September 10, 2013

Russians Broker a Deal

Syria might transfer control of its chemical weapons to the UN. Will it defuse the situation?

A U.S. military strike against Syria is quite unpopular. The House would almost surely vote down Barack Obama’s resolution request, and the Democrat-controlled Senate delayed a vote until later this week. Even Michelle Obama is a “no” vote.

Fortunately, the Blame-Shifter in Chief now has an out: The Russians made a proposal for Syria to transfer control of its chemical weapons to the UN, and for those weapons to be dismantled. Syria officially accepted the offer Tuesday, and France, China and Iran signaled support. Obama pathetically tried to take credit: “This is something that is not new. I’ve been discussing this with President [Vladimir] Putin for some time now.”

Secretary of State John Unbelievably Small Kerry added some tough talk of his own, saying the U.S. won’t tolerate “delay” or “avoidance.” Kerry warned, “We’re waiting for that proposal, but we’re not waiting for long.”

The irony is that the proposal resulted from seemingly offhand remarks Kerry made indicating that such a transfer of weapons might defuse the situation. But sure – it was the plan the whole time. Doubly ironic is that Russia may have supplied some of the weapons they’re now trying to broker securing.

The deal serves two basic purposes. First, it saves Bashar al-Assad from facing a U.S. strike while ceding the dominant role to Russia. Assad may have added years to his lifespan. Second, it lets Obama off the hook after his threats over the “red line” he set-but-didn’t-set. Unfortunately, Obama’s foolishness and weakness has been on display throughout the ordeal, and it could be that Vladimir Putin finally felt sorry enough for him to throw him this lifeline.

The problem, as Charles Krauthammer notes, is that “The chances of these weapons being eliminated from Syria are less than of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year – and they are now mathematically eliminated. What this does is it will string out the process.”

So does anyone trust any of the players in this?

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