Monday, September 9, 2013

Turn Over Chemical Weapons - Russia Calls Kerry's Bluff

Yesterday, numerous organizations reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry threw the dice yet again to justify an attack on Syria. What he actually did was technically offer Syria a way to avert an attack, then promptly claim that it would never happen.

"Asked by CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan whether there was any way, at this stage, for Assad to stop an attack by the U.S., Kerry said the Syrian leader "could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over. All of it. Without delay, and allow a full and total accounting before that, but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done."

His handlers, not satisfied with the last line of their boss's statement, went even further in an effort to dismiss the hypothetical scenario. 

"Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, said later that Kerry's one-week ultimatum was not meant to be taken literally.

"Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Asad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used," Psaki said. "His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts can not be trusted to turn over chemical weapons otherwise he would have done so long ago."

These guys are a joke. You can't offer terms for peace then in the same breath assert that your target can't or will not live up to them.

The great part was that the Russians eagerly took Kerry up on his offer:

"Russia is ready to immediately join work on the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in Syria as such control will help prevent a military attack on the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We don't know whether Syria will agree to it, but we will immediately join work with Damascus if establishing international control over chemical weapons in that country helps prevent attacks," Lavrov said in a special press statement issued on Monday.

Russia calls on Syria to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), put its chemical weapons storage facilities under international control, and expects a prompt reaction to that proposal from the Syrian government.

We have given our proposal to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem and we expect a prompt and, I hope, positive response," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Monday.

"We are calling on the Syrian government to reach agreements about the putting their chemical weapons storage facilities under international control, subsequent destruction of these weapons, and on the full-fledged joining to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)," he said......"

Want something better than that? Syria basically answered "Is that all? Why didn't you say so?"

"Syria’s foreign minister immediately gave a thumbs-up to the unexpected pitch from its most powerful ally.

“Syria welcomes Russia’s proposal for Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control,” Walid al-Moallem said......"

The moral of the story is to never assume that you opponent will not take you up on your offer.

Separate of the March chemical attack that was, according to a 100-page report made by the Russians and submitted to the UN, very likely the work of the rebels (Below), a German media outlet reports that German intelligence has evidence that Syrian military officials used chemical weapons in defiance of Assad's prohibition in August (second link).

Now for the last note for tonight - Glenn Beck gives a very solid reason why the Saudis and Qataris are willing to fund our mercenary services on an attack on the Syrian government:

"......Beck explained that there are two oil and natural gas pipelines that have been vying for access to Syria, one of which would go through Iran and Iraq, the other of which would go through Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The latter was denied by Syria, Beck said, much to the dismay of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Beck then noted that John Kerry said certain Arab countries have offered to pay for a U.S. strike on Syria.

“Wow, the kindness of their hearts! Or is it the kindness of their radical Islamist hearts?” Beck said. “It’s all about money and oil. They want a pipeline, and they are prepared to do anything to get [the pipeline that benefits them] as opposed to [the other] pipeline.”

Classic - we are close to becoming the paid thugs of the sultans with the petrodollars


  1. Obama said in one of his interviews that this was the subject of a sidebar discussion with Putin at the G20. I have two observations:

    1) Obama is claiming that it was his idea. (Of course he forgot to tell Kerry about it)
    2) Obama made some kind of secret agreement with Putin in order for Putin to bail him out. Want to take odds as to what it was? My bet is that Obama will announce a unilateral destructions of, say, 90% of our nuclear arms.

    No war is a good thing. The consequences of Obama's original argument are real...just not enough to go to war over. With the Russians meddling in it those consequences could get a lot worse.

    1. I will certainly allow that this may not have been a mistake of Kerry's. It could have been a planned thing made to look like an offhand comment. Let's hope that our arsenal does not get gutted.