I would like to thank the final commentator in the most recent article from the Atlantic discussing the dick-measuring contest happening in the press about Syria, Putin, and Obama (like in this article, for example, or this cartoon). It is nice to know that I am not the only one to be irritated by this juvenile analysis that seems to be blatantly (egregiously, in my opinion, but I have high standards) ignorant of the current state of international affairs and unaware how international diplomacy works. After all, what did we lose, exactly, except for a chance to bomb Syria that nobody but journalists and hawkish policy wonks wanted anyway? Skepticism over whether the plan will actually come to fruition are justified, but with Russia very publicly on the line at least we have their normally obstructionist influence to add to the rest of the international community. Did anyone else notice that the UN finally came forth to denounce Syria’s use of sarin gas as a war crime, now that it is clear that such a declaration won’t lead to a bombing campaign? That is a diplomatic victory in and of itself. After admittedly painting himself into a corner, Obama and his team managed to find a way out that is honestly about as good as it is going to get in this conflict.