"Obama now has the option to cooperate with Putin to stabilize the Syrian regime and pressure erstwhile US 'allies' to cut off Al Qaeda and the Islamic State from money, guns and recruits," says Parry, pointing to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf sheikdoms as sources of covert support for the Sunni extremists.
"Though that might seem like clearly the best of the bad remaining options, it faces extraordinary obstacles from Official Washington," the group of neocons and liberal war hawks who make up the foreign policy elite that has presided over America's worst foreign policy decisions, and who continue to push for "regime change" in Syria.
If Assad becomes the latest leader to be toppled by the regime change doctrine pressed by the Official Washington elite, "the result would be Sunni jihadist forces filling the vacuum with the black flag of terrorism fluttering over the ancient city of Damascus."
Instead, Perry recommends that Obama seize his last chance to help stabilize the Syrian situation and "face down these bellicose voices and start leveling with the American people about the nuanced realities of the world."
"Russian President Vladimir Putin has clarified the situation for President Obama. With Russia stepping up its military support for Assad’s regime with the goal of defeating the Islamic State’s head-choppers and Al Qaeda’s terrorism plotters, Obama’s options have narrowed."
The use of US influence to force so-called "moderate" Sunnis in Syria to enter negotiations with representatives of President Bashar al-Assad, and threatening severe financial punishments against countries that support terrorist groups are two important measures the US president could take to correct the course of US foreign policy, and join Russia's effort to stabilize the country.