Strong Horse and Weak Horse

(Question from Sputnik asking for my reaction to this news item

MOSCOW, June 30 (Sputnik) – Western governments are in secret negotiations with the leadership in Syria and echo the United States’ anti-government stance out of fear of upsetting Washington, the Arab republic’s President Bashar Assad said Thursday.)

A most interesting report – if true and unexaggerated, of course.

Bin Laden spoke of the strong horse and the weak horse and the natural desire of people to side with the strong. The USA is indeed a mighty power but its record of foreign policy and war, while immensely destructive, is one of failure and incompetence. Its efforts in East Africa, Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia: all failures. Worse, each failure sets the opportunity for the next failure. Still worse is the incoherency of Washington’s purposes.

With respect to Syria, just in the last couple of days we have had Erdoğan’s attempt to repair relations with Moscow and another failure of a US-created “moderate rebel” force.

Moscow, on the other hand, has used the full range of power carefully and skilfully.

It would not, therefore, be surprising if allies, wary of being sucked deeper into Washington’s cycle of repetitive failure – especially with the prospect of still more, and yet more, under a President Clinton – were exploring options to get out from under.

Assad, like Putin, has proved to be a much stronger horse than they were told he would be.