06-07-2011, 01:34 AM
Obama can now expect smooth sailing for any move seeking UN Security Council legitimacy for a successor regime in Tripoli. A Russian veto can be ruled out. Also, Russia's volte-face over Libya has implications for Obama's strategy toward Syria, Russia's remaining Middle Eastern ally. The US is relentlessly seeking regime change in Syria and, once again, Russia stands in the way. But, for how long? Russian rhetoric continues to be strong on Syria. "Attempts to change the regime in Syria by using force should be curbed," Lavrov advised NATO on Thursday. But Damascus wouldn't be easily convinced. And that works to the US's advantage. On a broader plane, the message is going out that Obama's "reset" policy is slowly but steadily turning Russia from being an obstructionist power to a collaborator. Countries raging from Iran to Ukraine and Kazakhstan to Tajikistan would take note.