Who says that Putin is smarter than Obama? Obama has succeeded in doing something that Putin could never have done, himself. Obama has succeeded in putting Russia in a key position to influence both Syria and Egypt. The leaves Israel and Jordan as the only Middle Eastern countries that are dependent upon the USA for support. Obama says that he has Israel's back. That means that Israel is surrounded.
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Prominent Egyptian human rights lawyers arrested at Cairo airport (AP)
from the article: Russia returns to Egypt as U.S. backs away