Skip to comments.US open to Russian proposal for Syria to hand over chemical weapons
Posted on 09/09/2013 1:46:08 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
The White House gave a cautious welcome on Monday to a Russian proposal for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control, opening up the first real chance of a political settlement to the crisis since hundreds of civilians died in an attack on a Damascus suburb last month.
Russia's suggestion, made as a result of an apparent stumble by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, set off a diplomatic scramble in Washington as administration officials sought to assess whether it offered a way out for Barack Obama from what has become an increasingly intractable problem.
US deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said "it would be terrific" if Syria followed through the proposal advance by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, to put its chemical stockpiles under the control of international observers.
But he nevertheless expressed scepticism over whether it would do so. "Unfortunately, the track record to date does not inspire a lot of confidence," Blinken said.
The White House said it would work with the Russians to explore the deal, in discussions that would take place "in parallel" with continued efforts in Washington to persuade US lawmakers to authorise the use of military force against Syria.
A day of intense diplomatic activity began in London, where Kerry suggested that the only way for Syria to avoid the threat of a US attack would be for it to hand over all its chemical weapons within a week. The remarks were characterised as a blunder by some Washington commentators, and the Department of State at first attempted to play down their significance, saying Kerry had been speaking "rhetorically" about a situation that was unlikely to materialise.
But the comments were immediately seized on by Lavrov...
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Can I borrow that?
You know.. in light of this and other incidents of recent Russian sanity...
It’s sad as hell when we have to look to the Soviets for same.
But then it would be hard for anyone to perform worse than our esteemed “leadership”.
Like they really have a choice not to.
Translation: Kerry tried to take credit for the Russian proposal before it was made public. Sensitive diplomatic discussion was leaked to make Kerry/Obama look good.
A country with an arsenal of 10K nukes isn’t bluffing. And it doesn’t need to. They know no American president (except maybe McCain, but he ain’t the prez yet) will risk even a limited nuclear exchange over an issue that doesn’t involve US interests.
obama would love to see nukes going off if they only hit US and Israel. He wants this country destroyed.
The Zero administration was against it this morning, before they were
for it, this afternoon.
This administration is a joke.
Hate to burst your bubble, but who knows what this cast of clowns will do from one moment to the next!
Syria policy is a mess.
Whose fault is that?
0bama backed himself into this stupid corner.
0bamas humiliation, despair and political defeat must serve as an example so that no president ever so stupidly puts our credibility on the line.
No bombing for Al Qaeda!
I can’t help but think this is a head fake by someone.
On the one hand, Obama will be able to spin this as his victory. By his pressure he forced the WMDs out of the hands of Assad and into the safe-keeping of the international community. It would involve a covert alliance between Putin and Obama and perhaps even Assad.
On the other hand, it could be Assad agreeing to a condition that is not real. One has no idea what “international control” means. It could mean anything, but my sense is that it means nothing. Otherwise, any sane group once they had control would destroy those weapons.
If “international control” does not mean destroyed, then someone is lying. (again). Why would the international community want to keep WMDs intact if they have “control” of them? That makes no sense.
The key is the destruction of those weapons. If they are not destroyed, and if they are not provably destroyed, then Assad retains some control over them.
Finally, all of this ignores the reality of chemical weapons that we learned in Iraq. If Assad retains the recipe for making them, and he has access to the precursor chemicals that make up the recipe, then he is turning over current weapons that degrade pretty rapidly.
Any deal that doesn’t seize precursers and forbid their shipment to Syria is a phony deal.
All in all, this “saves” Obama and can be spun as his ingenious plan all along.
Great analysis. I especially liked the details.
Sounds like a Russian trap to me.
If Russia proposes the idea, then Russia will be involved in the details. And the details will somehow give Assad access to those weapons.
If they don’t get destroyed, then this is simply a move in a game.