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Thursday, September 19, 2013

About Syrian CW . . . Oh, Never Mind

It's hard to keep up with those eager beavers over at Legal Insurrection, in my view the best blog on the internet today--and not just on legal issues. I was sitting down to my bowl of Nissin noodles, when I saw that LI had beat me to the punch of linking to the LA Times story that, in essence, confirms what I wrote earlier in my "Peace in our Time" post about the US-Russia "deal" on Syrian CW,
The "deal" will be, I promise you, a multinational mess that will require seemingly endless discussions and travel and drafts of this and that protocol with this and that amendment.
The LAT  headline reads, "U.S. backs off deadline for Syria to submit chemical weapons list." Surprise! Another "red" line gets erased.

Let's get a bit more,
The U.S.-Russian plan for the removal or destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough just days ago, appeared to run into trouble Wednesday as the Obama administration backed off a deadline for the Syrian government to submit a full inventory of its toxic stockpiles and facilities to international inspectors.

The State Department signaled that it does not expect Syrian President Bashar Assad to produce the list within seven days, as spelled out in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva. 
Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that “our goal is to see forward momentum” by Saturday, not the full list. “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.” 
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry had described the deadline as the first of a series of “specific timelines” that would indicate whether Syria is committed to the pact, which demands that Assad's government give up its chemical weapons in exchange for the United States shelving the threat of airstrikes. 
“We agreed that Syria must submit within a week – not in 30 days, but in one week -- a comprehensive listing,” Kerry said Saturday. He said the U.S. would allow “no games, no room for avoidance or anything less than full compliance.”
Disconnects within disconnects within disconnects.  Does anybody at State bother to read or listen to whatever SecState John Kerry says? Kerry is out of touch not only with Obama but even with "his" own State Department Foggy Bottom crew. Can the clown car analogy get any stronger? So the LAT, and let's give some praise to the liberal LAT for the story, now tells us what any mildly intelligent observer already knew,
Although Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, sought last weekend to portray the two powers as united, the gap between them has become more apparent in the days since and is threatening to snarl efforts to craft a United Nations Security Council resolution that lays out how Syria is to meet its obligations. 
The resolution needs to be complete before the first steps can be taken to eliminate the arsenal. But diplomats said that Western nations split with Russia in a meeting Tuesday over Western demands for tough enforcement of the agreement. 
Diplomats hope to complete the resolution by Friday, but if they fall short, the work may be delayed further because of a meeting next week of the U.N. General Assembly.
Wow! Who didn't see that coming? As noted before, Lavrov completely outplayed Kerry. So, again, as noted before,
The game is in the hands of the UNSC which will decide what is a violation and what measures to take if there is a violation. Obama and Kerry would, therefore, have to go it alone, again, if they want to punish Assad. Think they have the stomach for another round of this game? After badmouthing the UNSC and the UN, the Obama people have turned the game over to the UNSC and the UN.  
Assad and his CW are safe. Wonder how the Iranians see this? If, that is, they can see anything through their tears of laughter.


  1. In addition, there are reports (admittedly coming from gov't opposition groups) in the Jerusalem Post that vegetable trucks have been crossing the Syrian border into Lebanon and maybe Iraq without being inspected by border guards . . . . . it certainly makes sense for Assad to use Hezbollah and other allies to try to move chemical weapons out of Syria into secret hiding before the inspections - and this is the ME after all, where borders can be porous.

    1. Nahhhhhhhhhh. You're too cynical and probably a racist. That stuff sloshing around is just pesticide to protect the veggies.

  2. Blast from the past:

    Let’s say, though, just for the sake of discussion, that the process goes just as smoothly in Syria as it did in Oregon, that it will take precisely the same amount of time to destroy Assad’s arsenal, and that they (whoever they are) can get started tomorrow.

    They won’t finish until 2021. Because that’s how long it took down the road from my house.

    But there’s no chance destroying this stuff will happen as swiftly and smoothly in Syria as it did in Oregon. That wouldn’t be good enough anyway. It would need to happen more swiftly and smoothly. And the only thing that happens more swiftly and smoothly in Syria than in Oregon is the deployment of car bombs.

    Furthermore, I doubt a single high-level person involved in this international performance will ever even try to make it work. Because it’s damn near impossible and everyone knows it. It doesn’t matter, though, because this is about face-saving status quo maintenance.



  3. Putin knows his American nomenklatura very well.
    He knew Obama was in a panic and would take practically any deal so long as he could avoid a vote in Congress.
    He knew the American media would rally to spin the diplomatic deal as a great Obama victory.
    What we have here is cynically behavior hatched between a dictator from Russia and a wannabe in America.

    Never thought I ever see this.

  4. Yeah.....leave it to the Boston boys to really screw things up.

    Seriously, has anybody half-way competent come out of Boston, Harvard or Wellesley?

    And the african king was never one to hand in assignments, so he can relate to how when you get chooming wid da bro's how deadlines become, well NOT deadlines, more like "lets go see the academic counsellor and get an excuse note" or lets vote present.

    Damned impressive, Boston excellence, lets rename the university Hahahavard.-Spit.

  5. Our current Goverment is irretrievable stuck on stupid, and remember, "You can't fix Stupid". How embarrassing. Can we either impeach this bunch of fast-forward time so we can be done with this "error".


    1. Oh no. Not impeach! BHO's no-impeach insurance is Uncle Joe, the clown in the attic.

      Besides, he's ratcheted up the racial hostilities so high it would be national guard time in the major FAIL cities' urban reservations. And then he'd say the government couldn't afford to send troops because of the sequester.

      Though I will admit your assessment is spot on. The embarrassment & shame every time I see the phrase "Secretary of State Kerry" is not abating with time. It shows how much BHO wants the US to go down the tubes.

  6. Iran will look at this comedy act and conclude that now is the time to seek a "dialog" with the muzzie and his friends running/destroying this country. But only until they get their first nuke working...

  7. The Economist has a piece on this Syria mess and it is none too flattering. "America, Russia and Syria
    The weakened West".

    1. The West must be weak - why else would Iran be interested in negotiating, now?

    2. A patsy in the White House will do it every time.

  8. The really scary part of this is our draw down of the military while our CnC has been exposed as a feckless leader more concerned with him image than with the national interest. With the cuts going to the DOD over the next 3 years, our global reach at the end of the Obama term may be just a distant memory. The likes of China, North Korea and so many others can only be waiting, planning, calculating risk for an attack on one or more of our vital interests.

    1. Coincidentally enough, Henry Nau had an op/ed in yesterday's WSJ titled "The Best Diplomacy is an Armed Diplomacy."

      He notes (among other great points) that "Arms compel the adversary to take diplomacy seriously. And using lesser force early often avoids the need for greater force later."

      Pretty much as TR suggested in fewer words: speak softly and carry a big stick.

      It's so disappointing that we have to learn these lessons over and over and over again.

    2. CC it is not a new concept. A Roman, Vegetius, wrote almost 2,000 years ago -Si vis pacem, para bellum - If you wish for peace prepare for war. Still holds good.

  9. Remember, when you sit down at the poker table and you can't tell who the sucker is, you're it, or, in this case, we're it. Putin and Assad must be laughing their asses off.

  10. It is now crystal clear that the O is an amateur who is way out of his league. Our enemies have taken our measure, and we'll see a very serious international crisis somewhere before the O leaves office.

    1. It is probably safe to assume that Israel will be left high and dry. They probably never planned on Obama being a friend but not a sell out too.

    2. In the Middle East, Iran has been the key issue for the last decade. And of course, Syria is just a proxy war between the Saudis and the Iranians for regional dominance.

      If there's going to be a crisis in the Middle East before O leaves office, keep a close watch on Iran and the Israelis. You would not want to be an Israeli leader counting on help from the US in a pinch, with Obama in office, would you?

  11. At this point it would be much easier to list the nations that aren't laughing at us.


    1. Tottie there are a lot of us waiting for the return of the US we knew and still support. Don't let us down.

  12. Sorry to post a link. But a UK Blogger, Cranmer, has posted an article on the gassing of those children. According to a Christian Nun, it was all fake. A good read if you are interested.

    Apologies to host if not.


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