Krauthammer: Russians Were Playing Chess With Rank Amateurs And Saw Their Opening


BRET BAIER: Just to review, Charles, this started with Secretary of State Kerry answering a question in London in which right after he said it, the State Department said he was speaking rhetorically about a situation we thought had very low probability of happening and suddenly it may be U.S. policy.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Because I think the Russians were playing chess here with a set of rank amateurs and understood that that gaffe gave them the opening they wanted. There are two issues here: chemicals and the retaining in power of Assad and of the Iran/Hezbollah/Assad/Russian axis dominating the region.

The Russians clearly, immediately saw that this enabled them to achieve their two objectives. Keep Assad in power. After all, if we're going to have negotiations, we have to essentially recognize Assad. It's not that Assad has to go, he's the guy that's going to have to provide the protection for any inspectors, locate the sites, he's going to have to be in there. He's going to be a negotiating element in this. He will remain in power and the Russians are going to have their air base, the naval base, everything that they have.

And for the Russians who worry about their own Muslim -- unrest in the Muslim republics like Chechnyaā€ˇ, the idea of the jihadists in the rebellion in Syria getting hold of chemical weapons is a nightmare. So, if you remove the weapons and you keep Assad in power, the Russians have achieved everything that Russia wants.

Obama's has seized on this because it's the only way he saves face. That's a high price to pay, but I assure you he will seize that. It will be his policy as of now and as of his speech tomorrow night.

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