In a key scene in "Breaking Bad," the best TV show ever made, conscience-stricken ex-drug dealer Jesse Pinkman finds himself detained by two DEA agents who try to convince him to turn on his former partner, the infamous meth dealer Heisenberg, aka Walter White. Aware that Heisenberg/White is a ruthless, calculating sort out to win, Pinkman warns the two DEA men that Heisenberg/White is smarter than they: after all, they are just "two guys," Heisenberg/White "is the devil." In any plan the two agents make to bring down "the devil," well, Jesse warns, "The reverse opposite will happen!"
That wonderful scene came to mind on hearing that John "Botox" Kerry had flown to Geneva to meet Putin's Foreign Minister, Sergei "No Laugh" Lavrov. I know Lavrov--one day I will write how, it's funny--and Kerry is no match for him. Kerry, a supercilious dope, who wanted the SecState job as confirmation of his status as a celebrity deep thinker, will find Lavrov a humorless, extremely intelligent, worldly, intensely patriotic Russian nationalist with a deep envy of and resentment for the United States and the West. He holds the classic Russian view that the world, lead by the insufferably arrogant Americans, conspires against Russia to deny it the respect and status it deserves. Lavrov, a professional who speaks several languages, and works non-stop, sees his life's mission as restoring Russia's rightful place in the upper echelons of the world's hierarchy. And Kerry? As a callow youth he engaged in treason against the United States. Over time, he became a classic airhead liberal blow-hard, who used his "charms" to marry into money. He found in the Democratic party and Massachusetts an electorate that votes for rich airheads, and doesn't care if they have a treasonous past. Kerry has no discernible view on the world, and certainly has none of the drive to see his country come out ahead that we see in Lavrov. Foreign Minister Lavrov has laser-like concentration, does not speak carelessly--measuring his statements very carefully--and, therefore, is the "reverse opposite" of the goofy, gaffe-prone, lazy, unfocused, and shallow Kerry.
To confirm that things must not be going well for John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry, we see a press account which reports that Kerry has had to emphasize that the negotiations over Syria are "no game." It is, indeed, a sad day when the US Secretary of State has to plead to be taken seriously. But, my friends, what else could this disaster of a SecState expect? What about the Obama/Clinton/Kerry "policy" re Syria should be taken seriously? Not much--except that Obama and his two hapless Secretaries of States haven't a clue about how the world works, how to project American power and defend American interests. Putin certainly has realized that.
All this negotiation, and back-and-forth should have happened months ago, maybe two years ago when the Syrian crisis was beginning to boil and the consequences of Obama's "Arab Spring" were becoming painfully obvious. Instead, of course, the "reverse opposite" has happened. Obama, after months of dithering, presents his muddled end game, a plan for an "unbelievably" small military action of limited scope and duration that has no intention of hurting seriously the Assad regime, a regime Obama labeled as posing a threat to core American interests. Makes no sense. None of it.
So now we have Obama and Kerry chasing after the Russians, who are masters at playing games, to help Obama and Kerry get out of the box they have built. Make no doubt, Lavrov will seek to humble Kerry in ways big and small, much as his boss is humbling Obama in ways big and small. We have, for example, Putin "writing"(I bet Lavrov is the author) an op-ed in the New York Times lecturing the United States on the need to show humility and to stop being so warlike. It appears that Vladimir Putin, as I stated in a Tweet earlier in the day, seeks to take the position once held by Walter Duranty at the NYT : that special slot reserved for overt members of the NKVD/KGB.
We dither as Russia, a country several orders of magnitude weaker than the United States, reestablishes its influence in the region; boldly announces it is helping Iran re-arm and strengthen its nuclear program; and kicks sand in the face of 98-pound weakling Obama on the Snowden affair. Obama, meanwhile, gives vacuous speeches and seeks desperately to have the Syria disaster go away. He doesn't even want Congress to vote on giving him the power to strike militarily--a power which he previously claimed he had by right of being President. The CIA, meanwhile, arms the "moderates" (oh, please) in the Syrian resistance in another half-baked program which gets us the opprobrium for intervening in somebody else's civil war, without any benefits for America, or even an end-plan.
Obama built it. We all are paying for it--and the final bill has not yet arrived.