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September 16, 2013

Agreement Reached on Syria’s Weapons

The U.S. agreed to Russia’s terms on Syria, further cementing the disaster that is Obama’s Middle East policy.

The U.S. agreed Saturday to Russia’s terms on Syrian chemical weapons, further cementing the disaster that is Barack Obama’s Middle East policy. Under the agreement, Syria has one week to account for its chemical arsenal, while international inspection will take place by November, and the weapons will (supposedly) be destroyed beginning next year. A UN Security Council resolution will provide stern warnings about “consequences” if Syria doesn’t comply. So there.

U.S. policy in Syria – for better or worse – has been regime change for the last couple years. However, once Obama’s “red line” was crossed, the “consequence” was that Bashar al-Assad is now in charge of – and an indispensable part of – Russia’s plan to disarm his own regime. Then again, bombing Assad’s regime on behalf of al-Qaida rebels wasn’t exactly desirable either, so perhaps credit is due to Obama and John Kerry for backing off that threat. By the way, 98% of Syrians dead in this civil war were killed without chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, Assad’s henchmen spent the year since the “red line” comments moving those chemical weapons around to numerous undisclosed locations not only in his own country, but also reportedly back to Iraq, where at least some of them no doubt came from in the first place. In other words, look for Assad to “cooperate” just enough to postpone any U.S. attack but with enough flexibility to avoid real cooperation. And if the U.S. does strike in response, how will we ensure those weapons don’t end up in the hands of our al-Qaida foes?

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