- - Thursday, September 24, 2015

Now that President Obama has abdicated American leadership in the Middle East and wasted thousands of lives and a trillion dollars in the process, he has agreed to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his upcoming trip to New York City for a speech at the United Nations.

Russian TV quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as confirming, “A meeting with Obama has been coordinated.” When asked about the agenda of the Putin-Obama talk, the press secretary’s reply was “I’ll give you three guesses.”

Russia has outmaneuvered the United States in the Syrian conflict and emerged as the dominant power in the region, landing significant forces in the Levant to protect its naval base at Tartus and to prop up the Assad regime, which has been losing on the battlefield to Sunni, Islamic extremist and moderate Syrian rebels.

Initially, President Obama drew a red line on the use of Syrian chemical weapons but allowed President Putin to engineer a supposed diplomatic solution. Syrian use of chemical weapons continues unabated.

Now Russia is building a large military facility near Latakia and has landed an expeditionary force of troops, attack helicopters and ground attack jet aircraft. It is likely Mr. Putin will tell Mr. Obama how American forces can act in the region so they don’t interfere with Russian military activities. Russia has said it will act against the Islamic State no matter what the actions of the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently met with Mr. Putin in Moscow after Russia put boots on the ground in Syria. As reported Thursday, the Russian Syrian presence seriously degrades Israel’s freedom of action in the area. Coordination with the Russian military by Israeli forces would be essential to prevent any accidental conflict. Secretary of State John Kerry has also spoken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov multiple times recently at Russia’s request on the same coordination issue.

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