1. Syria has pledged to get rid of their chemical weapons program
This is, frankly, awesome. I can’t think of another time that this sort of disarmament has been agreed and implementation begun without war taking place first. Assad has continued to not be an absolute fool and has decided that it’s way better to not have chemical weapons than it is to be dead. It seems like a simple choice but I’ve been repeatedly surprised in the past.
2. Russia’s involvement has taken the heat off
Last month (seems like longer) it was basically all on us. The entire world was looking to the US and saying “well, you just going to let them gas people?” I wrote an article after Russian President Putin stepped in saying that it was a fantastic development that was going to save lives. Commenters took issue with my analysis. They were wrong. I was right. Just saying. Russia has successfully brokered a plan between Syria, the US, and the UN. There’s now a plan in place and all reports so far indicate that it’s being followed by all parties involved.
3. The US is now in groundbreaking talks with Iran
Syria’s cooperation with the world community has provided cover for Iran, Syria’s main supporter, to come to the table with the US and the world community in a manner that has never been seen before. The US showed a willingness to deal in the case of Syria rather than rushing in guns blazing in the name of freedom and whatever else. And while the threat of Obama blundering into war was very real (or certainly appeared to be) I believe it’s this restraint more than anything else that has inspired Iran to take advantage of the situation and draw the US closer than it has ever been.
4. US money and arms are no longer going to terrorists
Or, at least, not nearly as much of them. Since the US can’t tell where its support to the Free Syrian Army goes and since at least half of the Sunni Muslims fighting against Assad’s Shi’ite regime are either “jihadists” or “hardline Islamists” then the US has ramped waaaay down on the aid it was giving these people. That’s the prudent thing to do. Since the US seems to almost never do the prudent thing I’m happy to see it. You should be as well. In a few more months, the US will figure out that the remaining aid is completely pointless and it will likely drop off completely. Then the Free Syrian Army will crumble and Syria will start to become stable again.
5. Saudi Arabia is now mad at the US
See number 4. The US and Saudi Arabia have long been allies in the region (yes, because of oil) but the US has broken from the Saud regime on the issue of aid to the Free Syrian Army because, as I said, there are concerns that terrorists will receive the aid instead of non-jihadist Syrian born freedom fighters. Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s leading producers of terrorists and terrorism funding (see Russia/Caucauses/Bin Laden) couldn’t give a spit if terrorists from all over the Middle East get guns and take over Syria. They WANT that to happen because they want Syria/Iran/Lebanon to be undermined/destroyed. Now the Saudis have gone whining to Russia about Syria…considering Putin’s support for Assad, I just don’t see him being receptive.
See this link for just how far gone the Saudis apparently are. Before you go, remember that Russia is the world’s number 2 producer of petroleum, the US is number 3. Iran is number 4 and their oil sector is under developed.