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I listened to both President Obama’s and President Putin’s speeches at the annual UN General Assembly on CNN this morning. I am glad to hear that both U.S. and Russia are willing to work together with Iran in order to defeat the “Islamic State” that has been terrorizing Syria and some parts of Iraq. The two heads of the most powerful nations agreed that ISIS is a great threat to the world but disagreed with regard to the involvement of Syrian President Assad in their effort to defeat ISIS. Where President Obama, who spoke first, categorically rejected the idea of involving Assad who had terrorized his own people for several years, President Putin insisted the importance of cooperating with Assad’s military.

I admire President Obama and his principled approach toward the world as well as domestic affairs. But, in light of what had happened to Iraq after the demise of Saddam Hussein, I cannot help but think that a more realistic transitional way for Syria to become a better society is to allow President Assad to stay in power for the time being somehow “assisting” him to drastically change his ways of dealing with his people until Syria becomes a safer place for the millions of refugees to come back.

Listening to the world leaders to speak at the UN General Assembly, I believe most of them are rational and sane, desiring peace and well-beings for their peoples, though their perspectives, which have been affected by their histories, geographical locations, and cultures, may be quite different. I hope the talk between President Obama and President Putin today will be a productive one.