Russian officials once rebuffed the Islamic extremists of the region when they actively sought Russian cooperation against America in Afghanistan post-9/11. Why couldn't Obama find the sense to do the same?
It's because this is about economics and position, nothing else. And for some harebrained reason, Obama sees fit to take a chance on dealing with al-Qaeda in order to make inroads rather than being upfront, honest and authentic with China and Russia over what America really wants out of Assad's ouster in Syria: economic benefits and favorable geopolitical positioning. Could there possibly be a bigger slap in the face to the leaders of Russia and China than to suggest, via covert yet concrete action, that taking a chance on the group responsible for the most heinous act of terrorism on American soil is preferable to dealing with the leaders of those nations forthrightly and honestly?
Now it's all too late, and a hangover likely awaits. Russia and China have every right to be offended by Obama trying to play them for fools all while attempting to bring them to the table under false pretenses. Does Obama think Vladimir Putin, a former director of Russian intelligence, doesn't understand subversive tactics, or that the Chinese don't understand Sun Tzu's "Art of War" principle of leveraging chaos? It's like a friend who's constantly trying to rope you into some kind of pyramid scheme under the guise of a great business opportunity. At what point do you just get fed up with it all?
Obama could have done things much differently and laid out an economic impetus for action in Syria, bringing the two major opposing geopolitical players in this particular game to the table on an honest footing rather than insulting them in seemingly every way possible. Is there no one in this administration capable of constructing an honest, forthright, respectful diplomatic pitch? Subterfuge and deception should be reserved for those lacking the intelligence, creativity and character to do anything else.