Moscow Times: Putin Set Traps for Obama
(Moscow, Russia) From Michael Bohm, opinion page editor of The Moscow Times:
President Vladimir Putin loves to set traps for U.S. President Barack Obama. The only thing Putin loves even more is when Obama falls smack into one.So the Russians, and many other nations, believe Putin has snookered Obama.
Trap No. 1. Putin set his latest trap Monday with a seemingly attractive proposal to have international monitors identify and destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad's vast stockpile of chemical weapons.
If Obama falls for this one, he and international monitors will be jumping through hoops for years — first, trying to agree on acceptable language for the United Nations Security Council resolution, and then trying to find the dozens of suspected chemical weapons sites that Assad is hiding or constantly moving around the country.[…]
Trap No. 2. Putin's second trap for Obama is Russia's strategic obstructionism as a permanent member in the Security Council.
On the surface, Putin is correct when he says only the Security Council can mandate foreign intervention. But there is one extremely important condition to that rule: All members of the Security Council must observe the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, or R2P, to protect civilians from crimes against humanity. By blatantly neglecting the R2P principle, Russia is undermining the foundation of the Security Council, and the UN, to serve as a guarantee of global peace, security and stability.
R2P — which the UN developed in 2005 after the world was silent in the face of the 1994 Rwanda massacre that killed more than 500,000 civilians — has become the international norm to define the collective responsibility of leading nations in cases of crimes against humanity.