US President Barack Obama has put military action against Syria on hold and vowed to pursue diplomacy to remove the regime's chemical weapons. Damascus now admits it has chemical weapons and has agreed to abide by a Russian plan to hand over its arsenal. The US had threatened strikes after a gas attack killed hundreds last month. Read more >>
The cartoon by Chappatte from the International Herald Tribune shows an unhappy Obama sitting in the cockpit of a plane bristling with missiles and bombs. A giant post-it note attached to the front of the plane says 'Russia' plan, and Putin comments, "We have neutralised his dangerous arsenal." In the background, a smiling President Assad can be seen.
The joke is that the 'dangerous arsenal' belongs to the US, and not to Syria, as one might expect. The cartoonist is making the point that Putin's 'peace' plan, has, for the time being at least, averted the threat of US military intervention in the Syrian crisis.
1. If you neutralize something, you stop it from having any effect. • The latest figures should neutralize the fears of inflation.
2. An arsenal is a collection of weapons such as guns and explosives. • In 1967, the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal peaked at 31,255 warheads.