I found this discussion, by The Saker at unz.com, of the current state of Russian and US actions regarding Syria and each other quite insightful. Note however that his conclusions mirror my own tentatively-held beliefs quite closely.
Right now, the USA appears to be completely clueless. First, they accused the Russians of bombing the “wrong” terrorists. The Russians then replied “okay, give us a list of “bad terrorists” targets and we will destroy them”. The Americans refused. Then the Russians told them, “okay then, in this case at least give us a list of “good terrorist” targets not to bomb, and we will not hit them”. But the Americans refused again! At this point, the Russian began making openly fun of the Americans and Putin even declared that his American “partners” have “mush for brains”.
Furthermore, the USA have also refused a Russian invitation to send military specialists to the Russian General Staff and now they have apparently even refused to receive a Russian military delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev himself! I don’t think I have ever heard of a “sulking superpower” but that is what we are apparently observing right now. How long Uncle Sam will continue to pout in his corner is anyone’s guess, but this is clearly not a sustainable policy. In fact, it is no policy at all.
I see no sign of the USA having the courage to look at reality and act accordingly. Not only is the Obama Administration at an absolutely unprecedented level of incompetence and intellectual mediocrity, the upcoming Presidential election is just making things worse: with bona fide psychopaths like Hillary, McCain or Fiorina making irresponsible statements on an almost daily basis, the White House must constantly dodge accusations of being “too soft on Russia”. And since no US politician can afford to tell the American public the basic truth that the US is not omnipotent, US politicians are stuck in a never ending race to prove how “tough” they are on “defense”. As for the Europeans, they probably have the brains to see all of the above, but what they lack is the spine to say anything to their American overlords.
Quite right, I think. It’s quite horrifying to see the US government in such a state of cluelessness. It’s like watching your best friend, and the bloke who protects you from the bullies in the playground, suffering a fit of absent-mindedness bordering on dementia.
And not only is there another 14 or so months to go until Obama is replaced, there’s no guarantee that the person who replaces him and his team will be any better.
Just like in the Ukraine, the West has made created a total mess and now is completely clueless as to what to do about it.