Feel the hope and change in action!
Russia used Iran as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants for the first time on Tuesday, widening its air campaign in Syria and deepening its involvement in the Middle East.
In a move underscoring Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran's Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria.
And the Russian planes flew over Iraq to carry out the strikes.
Say? Will my repeated complaints about putting our aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf get some attention now?
Oh, and so much for the Carter Doctrine, I guess.
Our president builds his legacy every day.
UPDATE: I'd be shocked if the Russians violated a UN Security Council resolution by staging air attacks over Syria out of Iran:
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. government attorneys had not yet decided whether they think Russia's use of the Iranian base is a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which was passed as part of the Iran nuclear deal.
The resolution governs some military interactions between Iran and other countries, including the supply, sale or transfer of military technologies or the provision of training or financial assistance related to the acquisition of new technologies.
And if this new practice is technically a violation, I'd be even more shocked if the Russians care one whit about our opinion.
The president desperately wants this to be a red line established by the international community in order to avoid responsibility rather than admit that the red line was established long ago by a Democratic president.
UPDATE: The Iran-Russia-Assad axis is solidified:
Iran’s decision to openly allow foreign troops on its soil for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution – and the first Russians since World War II – is testament to its desire to achieve strategic gains and ensure that the high cost of its involvement in the Syrian war, including the loss of more than 400 Revolutionary Guard troops and a number of generals, not be in vain.
For Russia’s part, its decision to use the Shahid Nojeh military airbase in western Iran underscores its calculation that bolstering its nearly year-long overt military intervention – which began dramatically with Russia airstrikes launched from a base in the Syrian coastal town of Latakia – can help tip the battlefield in Assad's favor.
Perhaps just as significantly, the high-profile move allows both nations to ease their isolation, imposed by the US and the West, while spreading their regional influence through the use of hard power.
Add in Turkey's wobble from NATO's orbit in reaching out to Russia (which I think is fleeting but no less useful to Russia and Iran in the short run) and the fact that Iraq allowed the Russian overflights which would erode our influence in Iraq and tilt Iraq to this axis, and you see a full-court Russian push to displace us from the northern Middle East.
And the clowns tumbling out of our figurative foreign policy car call what they do "smart diplomacy."
The reordering of the Middle East is proceeding apace. Where for 40 years the U.S.-Egypt alliance anchored the region, a Russia-Iran condominium is now dictating events. That’s what you get after eight years of U.S. retrenchment and withdrawal. That’s what results from the nuclear deal with Iran, the evacuation of Iraq and utter U.S. immobility on Syria.
Sometimes I wonder if I am too hard on Secretary of State Kerry when you consider that even a true genius would be nullified by the idiocy from his boss who directs his actions.