At the G-20, Obama’s Syria Efforts Take a Hit as Putin Gains Support

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Eric Feferberg / AFP / Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes U.S. President Barack Obama at the start of the G-20 summit on Sept. 5, 2013, in St. Petersburg

Whatever his other failings at the G-20 summit on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama still made the grandest entrance. Driving up to the venue — an imperial palace in the Russian city of St. Petersburg — the other world leaders looked almost dowdy in their Mercedes and BMW sedans, at least when compared with Obama in his stretched Cadillac Escalade, which his press pool dubbed the Beast. In an apparent gesture of goodwill toward the host country, Obama’s ride even strayed from the usual protocol by flying the Russian tricolor, complete with little golden tassels. But Russian President Vladimir Putin, standing at the palace door, looked unimpressed. He was not there to make friends with Obama.

On the most pressing issue of the summit — how to deal with the civil war in Syria — Putin and Obama have taken opposing positions in the past few days. Obama has called for a military strike to punish the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people. Putin, who has accused the Obama Administration of lying to justify another war in the Middle East, has countered that any attack against Syria would be an illegal act of aggression unless it got approval from the U.N. By the time the world leaders gathered for the G-20 on Thursday afternoon, it was clear that most of them were much closer to Putin’s position. Apart from France, no one was ready to take up arms with the U.S. in Syria.

(PHOTOS: Carrying the Weight of Syria, Obama Visits Sweden and Russia)

The clearest blow to U.S. coalition-building at the summit came from the leaders of the E.U. In a briefing on Thursday afternoon, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said the Syrian conflict was a “stain on the world’s conscience,” but stressed that the E.U. believes in a “political solution” to the crisis. Standing beside him, E.U. President Herman van Rompuy drove this point home. “There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed,” he said. Of all E.U. members, he added, “only France is ready to cooperate” with the U.S. on a military strike. So Europe’s joint statement at the G-20 would urge the U.N. Security Council to deal with the crisis politically, he said, echoing a point that Putin has long been making. (The U.S. insists that its proposed military action is not aimed at ending the war, but, rather, aimed at undermining Assad’s ability to deploy chemical weapons.)

But since the Syrian war began more than two years ago, all U.N. initiatives have been shot down by Russia and China, who have both vetoed the last three resolutions on Syria in the U.N. Security Council. China, predictably, signaled its opposition on Thursday to any military strike against Syria, with Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao saying it would have a “negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price.” A few days before the summit, Putin said it is “utter nonsense” to suggest that the Syrian regime could have used chemical weapons against its own people, leaving little room to hope that Russia would accept any proof to the contrary. As for the proof that the U.S. has already presented, Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on Thursday that it was “very far from convincing.” The Obama Administration, Peskov suggested, has been “shaping the facts to justify its need to strike.”

(MORE: Putin Sets Uncompromising Tone Ahead of G-20 Summit)

The heads of the world’s biggest developing nations, who formed a major bloc within the G-20, seemed to agree, Peskov said. Collectively known as the BRICS, the group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met apart from the Western delegates at the summit, in part to coordinate their positions early in the day. According to Peskov, feelings against the U.S. ran high at that meeting. In particular, the five leaders expressed “harshly negative” reactions to last month’s news that the U.S. had systematically spied on them. Those revelations were based on leaks from the former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia last month. At their meeting on Thursday, the BRICS leaders said that these electronic spying operations were “comparable to terrorism,” Peskov said at a press conference during the summit.

So by the time all the G-20 delegates pulled up to the Konstantin Palace, Obama was not the most popular man around, while Putin’s positions were clearly gaining support. That afternoon, the main G-20 roundtable was held in the palace’s Marble Hall, whose ceiling is decorated with an image of Mars, the Roman god of war, raising a sword over his head. It seemed a fitting symbol of the choice that hung over the summit — the choice of another American intervention in the Middle East — and not too many of the delegates seemed to like the look of that sword.

PHOTOS: According to Assad’s Instagram, It’s All Smiles in Syria

157 comments
RickKepple
RickKepple

Okay, I don't even have to read this to say to the G20; Have You Lost What Little Common Sense you ever had? You're backing Russia over the United States? Have you forgotten all the foreign aid that our government sent to you instead of our representatives helping America's poor and homeless? And this is the gratitude that American taxpayers get? Remember when Russia's top economic expert absolutely predicted with certainty that the United States would be broken up into 10 different regions? To my knowledge, that never happened. So how can you trust the word of Russians that are almost always wrong? Go with President Obama. The fact is that in July 2008, the G-20 wrote that "candidate Obama" would lead the world into a new peaceful existence and now that the time is upon us to actually make real changes, poor little rich dudes from another country lose their spine. So give up the idea of Global Governance. If you folks in the G-20 can't distinguish your friends from your enemies, you got a real problem. Don't you?

richardmayson
richardmayson

President Obama again got conned by Israel's Netanyahu into his childish red lines as in his globally mocked UN General Assembly act on Iran.

Now he's all but alone in the world and painted into a corner of his own making, accept for the most analy retentive like Canada, Australia, France and of course his favourite Sunni puppet, Saudi Arabia.

Congress can of course break with its long held tradition of banality, ignorance and shadow boxing, by denying Obama his face saving but incredibility dangerous desires for military attacks. But this would require a display of honesty and moral courage, which seems something of an anathema to the USA lawmakers.

If Obama does get endorsement then the first victim ironically will be Israel, then Turkey and the jiahdist sunni Gulf States, these latter of whom are supplying the rebels with weapons, including Chemical weapons. Now wouldn't that be poetic justice? Blowback just like September 11 from supporting Afghanistan Jihadists there.

PeterMay
PeterMay

For anyone who thinks war is the solution........ go visit some of the many war cemeteries in eg., Europe. Thousands upon thousands of headstones. A saddening & sobering experience. Do you want to add to that number? War is not the answer. I am horrified at Obama's race to war - with no evidence to support it. I dont count emotional appeals & impressive  rhetoric as evidence

nouseworrying
nouseworrying

In the September 16th issue, there is written, on page 16, "even as a secret-service agent stood two steps away with a black brief-case containing Russia"s nuclear launch codes"...

And the photo of this secret-agent is on page 19... Terribly secret, the young agent! Surely the Russia's nuclear launch codes aren't really in the briefcase! Otherwise this poor agent will need some bodyguards, won't he?

small_axe
small_axe

How sad we have become as a country. We were foaming at the mouth for a war we shouldn't have fought in Iraq, and NOW, we have cold feet when action is justified and called for?

VaroujanTourian
VaroujanTourian

Obama is a lieing CON artist who fooled us ALL! He is more Jew than the CHOSEN! Israel has again sicked its USA dog on Arabs, M.E. Christians, ‘ISLAMISTS’ & Syria!! Arab Israel-USA-UK installed Puppet Kings and Rulers are disgrace, especially Saudi King Abdallah. USA STAY OUT! Drop CHOSEN Israel. US is only country that used WMD-s and ENABLED CHOSEN Israel to surpass Hitler’s atrocities on OCCUPIED Arabs, Moslems & M.E true Christians for 64 YEARS! Jews FDR, W. Churchill & Truman (w/convict boyfriend) ‘created’ Israel in 1948. Eversince, ALL US Presidents are Jews, converts from Judaism, married to Jews or have Jew blood incldng Mr Obama. US is hypocrite! Under Jew Bush, Americans gave up civil rights so Jew-run Imperial US Military can silence dissenters. US shielded CHOSEN Israel from criticism, casting most UN Vetoes since 1972.  When US supports Genocide-Committing Israel, ENABLER US is more evil! DRUNK Bush Jew cartel &Obama lied about everything! US Imperial Military used the Geneva-banned WMD-s including white phosphorous in Iraq & Afghan & Israel used them in Lebanon & Gaza in GAZA in 2008.  Enough Jew LIES & atrocities! When will USA start serving US GENTILES!

pageup4943
pageup4943

The Russians gave Syria nukes and know they will use them. “Is Obama destined to trigger the world catastrophe”? Let's wait and see.

punande
punande

In essence the Saudis want to rent the american military to do their dirty work . Im sure there will be big rewards for all those politicians who vote for this war from all the usual suspects in spite of it being unpopular and wrong . It will be interesting to see how congress votes .

No-Violence-by-USA
No-Violence-by-USA

Why the ink wasted on car brands?  A global crisis looms; we need substantive journalism.  US citizens do not support Obama's proposed violence in Syria.  Have we learned nothing?

eqxander
eqxander

It is obvious that the US needs to apologize/make amends for NSA spying. It is shredding our reputation overseas, at home, and in homes around the world. It was a dasdardly deed done against the supposed "free" peoples of the world. 


We either need a full explanation of the program, what it has accomplished, and an apology for bridging the privacy of citizens around the globe.

And yet, in spite of all the negative reactions, where are the Privacy Amendments in the halls of Congress? If you don't get one, you're never going to have it -- in any shape or form, except in your imaginations.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Activist Post. USA
435 Tweets to Congress: Impeach Obama for Aiding al Qaeda in Syria
Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton
Although some have presented 100 potential reasons that Barack Obama could be impeached right now under the Constitution of the United States of America, most recently he has violated Article III, Section 3, Clause 1:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
While the clause requires two witnesses, the entire nation and the world has witnessed Obama aiding and giving comfort to al Qaeda terrorists in Syria. As reported by Reuters in August, “Obama’s order…broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C6ZxMEZG7I
Video shows the Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions officially unifying with the al Qaeda Al Nusra Front group earlier this year. Multiple mainstream media articles have declared the Syrian rebels and Al Nusra Front are working together, including joint attacks on an ancient Christian village just days ago. These groups are working together to overthrow the Syrian government and the Obama Administration has issued support to them through seemingly every means possible.
 

Reed more: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/09/435-tweets-to-congress-impeach-obama.html

GooogleOmeega
GooogleOmeega

These conversations are moot, as the congress will vote nay. Please move on to a more interesting topic - like Obama's vehicle and the colour of his toenail polish. This G20 'summit' is nothing but the new world order planning our future without our consent as global citizens. Massive bait and switch underway, as global leaders tackle how to spend our tax dollars, and how to borrow more money from the Americans at interest. The arms dealers, who fund most of the middle eastern wars are dancing and partying well into the night, as the middle easterners off each other in a frenzy of madness. 

Global systems to change all citizens into nothing but tax paying drones, and talk of 'freedom' and 'human rights' permeate the polluted atmosphere of the planet. The human race is soon to become extinct, because the global leaders are being dominated by extraterrestrials intruding from the outer reaches of the milky way galaxy. They are fearful we will develop the technology to exploit the galaxy, therefore creating massive wars of destruction to keep us occupied for the next millennia.


Jay_Adams
Jay_Adams

1. Read opinion of nun Agnès-Mariam de la Croix (Syrie). It was сlassic falsification
- as Hitler's fraud in 1939 before the attack on Poland.
Imho organized by the Americans - realized by the terrorists.
These children was Alawite, Kurds and Christians - stolen by terrorists who killed their parents. There are bodies of children - but NO bodies of their parents! Repeat: these were Alawite, Kurds and Christians children-hostage.
2. Only Russia can stop the United States and next time Save the World - as stopped Germany in 1942-1943, as stopped France in 1812.
Everu century... to stop next... "Only One Superpower" :)  is Russian Cross and Russian... International Specialty. :)

tl29szzz920
tl29szzz920

Just as I expected.  Wossy Euro's talk big, like when people are getting murdered with Chemicals, but when it comes time (again) to put up or shut up, they walk away like little cowards whimpering.  

Again the only time that real justice takes place is when the US does something.  

Putin is a Fascist who terrorizes his own people, like Assad, like Hezbollah, like the Iranian government.  He makes me laugh when he talks about US interfering.  If it wasn't for his policies, they're likely wouldn't be a war in Syria.


MobiodictumSmith
MobiodictumSmith

 Republicans are about to get rooked by Obama. He knows that they will vote against anything he says, even against everything they have stood for for decades ie taking a tough stance on terrorism. He has successfully pushed them into a corner where they have to decide if they will maintain the old standard or *heavens!* take a diplomatic path to the problem with Syria, thus setting a horrifying precedent for them. Well played Obama!

Haters, please keep watch on the "Failures" of Obama while he changes the entire world before your blinded eyes.

smehgol
smehgol

Syria may have killed a few hundred with chemical weapons. Israel, our "inseparable ally," ghettoized over a million and killed hundreds of times more than Syria, often with chemicals (white phosphorous) and other internationally illegal weapons. The debate should be about striking Israel, not Syria.

merlinsscience
merlinsscience

Brasil, Russia, china, India and south Africa- just the people we should respect for their views on human rights... Each has such an amazing track record... These developing nations can be forgiven for acting isolationist, but what about the developed "evolved" nations? The ones who have witnessed and cleaned up after the atrocities of the germans, soviets and chinese? Sadly, even the "evolved nations" are turning out to be a bunch of ridiculous revisionist historians who choose to ignore the lessons of Iraq, stalin's soviet union, Chinese cultural revolution, chairman Mao, the Khmer Rouge, Darfur, Serbia and South Africa.

It's so sad that so many forget that, without the French-America would still be a colony, without the UN- Bosnia would be a grave yard, without the world- blacks in Africa would be dead or slaves... You apologists make me sad.

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

The Nobel Peace Prize Winner President's prestige, reputation and credibility is badly tarnished in Moscow, he was very close to tear, and thanks God, he did not lose his control. But still, he has to cross many more miles through the landmines to resolve this issue, which has been solely created by himself. He and Hillary along with Saudi Oil King and Israel cooked the pot to remove Assad and teach lesson to Hizbullah and Iran, asked Turkey to allow Jihadi goons to start fight with Assad and stage up rise. This gamble was very risky and now, poor Obama is in deep trouble, his Presidency is on line, he cannot find a friend anywhere but enemies inside and outside giving him warnings, red lines and caution signs to go alone or eat a crow. By putting monkey on Congress and Senate, he wanted to fool them, but finally the table is turned back to him. His legacy is almost crippled, and if the limited bombings carried out by him will not go rightly, he will be impeached and removed from the White House too. Hillary was correct, he has no guts to take a 4 am phone call!!!!,

MasonFilipkowski
MasonFilipkowski

@RickKepple You realize the rebels we're supporting in Syria are Al Qaeda, right? The very people we sacrificed American lives and money for all these years. The Russians, believe it or not, are rarely wrong. Putin is a great leader for them (albeit, somewhat of a dictator, he's one of the best leaders they've had.) I don't know who you heard that 10 different region stuff from, because I can't find a source for any Russian economist predicting it. Regardless, if this guy does exist, he was right on the money. Because we were split into exactly 10 regions about 4 or 5 years ago by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was common knowledge at the time. 

As a final thought, how are we Americans any different from Nazi Germany? The only difference is that we aren't committing total genocide. We invade foreign nations, seize their assets and occupy them, and Europe "appeases" us. It's the same policy of "appeasement" that Europe gave to Nazi Germany, and it's going to be written in the History books as such once the world turns on us and bands together to finally stop us.

YuryiTkachenko
YuryiTkachenko

@RickKepple And you, Rick, you are backing the Al Quada? You believe that the billions of dollars, the thousands of men, and the even more numerous cripples that were made from fighting them should be redirected to support instread? You choose your president over the people, who have been verbally shat on by these remarks? The families who pay their taxes, the soldiers who fight the wars? Are the dead bodies of heros now lying in vain, being pissed on because of a change of political agenda? Why don't you go up to a man who has lost his leg fighting these men, look him in the eye, and tell him that you support the funding and training of those that took it?


Openminded1
Openminded1

@richardmayson Obama does a lot of his own coning as well. he conned all the dummy liberals into voting for him not only once but twice. Muslim racist that he is.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@VaroujanTourian He is worse then that ,he is a racist muslim, who owes not only the muslim brotherhood  for there major donations to him,he owes the liberal jews who also fell for his charm rhetoric bs . the muslim.s and jews and liberal morons put this racist in office you got what you deserved, he conned you all.

andbary
andbary

@pageup4943What nonsense!

Read about nuclear weapons and their means of control!

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Russia does not supply offensive weapons to Syria
Russia supplies to Syria only defensive weapons, which cannot be used for internal struggle, such as air defense and coastal missile systems for the protection of the sovereignty. All of this armament supplied under the old obligations and does not violate UN resolutions.
 
Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia is not supplying Syria anything forbidden by the international sanctions in the sphere of military-technical cooperation.
"We are continuing to those contracts that have been concluded for a long time"
"No one can ever show of the Russian Federation no claims in this regard, and the control over exports of arms in our country tougher, than in many other countries" - added Rogozin.

pdmaher123
pdmaher123

@No-Violence-by-USA 

Global crisis diminishing, but yeah, glad all the ten cent a line filth backed off on their "War for Al-qaeda" BS, maybe the normal people can get some rest from trying to preserve them.  

rajendra
rajendra

@Sibir_Russia In my opinion President Obama is marching towards Dictatorship, just like Hitler.


andbary
andbary

@Jay_AdamsIn the first part, I agree, the second you are not right.

Only the Americans can stop LIE!

pdmaher123
pdmaher123

@MobiodictumSmith  

The vast majority of the people of the world do not hate peace, who is the world voice for peace now?  Is it "Obama"?

BillBacurat
BillBacurat

@smehgol .... Take your camel, go back to your sandbox and cry..  I don't blame Israel one bit.  Your full of crap about the weapons, that is radical arab propaganda.  You provoke the situation by shooting rockets, blowing up buses and nightclubs in Israel, and when they respond all you do is complain, cry and whine and call them the aggressors. 


You Camel jocky's have been fighting each other for 2000 years.  We are sick and tired of your BS.  There is never peace with you guys, there always has to be some sort of confrontation.

BillBacurat
BillBacurat

@merlinsscience ... "without the UN, Bosnia would be a grave yard"????   You mean, without the US, Bosnia would be a grave yard.   The UN are a bunch of limp wristed worthless idiots

merlinsscience
merlinsscience

Bologna. When your neighbor starts poisoning the àir you breathe- don't go crying to the police; it's your problem alone to resolve. And don't even think of asking for friends help- the rest of the neighborhood will bomb their friends and family in retaliation!

Yes, my analogy is just as absurd as your unfounded assertion.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@rajendra @Sibir_Russia The media and the rest of the liberals put him in the office, they wanted to make history with the first black and muslim in the oval office and they got what they wanted .

soindependent
soindependent

@tl29szzz920 @soindependent Without the support of the other major nations the US will be taking on more than they can handle if this blows up and it will blow up.  The Middle East has never responded well to outside interference.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@pdmaher123 @MobiodictumSmith Obama is a muslim and is connected to the MB by his brother and his dad and step dad before him. This guy fooled all the liberal morons out there.

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

@merlinsscience 

But what kind of morality and humanity records we have? Since last 11 years, we have killed more than million declaring illegal, unfounded and unauthorized war and converted the ancient civilization in to rubble. More over you had used more worst sarin and nerve gas in Vietnam, and even nuclear bomb on 500,000 human beings, and converted them in to ashes. Look in to the mirror we have killed millions and millions around the globe for the thirst of our power, greed of oil and to establish hegemony on the globed.  

BillBacurat
BillBacurat

@merlinsscience...  All due respect, that neighbor is more than likely Al qeada doing the gas attack to draw in US to clear out Assad, and clear the way for another muslim brotherhood stronghold....  Just like the way Obama screwed up Egypt and Libya, he is screwing up here too.  

John Kerry has provided NO proof the assad ordered this attack.  The only word he is going is a 26 year old woman named O'bagy.  no joke, John Kerry is a complete Idiot.....

"On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged members of the House of Representatives to read a Wall Street Journal op-ed by 26-year-old Elizabeth O’Bagy — an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War — who asserted that concerns about extremists dominating among the Syrian rebels are unfounded. But in addition to her work for the Institute for the Study of War, O’Bagy is also the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a group that advocates within the United States for Syria’s rebels — a fact that the Journal did not disclose in O’Bagy’s piece. O’Bagy is quoted in the Foreign Policy piece saying that the Obama administration’s June decision to openly arm Syrian rebels didn’t go far enough. ”Small arms and ammunition really only get you so far against airplanes,” she said then...In December, O’Bagy opposed the Obama administration’s attempts to designate al-Nusra — a powerful Syrian rebel group — as a terror organization because of its ties to al-Qaida."

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@PeterMay@YuryiTkachenko@Sibir_Russia

Russia could supply the legitimate government of the whole range of weapons, which do not contradict international standards in the sphere of military-technical cooperation. However, Syria has its own military-industrial complex, so they are not experiencing a shortage of ammunition. 

YuryiTkachenko
YuryiTkachenko

@PeterMay @Sibir_Russia Peter the difference is that Russia supplies Syria with weapons that they would be unable to use on ground forces (rebels). They are for defence against other aggressive nations that wish to invade, not for the civil war.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@PeterMay@Sibir_Russia 

External assistance to the opposition, which leads the armed struggle against the legitimate government, is a gross violation of fundamental rules of international law. In the Declaration on principles of international law, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1970, it is noted, in particular, that no state shall organize, assist, and financing of armed actions aimed at the violent overthrow of the regime of another state.