I commented here on Vladimir Putin’s patently contemptuous op-ed column in the New York times yesterday. A senior White House official who wisely insisted that his name not be linked to his comment on the column purported to translate it as Putin taking responsibility for Syria’s chemical weapons compliance. Jake Tapper quotes the official: “He put this proposal forward and he’s now invested in it. That’s good. That’s the best possible reaction. He’s fully invested in Syria’s CW disarmament and that’s potentially better than a military strike – which would deter and degrade but wouldn’t get rid of all the chemical weapons. He now owns this. He has fully asserted ownership of it and he needs to deliver.”
Politico includes this further comment from that mysterious unidentified senior White House official: “President Putin has invested his credibility in transferring Assad’s chemical weapons to international control, and ultimately destroying them. The world will note whether Russia can follow through on that commitment.”
I am quite sure that not even junior White House administrative assistants buy this patently absurd spin. The senior official’s comments are clueless ten times over, including the presumably inadvertent support they lend to Putin’s low estimate of Obama.