|'in this crisis, the two main players who shaped the outcome -- in ways that would not have been predicted but will have huge long-term implications -- were Putin and the American people. Obama got blindsided by both. What does it tell us? Americans overwhelmingly told Congress to vote against bombing Syria for its use of poison gas tells how much the divide on this issue in America was not left versus right, but top versus bottom.
Many Americans also understood that when it came to our record in the Arab/Muslim world since 9/11, we were 0 for 3. Afghanistan seems headed for failure; whatever happens in Iraq, it was overpaid for; and Libya saw a tyrant replaced by tribal wars. I also think a lot of people look at the rebels in Syria and hear too few people who sound like Nelson Mandela -- that is, people fighting for the right to be equal citizens, not just he triumph of their sect.'