Does the New York Times speak for President Obama? It sure sounds like it in today's editorial "Mr. Putin's Mixed Messages on Syria", by the editorial board.
After some name calling---"Mr. Obama considers Mr. Putin a thug" and "Mr. Putin considers Mr. Obama weak"---the New York Times editorial board suggest they should get together on Syria. The appropriate time just happens to be when Mr. Putin will be in New York to address the United Nations later this month.
After all the nasty remarks including the gratuitous "Mr. Putin's invasion of Ukraine" statement, the editorial board has the solution to Obama's war in Syria. It is the same one that Putin has been recommending since 2012. (see The Guardian)
The board agrees with Putin that Bashar al-Assad should stay in power temporarily until a coalition can be put together that includes Russia to "defeat the Islamic State", and a new transitional government formed in Syria.
For this to work, it means ending the so-called civil war and reining in all the different mercenary groups and war lords, called collectively the "Islamic State". That would also require according to the New York Times "a political settlement in Syria between Mr. Assad's regime and opposition forces".
The New York Times does not give Putin credit for all the diplomacy he has been doing to resolve the Syrian conflict. Putin has initiated some high level diplomacy including with the "Syrian National Coalition" (SNO), the main anti-government organization opposed to President Assad", according to an article August 6, 2015 in The Saker, The Shuttle Diplomacy To Save Syria by Andrew Korybko.
The New York Times says today that Mr. Obama is "in a bind" because of his failed policies in Syria. In a previous New York Times article it was reported that Obama got the U.S. into a quagmire in Syria because he "reluctantly went along" with a group that included Hillary Clinton.
Many people have a hard time understanding exactly what Obama's policies are in Syria, although his primary goals seems to be getting rid of Assad. The problem, as we have seen in Libya, is who to replace Assad with in an orderly fashion so that it does not end up like the Libyan chaos. Apparently this is what Putin has been involved with trying to work out diplomatically with all the various parties, now including the U.S. It seems that Obama's policy to " isolate Putin " was a bad idea and a failure too.
Obama has already instructed Secretary of Defense Carter to start "military-to-military" talks with their Russian counterparts. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the U.S. is now willing to agree to let Assad stay in power temporarily: "We need to get to the negotiation. That is what we're looking for and we hope Russia and Iran, and any other countries with influence, will help to bring about that, because that's what is preventing this crisis from ending."
The humanitarian crisis in Syria has been going on for years with over 4 million war refugees. It is now spilling over to Europe, as some of refugees are fleeing there with no place else to go.
This is what has come from following the neocons' ideology of world domination and regime change for the past several decades. The Middle East and parts of Asia have been turned into chaos.
Obama is likely to be in for a lot of criticism from the right-wing for being weak. They have already been saying that Obama should have bombed Syria in 2013 instead of accepting a political solution from Putin to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons.
Despite how foolish Obama is now looking, he apparently deserves some credit if he recognizes his failure and finally turns to diplomacy. It would also be constructive if the main stream media would stop beating the drum of hostility.