interesting when a person without a long record of leadership experience makes a decision without checking the ‘tea leaves’? Great blog Peter.

  2. […] in September 2013, in this post, I suggested that Russia’s President Putin had acted like a Chess Master to out manoeuvre the […]

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