US Senator Rand Paul attends a hearing on military intervention in Syria in the Senate in Washington on September 3.© AFP 2013/ Brendan Smialowski
WASHINGTON, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – If global wrangling over Syria’s chemical weapons were a tennis match, Russian President Vladimir Putin would be up a point on his American counterpart Barack Obama, US Senator Rand Paul said Wednesday.
“It would be the umpire shouting: ‘Advantage Putin.’ He seems to be running circles around this administration,” Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, said on conservative talk show host Glenn Beck’s radio program as Russian and US diplomats headed to Geneva for talks on a Russian plan to prevent a possible US attack on Syria.
Russia floated the plan Monday after US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a seemingly off-the-cuff statement that Syria could avert a US military action by surrendering its chemical weapons to the international community.
After Syria quickly embraced the plan, the United States shifted from a military stance to a diplomatic one on Syria, with Obama asking US lawmakers to postpone a vote authorizing the use of force against and dispatching Kerry for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov set to begin Thursday.
Obama “appears to have backed into this through some sort of lucky happenstance,” Paul said, adding that he hoped the Russian proposal would turn out to be “true and sincere” so that “maybe some resolution comes to the conflict” in Syria, where more than 100,000 people have died during two years of civil war.
But Paul stopped short of agreeing with Beck that Russia was eclipsing the United States as the world’s sole superpower, saying Moscow was merely “grasping to try to continue to look like the superpower that they once were” while the United States was still “truly a superpower,” but “a little confused and stumbling” at the moment.
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