The U.S. has criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for inviting his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad for a state visit, saying that Moscow rolled out a “red carpet welcome” for the embattled leader despite widely-held suspicions he committed war crimes against his own people.
The meeting took place on Tuesday as part of Assad’s first trip outside Syria since the nation’s civil war broke out in 2011. Putin has repeatedly shown support for ongoing military action in the Middle Eastern country, calling Syria a “friend” of Russia.
“We view the red carpet welcome for Assad, who has used chemical weapons against his own people, at odds with the stated goal by the Russians for a political transition in Syria,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters, according to the BBC.
Putin for now at least seems to be achieving his limited aims in Syria, while at the same time putting on shows like this one with Assad to further demonstrate Obama’s impotence. Obama counters by going into Full Foot-Stompy Mode, which only reinforces Putin’s point.
The good news for many of us is that our capacity for shame has long been overwhelmed.