Syria alledgly accepts Russian offer to hand over chemical weapons
“Yes, you like Super Bowl ring? It was gift.”
Syria must really be terrified of the United States. President Bashar al-Hassad’s government will allegedly hand over all their chemical weapons to the international community, and will finally sign a ban of such weapons per the Chemical Weapons Convention. Pretty amazing concessions, not only because it might help avert a US attack, but because Assad vehemently denies ever using chemical weapons at all.
Why accept a punishment if you did nothing wrong? American bombs, that’s why. Russia says the deal is dependent on an America promises to drop military action, but America doesn’t take orders from the people it’s about to bomb. On the bright side, President Obama called the Syrian concessions a “potential breakthrough”. The official line from the White House is that America should still pursue limited military options to punish Assad put other chemical weapons-loving dictators on notice.
Not everyone has a cheery outlook. Secretary of State Kerry doesn’t believe Assad, saying “this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago.”
How this will play out is anyone’s guess. Will Assad actually follow through and hand over Syria’s entire chemical weapons stash? Will Syria allow continued inspections to ensure they’re keeping their word? Is Assad just stalling with hopes the US lays off banging the war-drums? Most importantly, will this be enough to keep American bombs out of Syria? If Syria doesn’t follow through, then is military action called for? We all saw what happened in the way-too-similar Saddam/Iraq shitshow, so the ultimate results will depend on the brutal dictator in question.
Obama haters are working hard to paint the Russian offer as a weak-White House failure, but this wasn’t a one day-result from a Kerry gaffe or some random Russian diplomatic brainfart. Everyone benefits if this goes down. Russia – as the deal “broker” – gets a chance to earn back some credibility lost after refusing any UN Security Council measure to punish or even just verbally rebuke Assad’s murderous regime. In return, Russia puts themselves on the hook by becoming the de facto guarantors that Syria will keep their word. Syria agrees to the deal because Assad gets to hang around and continue to kill citizens without intervention- albeit just with normal bombs and bullets. Best of all, the US and Obama don’t have to play soft, but instead re-establish street cred as the Badass willing to go to war to protect the world’s moral integrity.
As for accomplishing Obama’s other main goals: a) punish Assad for using chemical weapons, b) keep Syria from using chemical weapons again, and c) deter other murderous despots from using chemical weapons in the future — time will tell. In the meantime, just revel in the fact that Assad seems to be scared just as shitless as the Syrians he terrorizes – and that fear might keep us from sparking WW3.
Read: Syria says it ‘welcomes’ Russia proposal on chemical weapons – The Washington Post.
Read: Syria Will Sign Chemical Weapons Convention, Declare Arsenal, Foreign Ministery Says.