Russia sharply steps up criticism of U.S. over Syria
[ul][color=#000080]MOSCOW – Russia dramatically escalated its denunciations of American threats to attack Syrian military targets on Saturday, as President Vladimir Putin called the arguments about chemical weapons that underlie the U.S. case “utter nonsense.”…
Speaking out for the first time since an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, Putin called on President Obama to find a nonviolent way out of the crisis.
“I would like to address Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate: Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties,” Putin told Russian news agencies in Vladivostok…
The White House argued Friday that intelligence shows more than 1,400 people died from exposure to chemical weapons in an attack carried out by the Syrian military.
Putin said he was sure the attack was the work of rebels trying to provoke international — and especially American — involvement in the Syrian conflict. The regime of Bashar al-Assad, he said, would have had no reason to use chemical weapons at a time when it had gained the upper hand in the fighting.
“While the Syrian army is on the offensive, saying that it is the Syrian government that used chemical weapons is utter nonsense,” Putin said.
On top of that, he said, the Obama administration’s “claims that proof exists, but is classified and cannot be presented to anybody, are below criticism. This is plain disrespect for their partners.”[/color][/ul]
I have no idea about the quality of the intelligence (which turned out contrary with Bush as well incidentally), and I usually take what Putin says with a grain of salt, but that part about the secrecy really hits a chord. What’s with the secrecy thing and Obama? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bush shared top-secret intelligence with our allies to convince them. Why is Obama’s secrecy supreme and sacrosanct, the excuse of secrecy being used against investigating Benghazi or knowing visitors to the White House or evidence for strikes in Syria, whereas ours are so disposable? Putin’s concern for intelligence-sharing with partners is certainly appropriate.