The Russia-Syria deal: What it means and what now?

Middle EastUS Politics
on 105 Comments
Syria's foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Mouallem (left) with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

This is cross-posted from Helena Cobban’s blog Justworldnews.org, which contains other informative material about Syria.

Watching Syrian FM Walid Mouallem on the TV news announcing his country’s acceptance of Russia’s plan to consign all Syria’s CW stockpile to international control and then destruction was an amazingly powerful sight. With this one stroke, all the air went out of the campaign Pres. Obama has been ramping up, to win public and Congressional support for a U.S. “punitive” military attack against Syria. (Shortly after Mouallem’s announcement, the Democratic leader of the senate, Harry Reid, withdrew the war resolution from consideration there…)

As of now, Moscow deal looks like win-win-win all round for everyone with legitimate interests in the Syria situation:

  • First of all and most importantly, it is a win for the vast majority of the Syrian people– those who are desperate for an end to the conflict and want nothing more than to go home and see their country’s war-ravaged fabric (physical and social) repaired. Under what political circumstances? Still to be determined. But at least they have a much better chance of this happening now than if U.S. Cruise missiles had been used to further stir up the  stew of their country’s conflict.
  • It’s a win for both Pres. Obama and the American people. The American people had shown, overwhelmingly, that they (we) neither wanted nor needed this war. But Obama was still kind of hoisted on the self-created petard of his various pronouncements about Syria’s CW– not only the various ‘Red Lines’ statements he made earlier, but also all the recent statements claiming a surety of knowledge about what happened August 21st that has never yet been backed up by the public provision of any evidence. Here in the United States as around the world, there were loud calls for him to present his evidence. He never has. As this made-in-Moscow deal goes forward (which I expect it will), Obama will likely be relieved that he never has to show what, by many accounts, seems to have been a very weak evidentiary hand.
  • Meantime, Obama, we, the Syrian people, their neighbors, and the world will all– if the deal goes ahead– have won the significant gain that the Syrian government will have verifiably destroyed its reportedly extensive CW arsenal.
  • This is, quite likely, also a ‘plus’ for the Syrian regime itself. From the time the verified collection and depositing of the regime’s official arsenal into international hands takes place, it should be abundantly clear that any subsequent use of CW that occurs in Syria has been undertaken by other parties. Also, keeping good control of the CW arsenal as various parts of the country have fallen out of the regime’s hands may well have been a big problem for the regime. Now, many army commanders may welcome being relieved of that task.
  • The other big ‘plus’ of the plan for the regime is that its survival and integrity is, obviously, crucial to the success of the plan. The plan for CW collection– and whatever comes after it in terms of political negotiations– cannot go ahead without the full participation of the Syrian government. The longstanding campaign that Washington has been leading, claiming that “Asad must go before there are any negotiations” has been dealt a severe, likely fatal blow. Asad will have traded, in effect, his longstanding CW arsenal (which has been Syria’s main deterrent against the threat posed by Israel’s undoubted superiority at the level of conventional, chemical, and nuclear weapons) for a recognized place at the table.
  • Another significant winner in this is, of course, Moscow. By pulling this deal out of their hats, Putin and Lavrov have underlined that they, too, are significant players both in the Syrian theater and also (to some extent), on the world scene. Putin is not Yeltsin, as I noted here just a few days ago.
  • The deal could well also prove beneficial to the prospects for a long overdue de-escalation of Iranian-American tensions. Since a lot of the mobilization here in the United States for a war on Syria was done in the name of “demonstrating credibility” in the continuing face-off against Iran, the two issues are of course linked… So, since the Syrian face-off now seems potentially amenable to a negotiated resolution– well, why don’t we all try the same thing with Iran??
  • The Moscow deal is also a real boost for international legitimacy and the rule of law. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has for many years been a fairly docile ally of Washington. But over recent weeks, even he has become sterner and sterner in his warnings against unilateral U.S. military action. The U.N. team that went into the areas of eastern Damascus that were struck on August 21 was able to get blood and soil samples that the U.S. has never had access to. As in Iraq in 2003, the issue is: Will Washington give the U.N. inspectors the chance to do their job? The U.N. will probably also have a big role in organizing the CW-collection program and the political talks that, I dearly dearly hope, will follow inside Syria. At this point, only the U.N. is capable of performing these tasks. It will be a U.N. in which Russia, China, and many other powers will be pulling their weight– no longer, as so often in the past, one in which Washington calls all the shots. Good.

Who is this deal not good for? I would say, firstly, the Qaeda-linked and other takfiris in Syria, who have been working assiduously since spring 2011 to draw the Americans in, in order to “win” their battles in Syria for them– a gameplan they had pursued with such success in Libya in March 2011. (Has anyone looked at the situation in Libya recently??)

Oh boy, am I glad that we will not be marking the 12th anniversary of 9/11 by seeing a U.S. military attack against Syria that aids the local affiliates of Al-Qaeda there.

The Moscow-Syria deal is probably also not good for the Saudis– more specifically, that dreadful old rogue Prince Bandar, who has worked hard over recent months, alongside the takfiris, to also draw the Americans in to the war in Syria.

The deal is definitely not good for Susan Rice, Samantha Power, or John Kerry. The attempts these three have made to (a) hype the threat in Syria, (b) express certainty where none was warranted, and (c) sell the war to Congress and the American people– let alone that 95% of humankind who are not U.S. citizens!– have been mendacious, ill-informed, and unsuccessful. They have led the president into looking pretty stupid. Should they keep their jobs? I don’t know.

Is the deal good or bad for he Israelis? I don’t know that, either. Surely, many in Israel will be relieved if the Syrian government’s stocks of CW are destroyed. But there are also plenty of people in the Israeli MIC elite who have said they would love to see the Syrian civil war drag on for many years. The rest of the international community must not allow that to happen!

So what now?  The first task, of course, will be to organize the internationally-mandated body that will go to Syria to collect the CW. Obviously, Russia will have a big part in that body, but it should also have a strongly credible international flavor to it; and of course, it should act under a clear mandate from the U.N. Security Council.

But the Security Council needs to go a lot further. It needs urgently to resume a high-level, internationally supervised process of intra-Syrian political negotiations: the ‘Geneva II’ that has been so long promised, but was always being postponed so long as Washington held to its insistence that “Asad must go before there are negotiations.” That position is no longer credible. Geneva II must be a determinedly all-party deliberation– that is, all the actually Syrian parties to the conflict should be represented; and all the thousands of outsiders who have flocked to the country to fight there should, of course, not be.

Something like six million of Syria’s 23 million people have been displaced by this conflict– two million outside, and another four million within the country. They cry out for restoration of the most basic elements of human life and human dignity. If a negotiation effort starts very soon, perhaps some of these  people can find their situation stabilized before the cold of winter sets in.

Of course there will be spoilers. But determined and collaborative action by all the great powers, inside and outside the Security Council, can shift the dynamic from one of armaments, escalation, bloodshed, and suffering to one of repair and reconstruction. It will probably require a total international embargo on the supply of arms– by anyone!– to any parties inside Syria, along with some international guarantees that outside parties (especially Israel, which continues to occupy part of Syria’s territory, as it has since 1967) will not take any (further) advantage of the situation. (Israel’s recent drilling of oil on the Golan Heights, for example, should be halted forthwith.)

The Moscow-Syria deal gives Syria’s people the best chance they’ve had for 28 months to find a negotiated resolution to their  differences. Finding that resolution won’t be easy– though there is a good chance that a high degree of war weariness has already set in. Those of us who are outside Syria who detest war and foreign domination should be cheering Syria’s people on in their effort to negotiate with each other, and giving them all the humanitarian help their tattered country needs. The very last things they need now is more war. Big thanks to everyone who has helped the world step back from that terrible brink.

About Helena Cobban

Helena Cobban is the owner of Just World Books. She’s been blogging since 2003 at JustWorldNews.org. Her 1984 book The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power, and Politics, was published by Cambridge University Press and is still in print. Her early-1990 study “The PLO and the Intifada” was published in The Middle East Journal (Spring 1990).

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105 Responses

  1. RoHa
    September 9, 2013, 11:09 pm

    Pesky Russians! We’re trying to have a war here, you know?

  2. HRK
    September 9, 2013, 11:44 pm

    Awesome post! Thanks Helena!

  3. Denis
    September 9, 2013, 11:53 pm

    If I could be so effusive as Helena, I would change my username to “Pollyanna.”

    Gadaffi tried conciliation and it got him a bullet in the head. Saddam tried conciliation and it got him a noose.

    What Gadaffi, Saddam, and Assad had in common was relying on CWs as the “poor man’s deterrent” to a nuclear attack from Israel. It’s all they had. GoI and the neocons knew that they had to neutralize the CWs of all three countries in order to establish GoI military hegemony in the region. GoI acting through USG has taken them down one at a time.

    The ultimate outcome for Assad won’t be any different than it was for Gadaffi and Saddam. Once the CWs are out of the way, he’s a goner. I’m takin’ bets.

    • Taxi
      September 10, 2013, 1:10 am

      You’re wrong to compare there, Denis. Neither Saddam nor Gaddafi had Putin/Russia on their side. Syria is a completely different equation, in a completely different political environment.

      And you’re wrong about Gaddafi getting a “bullet in the head”: he didn’t get that, he got a sword up his jaxi (if you’ll pardon the image).

      • Denis
        September 10, 2013, 9:02 am

        Taxi: Syria is a completely different equation, in a completely different political environment.

        That’s what you and Helena don’t see: it’s the same equation. Israel = control of Levant.

        jaxi? Is that Yiddish?

        AP

        Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a doctor who accompanied the body in the ambulance and examined it, said Gaddafi died from two bullet wounds – to the head and chest.

        Wiki

        Libya’s chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Othman al-Zintani, carried out the autopsies of Gaddafi, his son and Jabr in the days following their death; although the pathologist initially told the press that Gaddafi had died from a gunshot wound to the head, the autopsy report was not made public

      • Taxi
        September 10, 2013, 9:57 am

        Denis,

        Israel’s “control over Levant” has seen better days. Israel’s hegemony is being challenged, by some very worthy opponents, I may add. Israel’s military deterrent for sure was lost in 2006 when it was defeated by hizbollah – this much has already been established.

        And as for “jaxi”, well that’s British slang for ‘anus’.

        And Gaddafi’s cause of death? Well, there is a video out there of one of his captors plunging his riffle’s bayonet up Gaddaffi’s jaxi and wiggling the sword, no doubt causing grievous internal hemorrhaging and agony that led to Gaddafi’s instant lapse into unconsciousness: you see him passing out on film. The bullet in the head followed a few minutes later, out of the fury of his captors, and not as a mercy killing. But of course, the bullet to the brain was the last fatal blow to his body – a body that wouldn’t have survived the internal violent cutting he received anyway.

        Sorry I can’t link the video cuz it’s just too hideous and gross of a search for me. But you can google it yourself if you like.

      • yrn
        September 10, 2013, 10:23 am

        Taxi reminds me of “The “Voice of Thunder”, the Cairo radio station that broadcast in the six days war from Cairo , that the Egypt Army is in the gates of Tel Aviv and that the Israeli Army has collapsed.
        I still have the Record of those fairy tales, they are amusing today too.
        It sounds the same as the Army expert Taxi.

      • eljay
        September 10, 2013, 10:45 am

        >> And Gaddafi’s cause of death? Well, there is a video out there of one of his captors plunging his riffle’s bayonet up Gaddaffi’s jaxi and wiggling the sword …

        Barbaric. No-one – not even a piece of sh*t like Gadaffi – deserves to have something like that done to them.

      • Taxi
        September 10, 2013, 2:11 pm

        yrn,

        It won’t be the “Voice of Thunder”, but the fist of reality announcing your destiny, you poor old sod. This is 2013, not 1967. You’re surrounded by countries pointing tens of thousands of missiles at tel aviv and all illegal settlements and you wanna just brush it all off? LOL! Well go ahead, knock yourself out, you smarmy dolt.

      • seafoid
        September 10, 2013, 3:24 pm

        The israeli army has been infiltrated by settlers, the equivalent.of having an armchair give succour to a colony of termites.

      • libra
        September 10, 2013, 6:10 pm

        And as for “jaxi”…

        Why arse about with such ephemeral slang when the tried and tested word remains, in all respects, fundamentally sound and, with a pedigree that traces back to Old English and beyond, can still today be grasped by Mondoweiss’s German-speaking community?

      • quercus
        September 10, 2013, 6:22 pm

        I saw that video too. Mr. Assad no doubt thinks something similar may happen to him, and the curs in our government don’t give a damn. Gadaffi’ was cooperating with the US in the (I nearly choke on this expression) “war-on-terror”, so think about it — this is what we allow (and yes, we allowed) to happen to those who have cooperated with us in the past. I’d find for my political and actual life too were I Assad.

      • ziusudra
        September 11, 2013, 2:35 am

        Greetings Taxi,
        I ‘loves’ ethymology, but
        old sod,
        smarmy dolt.
        jaxi
        is too much.
        How about: Yankee.
        When the English landed at Niew Amsterdam,
        the Dutch greeted them with Jon Kas ( John Cheese)
        being so pale after 6 weeks at Sea!
        Sheriff.
        The King sends out his ‘caller’ (AS, rief) into the Shires in the 9thC
        raving the King said. He who called out in the shire was the
        Sheriff ( AS, the Shire – rief)
        Adr. Champlaine sails into Quebec Harbour & asks the Hurons
        the Name of their land, they thought he meant ‘Village’ & answered
        village, Canada.
        ziusudra

      • gamal
        September 11, 2013, 5:14 am

        like the Shire-rief of Mecca?

      • Taxi
        September 11, 2013, 5:49 am

        Salutations Ziusudra,

        Linguistic diversity is cool – thanks for adding yours.

        And not forgetting here that there’s nothing more universal than a sincere and gutty grunt.

        ;-)

      • yrn
        September 11, 2013, 10:24 am

        “You’re surrounded by countries pointing tens of thousands of missiles at tel aviv ”

        Who are you talking about Taxi the Army expert.
        The Egyptian army…… Finished old and Rusty
        The Syrian Army……. Butchering it’s own Nation and killing each other
        The Lebanese Army……. well make me laugh.

        Oh Yes forgot the great Army of the Hezbolla, if there are going to be any soldiers left after they are been killed in Syria every day, but there will always be brave Hassan Nasrallah hiding in his bunker for years already..

        Looks like Israel dose not have to do anything,
        The Arab army are doing the job themselves by killing each other…….

      • Taxi
        September 11, 2013, 2:19 pm

        yrn,

        You’re the military expert, apparently, so you go get yourself a good night’s sleep – nothing here to worry about whatsoever. ‘We’ all know that Arabs don’t have armies or soldiers or any kinda guns whatsoever. And…. Hizbollah? What hizbollah? They don’t even exist. It’s all a figment of my imagination. I’ve finally seen the light just from reading your powerful post above. Thanks buddy for curing my delusion. Very kind of you.

        By the way, do they let you keep your gas mask after a crisis is over, or do you have to return it to your local idf supermarket?

    • Citizen
      September 10, 2013, 1:59 am

      @ Denis
      Good point about the poor man’s chemical weapons as deterrent from US/Israel power plays. Israel still controls Syria’s Golan Heights, and digs oil out there.

    • Naftush
      September 11, 2013, 4:19 am

      What a narrative. GoI and “the neocons,” through their compliant agent USG, are looking to establish military hegemony from, say, Afghanistan to Morocco, by threatening or perpetrating nuclear attacks, with the valiant Gadaffi, Saddam, and Assad holding them at bay with their puny CW (while dumping some on their own populations–you left that part out).
      Is it possible that you’ve contracted bird fever from Israel’s spy buzzards? If so, get well soon.

  4. Taxi
    September 10, 2013, 12:13 am

    LOL! The illegal strike was never gonna happen in the first place – the stakes for the whole world were simply way too high. We’ve just witnessed a most intense campaign of psychological warfare. Such assh*les to put the world through this eh! But really, Obama should be kissing Putin’s ring: Putin, with his excellent timing; Putin: the face-savior of Obama.

    Syria: Who needs chemical weapons when Syria’s S300 stock and other Russian war toys is now gonna grow?

    S300: The basic model, and there are several upgrades, can fire 100 missiles at 100 different targets, all simultaneously – reload time: 5 minutes. While the Patriot Missile system can fire at some 16 targets with loading time: half and hour.

    The Russian proposition has the long-term stated ambition of cleaning up the mideast from weapons of mass destruction, including that of israel’s illegal chemical/biological/nuclear arsenal. If israel thinks that Russia doesn’t have its big bear eye on israel’s illegal stocks, then its strategists and supporters are really deluded. Russia needs a stable mideast: it’s in its interest to work towards that, and AGAINST israel’s ongoing policy and actions of destabilization. This deal definitely puts israel in the corner, forces them to eat their soiled shorts as Bashar’s leadership remains in power till an internal political solution is achieved. He now has a ‘brighter’ green light to push forth and rid his country of foreign takfiris/israeli/turkish/usa/saudi agents and other violent agitators, by any conventional means necessary.

    A huge victory for Bashar and for the Syrian masses. A huge victory for the resistor Arabs and Iran: they remain intact and even stronger today for the recent inclusion of Russia’s public declarations of support.

    A huge victory for Russia: declaring itself back in the mideast game since its long hiatus. Declaring itself, at least in the mideast, as on power-par with the USA.

    • RoHa
      September 10, 2013, 2:30 am

      “A huge victory for the resistor Arabs …”

      But a defeat for the capacitor Arabs?

      • Taxi
        September 10, 2013, 2:52 am

        Yes, a huge significant loss for the “capacitor” Arabs. Looks like the olive-skinned Arabs have defeated the brown-skinned Arabs in Syria.

        The “capacitor” Arabs will from here on find it more and more difficult to send armed support to the foreign takfiri armies in Syria – not with Russia now actively working to stabilize Syria.

        Yes! Arab secularism just kicked fundamentalist moslem, jewish, and christian zionism in the teeth.

        The question now is: which country will the takfiri madmen get flushed into? They gotta go somewhere… but where?

      • marc b.
        September 10, 2013, 9:00 am

        The question now is: which country will the takfiri madmen get flushed into? They gotta go somewhere… but where?

        i’m no Assad fan, but hopefully his military will conduct ‘mopping up’ operations as the hostilities wind down and most of the takfiris will be g_d’s problem to sort out. unconditional surrender or bust. the POWs can go to SA. they can stay in the pool house at Bandar’s place.

      • xanadou
        September 10, 2013, 3:03 pm

        Africom has a lot of options:
        link to alternet.org

      • marc b.
        September 10, 2013, 8:43 am

        But a defeat for the capacitor Arabs?

        thanks. I just shot coffee through my nose.

      • Taxi
        September 10, 2013, 10:06 am

        RoHa has a decidedly unique sense of irony, and a great and succinct turn-of-pun. Big fan, me.

  5. Walid
    September 10, 2013, 12:19 am

    Good news, but not good enough. What’s the plan to take out the the foreign fighters or would they be left there to continue the destruction? Interesting that Helena C. raised the issue of the Golan and Israel’s oil-drilling on it. The destruction and breakup of Syria was necessary for Israel to permanently seal its theft of the Golan.

    • seafoid
      September 10, 2013, 10:36 am

      Israel’s Golan occupation will never be formally accepted outside the bot sphere. Same goes for East Jerusalem.
      Israel needs to understand that respecting international law is in its long term interest. Whenever Saladin 2.0 comes along Israel will be screaming for international law.

  6. bilal a
    September 10, 2013, 12:42 am

    Pat Buchanan says it all:

    Yesterday, too, came a stunning report in the Washington Post. [4]

    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has joined the Israeli lobby AIPAC in an all-out public campaign for a U.S. war on Syria

    Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League have invoked the Holocaust, with Hier charging the U.S. and Britain failed to rescue the Jews in 1942.

    Yet, if memory serves, in ’42 the Brits [5] were battling Rommel [6] in the desert and the Americans were still collecting their dead at Pearl Harbor [7] and dying on Bataan and Corregidor [8].

    The Republican Jewish Coalition, too, bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson [9], the Macau casino mogul whose solicitude for the suffering children of Syria is the stuff of legend, is also backing Obama’s war.

    Adelson, who shelled out $70 million [10] to bring down Barack, wants his pay-off—war on Syria. And he is getting it. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor [11] have saluted and enlisted [12]. Sheldon, fattest of all fat cats, [13] is buying himself a war.

    Yet, is it really wise for Jewish organizations to put a Jewish stamp on a campaign to drag America into another war that a majority of their countrymen do not want to fight?

    Just Whose War Is This? Sheldon Adelson’s?
    By Patrick J. Buchanan [1] on September 5, 2013
    link to vdare.com

    A Moscow brokered deal is a major loss for the Lobby , and Obama surely knows it.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    September 10, 2013, 12:50 am

    RE: “With this one stroke, all the air went out of the campaign Pres. Obama has been ramping up, to win public and Congressional support for a U.S. ‘punitive’ military attack against Syria.” ~ Cobban

    LAST-DITCH EFFORT BY THE WARMONGERS: Come on y’all, “we don’t want the smoking gun to be another toxic cloud”!

    SCARLETT AND THE TARLTON BOYS DISCUSS THE MERITS OF WAR:

    • Brent Tarleton: What do we care if we *were* expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is gonna start any day now, so we’d have left college anyhow.
    • Stuart Tarleton: War! Isn’t it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yankees actually *want* a war?
    • Brent Tarleton: We’ll show ‘em!
    • Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee! War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides… there isn’t going to be any war.
    • Brent Tarleton: Not going to be any war?
    Stuart Tarleton: Why, honey, of course there’s gonna be a war.
    • Scarlett: If either of you boys says “war” just once again, I’ll go in the house and slam the door.
    • Brent Tarleton: But Scarlett, honey…
    • Stuart Tarleton: Don’t you *want* us to have a war?
    [she gets up and walks to the door, to their protestations]
    Scarlett: [relenting] Well… but remember, I warned you.

    SOURCE – link to imdb.com

    • bilal a
      September 10, 2013, 12:54 am

      The Saudi (Israeli?) funded Mercs in Syria erred in terrorzing Aramaic speaking Nuns.:

      Do the Israelis, who have instructed AIPAC to get Congress back in line behind a war Americans do not want to fight, care about those 100,000 dead Syrians and 400 gassed children?

      Here is Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former general consul in New York, giving Israel’s view [9] of the Syrian bloodletting: “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death. That’s the strategic thinking here.”

      According to two polls reported this weekend by the Jerusalem Post, [10] Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria.

      America Says ‘No!’ to a Beltway War
      By Patrick J. Buchanan
      link to vdare.com

      • MHughes976
        September 10, 2013, 8:12 am

        I always thought Buchanan somewhat sinister but he is absolutely right about this matter – it’s a relief to see someone mentioning the plight of the Syrian Christians so incisively. I hope Obama and Kerry are harried on this point. It does seem to me that the next time Obama or his successors think of declaring an ‘intelligence’-led war or a war based on red line rhetoric the words will stick in their throats. The credit for this goes to the common sense of the American people – and in all the circs I think we in the UK can claims a little bit of it too.
        Which means that the Syrian press claims that the West is withdrawing from the ME contain some truth – and that must lead, I think, to some serious discussion – even if it begins in very muted tones – of the wisdom of subsidising Israeli militarism quite so massively. Perhaps at last, over some years, the Israelis will see the need to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians.
        Never thought I would be guardedly congratulating the reactionary Buchanan for opposing the (as I supposed) progressive Obama. Also my MP, the hard-right John Redwood, who abstained on war motion.

  8. piotr
    September 10, 2013, 12:57 am

    Actually, the deal would be also good for Kerry etc. They may ex post justify war mongering as statesmanship that lead to the laudable deal brokered by the Russians.

    As far as “taking out the foreign fighters” is concerned, that can be done only by Syrians, but the question is how to stop the river of arms and money they are getting from abroad, I guess mostly from Turkey. I suspect that there are slim chances for that barring the change of government in Turkey, although that is a possibility. After all, the ruling party somehow forgot its proud slogan of “no problems foreign policies” and instead started to find enemies everywhere, from Istambul parks to Syria, Armenia etc.

    • RudyM
      September 10, 2013, 1:22 am

      I’m confident the U.S. government could stop the flow of foreign fighters (and arms and money) to Syria, if it wanted to. The terror networks Saudia Arabia and Turkey and others help to set up and maintain are, at least a lot of the time, created with the knowledge and support of the U.S. government. If this seems over the top (probably not to most people who post here, at least not any more), I would strongly urge you to watch the conversations Sibel Edmonds has recorded with James Corbett regarding “Gladio B.” Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed’s The War on Freedom also provides a lot of good background on these types of operations. (I don’t think he goes all that far in taking about the official story of 9/11, not nearly as far as it can go, but the broader perspective he provides on government creation of terror networks is good.)

      Yes. Confident they could. Not at all confident they will.

      • piotr
        September 10, 2013, 8:53 am

        Stopping what you created may be hard. Even controlling CIA may be hard for all I know and Erdogan has a temperament of a loose canon (with a loose screw).

    • Walid
      September 10, 2013, 1:30 am

      It’s looking like Hizbullah with its silence has again beaten Israel. And it didn’t need to fire a single missile.

      • Taxi
        September 10, 2013, 4:56 am

        You can tell that israel’s mad as hell about the Syria developments: they’ve been flying over south Lebanon with fury this morning; I’ve been hearing them circling for a good hour and a half now. They’re saying to hizollah: ‘eff you, we’re still here and we roar!’. And hizbollah people on the ground in south Lebanon, casually look up at the fighter jets in the skies and smile.

        Man, did the hizb play their cards right, or what?! Throughout the Syria crisis, instilling so much fear in the heart of israel by saying absolutely nothing :-)

        I don’t think any other organization can put the heebeejeebeez in israel like hizbollah can. LOL!

      • MHughes976
        September 10, 2013, 8:13 am

        We benefit much from having you as our eyes and ears on that part of the ground, Taxi.

    • marc b.
      September 10, 2013, 9:09 am

      but the question is how to stop the river of arms and money they are getting from abroad, I guess mostly from Turkey.

      I believe there is a bill in the US Senate which has passed in the Foreign Relations Committee, the Syrian Transition something or other, but hasn’t been put to a vote in the full Senate. it provides for post-Assad planning and the provision of lethal and non-lethal aid to ‘vetted opposition groups’, whatever that means. presumably the Russian initiative is intended to muck up support for the Syrian rebels as well as defuse the current planned unpleasantness. we’ll see. if history holds it’s course, there must be a pile of drug money for covert operations somewhere after all these years the US military has been in Afghanistan.

  9. Tuyzentfloot
    September 10, 2013, 1:15 am

    Giving up the chemicals does give the US a graceful way out of the bombing campaign, but it does not suit their goals, which is to neutralize or take over Iran’s ally, and to maintain the ties with the Saudis and other oil monarchies. The Saudis are wondering what use the US is to them.

    Assad’s chemical weapons are of no advantage to him in this war, and losing them does not weaken him. So he gets the US off his back(at least openly) and keeps the military advantage on the ground. So the US lose but get a nice trophy to hide it.

  10. RudyM
    September 10, 2013, 1:36 am

    I got home to find this email from Martin Heinrich. Does this guy have weird timing or what? I shot off an angry message, calling him a traitor as usual. I love calling my elected officials traitors. It felt a bit uncomfortable the first time I did it. It’s the language of the right more than the left, but I’ve gotten to appreciate its bluntness and its truthfulness. The letter:

    September 9, 2013

    Dear Friends,

    The last week has been the most difficult I have experienced in my more than eight years in public office. What I share with you now will not win me any popularity awards, and some of you may well never forgive me for my decision today. All I ask is that you read this entire letter and seek to understand how I came to make this decision.

    I have always believed that my decisions in public office should reflect my best judgment and what I believe to be the best course for our nation. Most of the time that leads to votes that are well aligned with most of you as constituents. Just as importantly, it means that I can look my children in the eye and explain my positions with honesty, never having to explain why a vote was the result of politics or pressure. Today, I am taking a position that I believe is in line with those values.

    From my position on the Intelligence Committee, I have been briefed regularly for eight months now on developments in Syria. Those developments have been very difficult to watch. Most people only hear about these things on a news report, where it is difficult to imagine the scale and intensity of this violence. I have had a much closer view.

    Bashar al-Assad is a dictator who has shown a willingness to reduce residential neighborhoods to rubble, to imprison and torture children, and who has watched callously as his actions have killed over a hundred thousand civilians and displaced millions of Syrian refugees.

    Despite that, I remain of the belief that as a nation, we cannot become directly entangled in a civil war that we do not fully understand. It is for this reason that I do not think we should arm the Syrian rebels and I do not support sending American troops into this conflict.

    However, over recent months I also learned of the facts that are now the subject of so much debate here and around the world. What I can tell you from my perspective, having seen the public evidence as well as much that remains classified, I do not have any doubt about the following facts:

    One: a chemical weapons attack occurred on August 21;

    Two: that attack was planned and carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s regime; and

    Three: that as a result, hundreds of children and non-combatants were gassed to death in the suburbs of Damascus.

    I have seen how Assad incrementally tests the international community as he employs more and more brutal tactics in order to cling to power. And I can tell you that August 21 was not just some anomaly, but that it is part of a long and predictable pattern of behavior.

    What’s more, I believe that when any country chooses to ignore the international norms against chemical weapons, they have made a deeply immoral decision with worldwide implications, implications that the United States and the international community cannot ignore. If you want to understand why chemical weapons were singled out for international actions, you can watch videos that were taken in the aftermath of the Damascus attacks. These videos show the real effects of chemical weapons and are completely consistent with international forensic evidence showing that the agent was Sarin nerve gas. I would warn you not to view these with children in the room. They are real and they are horrible.

    I know that we are a nation that is not only rightfully weary of war, but also jaded by the dishonest use of cooked intelligence reports that led to terrible mistakes in Iraq. But this is not Iraq and we have a moral obligation to deter Assad and every regime watching him from thinking that they can gas their people with impunity, commit genocide, or employ internationally prohibited weapons.

    It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that I will support President Obama’s request for the authorization of use of military force.

    I will seek to make sure that the resolution before the Senate remains narrow in scope and does not put American troops on the ground in another Middle Eastern war. But I believe that President Obama and the international community should be able to send a message to Bashar al-Assad: that he is not above international norms and that he will suffer real, military consequences should he choose to gas civilians.

    I will continue to support additional foreign aid to alleviate the humanitarian and refugee crisis in Syria and neighboring countries, and I will also continue supporting diplomatic options so long as they are credible, verifiable, and enforceable.

    While I know that my vote on this matter will be controversial, especially among some of my closest supporters, I want you to know that I have little doubt it is the right decision.

    Sincerely,

    Signature

    MARTIN HEINRICH
    United States Senator

    I can’t imagine what sort of political calculus makes such an announcement make sense to him. Maybe he has his own bizarre set of sincerely held beliefs in this situation, but I also wonder what Obama or AIPAC or whomever might be holding over his head.

    Anyway, I already actively disliked Heinrich, most recently for his support of Obama’s silly snubbing of Putin for given Edward Snowden asylum. (At least that was the reason given.) Apparently the traitor Heinrich cares nothing about the 4th amendment.

    Incidentally, I may be crazy but I’m not entirely convinced there won’t be an attack on Syria. Although it does sound like Obama has backed off significantly, finally, so maybe this is it, for now.

    • MRW
      September 10, 2013, 2:52 am

      @RudyM,

      Send another note. This time tell him ‘We live in a Republic. Know what that is? You’re going to be primaried for your Yes vote’.

      According to Joe Scarborough (Morning Joe) bring primaried is giving reps and senators acute anti-aipac diarrhea.

    • Denis
      September 10, 2013, 9:13 am

      Rudy

      Send him this link:

      Lack of Pharmacological Evidence of a Sarin Attack at Damascus: An Open Letter to Congress

      link to logophere.com

      • Emma
        September 10, 2013, 10:28 am

        This Letter to Congress about the absence of evidence of a sarin attack in these videos is excellent. Others have raised these very basic and obvious points, and I don’t know why they aren’t raised more often.

        Where are women? Why aren’t the victims in their pajamas? Where’s the vomit, poop, and pee? Why aren’t they blue?

        Apparently some people were killed. But by what and by whom?

      • bilal a
        September 10, 2013, 10:09 pm

        Very Interesting. How much of what we read in the paper of record , actually happened the way they said it did

        If in 2013 they can fabricate a SARIN attack that never happened (RT Russia alleges), what else in history didnt happen ?

        UN rights council says Syria gas attack videos, photos fake: Russia
        link to investmentwatchblog.com

      • Denis
        September 11, 2013, 12:16 am

        I regret to say, not long after I uploaded the paper on the lack of pharmocological evidence of a sarin attack, the server had its own attack — a DNS attack.

        The open letter to Congress can be found on Scribd

        link to scribd.com

    • Donald
      September 10, 2013, 12:09 pm

      “Bashar al-Assad is a dictator who has shown a willingness to reduce residential neighborhoods to rubble, to imprison and torture children, and who has watched callously as his actions have killed over a hundred thousand civilians ”

      There it is again–another person claiming that Assad has killed over 100,000 civilians. Maybe, maybe not–Assad has a nasty human rights record–, but the 100,000 dead so far are predominantly fighters and over 40,000 were fighting for Assad–if one believes the Syrian Observatory numbers anyway. I don’t trust them, but they’re better than the completely made up numbers of a political hack.

  11. Taxi
    September 10, 2013, 2:41 am

    The biggest political losers are Aipac on the Hill: having stepped into the mainstream media spotlight and urged an illegal attack against Syria, publicly going against the will of the American people: showing thereby their ugly traitorous face to the concerned American citizen – yes that same ugly face they’ve been hiding in the shadows for decades!

  12. Citizen
    September 10, 2013, 2:53 am

    I think when Obama spoke his red line threat to Assad,he was posing, and when Kerry, responding to a question, answered Assad could prevent a US strike by forking over all control of his chemical weapons to an international control group, “but he won’t do that,” he was also posing.

    The American people have not been posing, and the direct conflict between MoveOn Org v AIPAC has been no pose; it was momentarily mentioned last evening on Fox New’s The Five show by the stately blonde regular member of the panel.

    Putin (X KGB) outwitted Obama (X Community Organizer)-Kerry, by taking up Kerry’s righteous rhetoric–and bringing it straightaway to Assad, who’s also not much of a poser.

    I think the maturity level of Obama’s WH & US Congress have both reached a new low, while that of the American people has reached a new high.

    • ritzl
      September 10, 2013, 8:34 am

      @Citizen Yep, when Kerry’s offhand (“rhetorical” in his own words) comment became a doable solution to this crisis, it showed how much this admin were actually trying to solve this. As in NOT AT ALL. Amazing stuff.

      And when Kerry, when confronted with the “doability” of his inadvertent remark dismissed it as rhetorical, it laid raw his agenda. As in DON’T WANT TO SOLVE IT!

      Sorry for the caps, but it was such a bare-naked moment. Raw truth on display.

      And the Assad-Rose interview also did tons to avoid an attack. Rose was trying to be tough, but came across as completely uniformed about the reality. Assad used that effectively to educate the US audience on the realities of Syria.

      It was a great interview, altogether. Unedited. Assad spoke in perfect, poised English, made great points, and made the US, via Rose’s ignorance, look completely off the rails. I hope it gets covered here.

      • Denis
        September 10, 2013, 3:36 pm

        ritzl: It was a great interview, altogether. Unedited.

        I thought Rose looked like an abusive dolt who has no concept of the difference between a sovereign nation and a puppet of the USG that is expected to do as USG says. He was incredulous that Syria would fight back against those who are attacking it. If USG says you are supposed to stop, then stop.

        Assad erred in not admitting to and explaining the CWs. I would have said “Yeah, dude, we have CWs. You would, too. We’re right next to the most belligerent country on earth who has already attacked us on numerous occasions and who is sitting on hundreds of nukes. The threat of a CW reprisal is the only thing keeping us from being nuked by these rabid Cossacks who call themselves Israelis.”

        Assad’s rejoinder about Rose’s constant use of the word “opposition” was one of the most brilliant pieces of impromptu put-down I’ve ever seen.

        Unedited. No, I don’t think so. Look closely and you’ll see that there are breaks in the vid masterfully blended out — almost. One is at 29:27.

      • ritzl
        September 12, 2013, 8:59 pm

        @Denis Rose said on PBS that “unedited” was one of the ground rules. Maybe not completely…

        And yeah, I thought that Assad, not to be mistaken in any way for a small-d democrat, was effective in correcting Rose’s “Americanisms” (i.e. ungrounded assumptions about the totality) and doggedly steered the interview back to the most important point, imo. That AQS is driving the rebellion and that is who he is fighting, and that is who the US is/would be supporting.

        All the other questions about his possible sociopathic calmness (to go to RoHa’s sarcasm(?) below), and his sincerity about moving toward a free-er Syria after were made secondary. He made them secondary. That’s as it should have been.

        Assad, whether for his own self-preservation agenda, or in the solution-based sense of preserving a workable future for Syria, or something else/combination, did a lot to forestall (give ammunition to US opponents of) this blind rush toward a wildly irresponsible, self-emolating, and/or nakedly counterproductive act by us. He did his part in saving us from ourselves.

        Also, with the combined performance of Rose and Assad, this goes to, if not exemplifies, the complete derth, imo, of US Beltway/Media credibility on MENA/South Asia war issues. It shows that people who are borne of the pressures of reality decision-making (Putin, Assad in this case) can and do put what’s important into perspective. Important, even from our own (not necessarily their own) PoV.

        We rarely hear that informed perspective here. As American and so many others have said in the past few weeks, US voters are listening. Perhaps not to act immediately, but to be informed and file it away for future voting decisions.

        I think Assad is a nasty piece of work, but he preserved options for us all.

      • Citizen
        September 10, 2013, 5:24 pm

        @ ritzl
        Rose asked, Assad, ostensibly deadpan (his usual fake manner), in effect, are you suggesting that that the after the US strikes Syria, they might actually have to suffer retaliation?

        Assad said, again effectively, “Yep, and it will come in a manner and from places you aren’t even prepared to sufficiently master.”

        Duh.

      • ritzl
        September 12, 2013, 9:14 pm

        I think that to a war-weary US populace, that resonates, profoundly. It’s also, in plain English (not say, Saddam’s vilifiable Arabic and gesturing style), what everyman’s reaction would be to the same.

        I don’t know how Assad seemed to understand Americans better than Rose or Obama, et. al. but I’m glad he did seem to.

      • RoHa
        September 10, 2013, 7:34 pm

        “Unedited. Assad spoke in perfect, poised English, made great points, and made the US, via Rose’s ignorance, look completely off the rails. ”

        Irrefutable proof that Assad is evil and has sold his soul to Satan.

      • eljay
        September 11, 2013, 8:37 pm

        Skimmed through the video, watching at least half of it. Assad spoke calmly, his English was quite good, and he sounded fairly reasonable overall. Rose asked some good questions, but overall he was rather tedious. His attempts – or what seemed like attempts – to get Assad to incriminate himself were particularly lame.

      • Citizen
        September 12, 2013, 7:18 am

        Assad understood what Rose was trying to do, that is, make him respond with words that could be used go demonize him. This means Assad knew the nuance of Rose’s English wording. Considering that’s not his native language, and that he’s been fighting a civil war with foreigners pouring over his borders to topple him, I conclude the man is more than a match for Obama and Kerry. Or McCain, or other US political leaders.

      • RoHa
        September 12, 2013, 7:34 pm

        Assad did some postgrad study in London, which gave him a good opportunity to polish up his English. (Though you can bet your boots he was well-trained in English at his posh school.)

        Now let’s interview McCain in Arabic. Or maybe Vietnamese. He must have learned some Vietnamese while he was making propaganda tapes for the North Vietnamese.

      • Taxi
        September 13, 2013, 1:09 am

        Funny you should mention linguistics, RoHa, cuz ever since this whole Syria attack crisis began, I’ve watched an endless stream of Arabic-speaking Russian diplomats and analysts being interviewed on Al Mayadeen TV, while all the American analysts had to be dubbed with their translators’ voices. I can’t even remember the last time I heard an American politician or an America middle east “specialist” speaking in Arabic.

        And John McCain? He doesn’t speak English, he speaks Warglish.

      • Walid
        September 13, 2013, 5:14 am

        I can’t even remember the last time I heard an American politician or an America middle east “specialist” speaking in Arabic.

        Hi Taxi, it’s me again. I don’t know about politicians but to their credit, almost every American state Department official including the ambassador working at the Beirut embassy speak fluent Arabic. In official public ceremonies they refrain from speaking in Arabic for some reason, but at social gathering, they chirp away in Arabic. You could say the same about most of the staff at the Canadian embassy. A cute thing about this happens while the Lebanese are being interviewed for visa applications, when applicants start telling each other in Arabic on how to respond to the interviewer’s questions and the interviewer with a straight face is understanding every word they are babbling to each other.

      • Taxi
        September 13, 2013, 5:46 am

        “Hi Taxi, it’s me again”.

        LOL!

        And as to the rest of your post, Walid, well, that kicked-up a double LOL from me! Thanks!

      • Walid
        September 13, 2013, 7:08 am

        I knew it would make you laugh, Taxi; glad it did.

      • Taxi
        September 13, 2013, 8:20 am

        Yeah, Walid, thanks again.

        I’m laughing too cuz ever since I dyed my hair a dark color, now blending better with your country folk, random Lebanese stopped saying crazy sh*t about me in my presence – especially in elevators – LOL I’ve had a few of those!

        Man, there are so many petty liars and cheats around here, but I must admit, some of them are very endearing :-)
        Your country sure is full of ‘characters’!

        Even though I’m staying in a small, quiet, and remote village, I can tell you there’s never a dull moment around here. The villagers are really something else! Constant spirited life, everyone has hundreds of stories they wanna tell you – a million questions to ask you, most of them up-close and personal :-)
        They just never stop. Such a curious, curious people. I love it!

  13. Eva Smagacz
    September 10, 2013, 4:47 am

    Syria is immensely important for Rusia. It’s the only place they can repair their warships – without a place to dock, they would have to go back to Black Sea for every tool and every screw, nut and bolt, negociating both Bosphorus Straits and Dardanelles Straits each time.

    It is remarkable how lucky Obama is: The war is avoided ( unlike others, I believe that Obama hated the idea and did what he could to jeopardize it) , he appears hawkish, and the Israel Lobby is flushed out from the shadows for all Americans to see.

    Would love to be the fly on the wall when Putin and Obama talk without witnesses! Maybe community organising IS a useful skill for politician, after all.

  14. just
    September 10, 2013, 6:33 am

    Thanks Helena.

    “First of all and most importantly, it is a win for the vast majority of the Syrian people– those who are desperate for an end to the conflict and want nothing more than to go home and see their country’s war-ravaged fabric (physical and social) repaired.”

    How true. When I think of living in a war zone like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Gaza, etc., I cringe in horror. Yes, the US is broke and broken– why is it that we always have $ for war? We have sent our military and our mercenaries abroad to do horrible things to people that never posed a threat to us. It was all for the imperial chess game and millions have been wronged and murdered. We have so much to be held accountable for. That said, it sort of bends my mind that Russia who trashed Afghanistan and then left defeated, is now the power that makes sense. We used the Taliban and AQ to defeat them, and then left a vacuum that was still filled with foreign fighters that we supported on the quiet, but with weapons and money. The Afghan people suffered, and still suffer today after we went and tried to “save them” after 9/11– what a crock! Still, it was the US and Russia trying their best to “win” for themselves.

    It would be nice if we could work together to stop the blood flowing in the streets, and the arms flowing to the rich and powerful. It would be wonderful to hold every nation to account for their undeclared wmds and end the hypocrisy once and for all. Until and unless we use our “power” for good and not for threatening others, killing, and encroaching on others’ sovereignty, we should only provide humanitarian support to the refugees/survivors of the very many wars that we have brought to the region. (We might also want to help other folks in Africa PDQ). It would also be nice if the same US governmental effort that went into and is still hyper- vigilant about eradicating anti- semitism went into eradicating Islamophobia, rather than fueling it.

    I hope that this ends well. It can. I do wonder if Mr. Obama and Kerry were posturing in such a fashion to make this happen. Maybe one day, we’ll know. For now, I just thank goodness that we aren’t striking the Syrian people based on “intelligence” from more than dubious sources.

  15. Taxi
    September 10, 2013, 7:26 am

    I gotta b*tch out here against that miserable old warmonger, John McCain, for his irresponsible statesmanship, his treasonous support for alquaida in Syria, and his vulgar and wanton blood-lusting pronouncements, not just at home, but on the international stage as well. The bugger’s been displaying some real macho-kookoo behavior throughout the Syria crisis, making it seem like America is run by senile sadists. And by gawd, every time I see a picture of him lately, I’m reminded of that helpless but terrifying old grandpa in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    I really hope the crackazoid McCain is crying like a baby into his pillow cuz he ain’t getting his funky war on after all.

    • just
      September 10, 2013, 8:20 am

      You are exactly right, Taxi.

      Graham is sobbing and wetting his diapers too.

    • Citizen
      September 10, 2013, 5:39 pm

      @ Taxi
      Walnuts McCain is a direct (AIPAC-rich & senile) chip off the old block, his Daddy, who was a traitor to the USA, as any surviving member of the USS Liberty can attest.

  16. ivri
    September 10, 2013, 8:30 am

    Some people here are so enamored with seeing Israel beaten that they would turn even a great moment for it upside down. After all: Israel was not keen on bombing now since it also fears Al Quide and the situation in Syria is still unclear; The chemicals are the single most important threat now for Israel- their elimination would be tremendously relieving; The developing cooperation between the US and Russia is great news – in particular, it would mean that the Russians will not supply Assad now with ant-missile batteries (which is a great problem for Israel) since there is no need any more for such a reprisal act on their side; The US has won all worlds- no war (which is riksy) and a huge gain due to its principled stance on the Chemicals. As for the Iran issue, it can wait for now – one at a time.

    • eljay
      September 10, 2013, 8:43 am

      >> The US has won … a huge gain due to its principled stance on the Chemicals.

      By singling out Syria – but not itself or Israel – regarding CW abuses, the U.S. demonstrates a hypocritical stance, not a principled stance, on CW.

    • Taxi
      September 10, 2013, 9:14 am

      ivri,

      Russia has already delivered it’s S300 to Syria, plus, plus plus.
      link to informationclearinghouse.info

      You honestly think Syria would just accept to “give up” its effective deterrent weapon without an equivalent conventional weapon from Russia thrown into the deal? You really do think Arab Bashar is savage and stupid, don’t you?

      America is at least saving-face through the Russian proposition, but the biggest losers are Saudi, Turkey, and especially that poison dwarf called israel.

      From the Urban Dictionary: Poison Dwarf:
      “A selfish, untrustworthy, deeply obnoxious or evil person of diminutive size, whose ostensibly unthreatening appearance allows them to fulfil their predisposition for causing unprovoked pain and suffering in an under-hand manner for anyone who has the misfortune to strike-up a friendship them”.

      • ivri
        September 10, 2013, 12:33 pm

        “You really do think Bashar is svage and stupid”
        No, in fact I think he is one of the more clever guys around. The problem is he took the wrong path in the past in his own country and then regionally the wrong gamble – aligned himself with the Iran axis (was given many chances to jump off but continued to play the same “hand”). Right now he is simply left with too few cards to play with, so whatever he agrees to is not out of stupidity but no choice. He has to cling to any straw and the Russians gave now a real rope – a proposal he can`t refuse.

      • seafoid
        September 10, 2013, 2:21 pm

        “regionally the wrong gamble – aligned himself with the Iran axis”

        Wishful bot thinking.
        American power is fading. Multipolarity is the new black.
        And Assad is quasi Shia.

    • crone
      September 10, 2013, 12:24 pm

      Israel was/is keen on getting CW in Syria removed… as they were in Iraq and Libya. How can it move on (through US military of course) Iran if Syria poses a threat of CW attack?

      So, where are we? Kerry put his foot in his lying mouth (for the umpteenth time) and the Russians checkmated the US with a great diplomatic solution… Syria has agreed to have its stash of CW removed – what does that entail?

      Syria will sign the CWC treaty, and BY DOING SO will have already defined the inspection regimes that will be put in place i.e. the inspection/verification regime will then be negotiated between the Government of Syria and the OPCW because *that’s* *what* *the* *CWC* *says*.

      There is no role for “the West” to “make absurd demands”, precisely because the UN doesn’t have any role in the negotiations that lead up to that inspection/verification regime.

      Q: Why not?
      A: The CWC is not a UN document, and the OPCW is not a UN agency.

      The only wrinkle in this – the only novelty in this latest proposal – is Lavrov’s suggestion that an “international force” should secure the stockpile pending its destruction under the OPCW’s oversight.

      That’s it.

      That is the **only** opening for “the West” to impose any “absurd demands”, because that is the only part of this proposal that requires some ad-hoc arrangements.

      Soooo, what is “the West” going to propose, exactly?

      That there should be US troops on the ground?
      That NATO forces should secure these warehouses?

      What, exactly, can they propose that will prevent Russia from offering its services, or which will force Assad to refuse to accept That Very Generous Of Offers? It is up to the sovereign state of Syria to make the choice of who comes onto their soil to facilitate the destruction of the CW, and one can be sure it will be Russia.

      Now, there will be Russian boots on the ground in Syria… in the ME… to guard the stash of CW while an appropriate facility for its destruction is built somewhere in the desert. This destruction will take time, up to ten years (see other countries where this has occurred). Meanwhile, the Russians may move for others in the region to destroy their CW/BioW – that includes Israel of course.

      It will be impossible for another false flag incident involving CW to occur once the CW is guarded by ‘outside forces’ – meanwhile, Assad’s army will be freed from protecting the CW from the ‘rebels’ thereby enabling greater number to focus on beating back the ‘rebels’ ~

      Additionally, Syria/Russia have bought time for exposing the CW attack as a false flag… much to come in the weeks head.

      Russia has also saved Obama’s presidency for the moment… all polls indicate that the number of Americans opposed to a strike on Syria increases every day… along with the knowledge that this would have been another war for Israel – the Israel Lobby is clearly in the daylight and will remain so.

      Of course Obama’s puppeteers will find another excuse, another time to go for Iran… but you can be sure Bibi is punching holes in walls now, because this was such an opportune moment. Who knows, with Obama’s and the Democrats fortune on the decline, the US might get a Paul in the Oval Office next time. the best laid plans of mice and men… in this case, RATS.

  17. piotr
    September 10, 2013, 9:03 am

    My take of AIPAC on Syria is that rather than being Zionist, on this issue they are useful idiots for KSA. This makes a lot of sense for neo-cons who want to fund their think tanks with a diversity of sources, from maniacal gambling tycoons to big oil and oil princes, but little sense for everybody else.

    “US demonstrates a hypocritical stance, not a principled stance, on CW.” This is classic “dog bites man”.

    • ritzl
      September 10, 2013, 9:42 am

      OT, sorry I didn’t get back to you piotr. I forgot about the 5-day cutoff and the moment passed… My bad.

  18. American
    September 10, 2013, 10:46 am

    John Kerry just cannot shut his mouth. He is on the Hill again this am telling congress that there is no solution except a military one:

    This is a threat to America’s national security!!!!
    I have been talkng to the Israel PM and this a threat to Israel!!!
    CW could be used on Israel!!!
    Not bombing Syria aids Iran which is a threat to Israel!!!
    Russia, the evildoer is trying to stop us from doing the ‘right thing’.!
    Russia lies, Russia is bad!
    I tell you with absolute confdence that NOT ACTING IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN ACTING!!!!!
    IF you dont vote for a strike so Assad knows we will bomb him —then he wont turn over his CW to the UN !!!
    I know all your constitutents are against this but that’s just because they are hung up on Iraq and dont understand THIS IS DIFFERENT!!!!!!

    The message…..
    (So you vote for this so Assad will know we’re not bluffing—wink,wink—if you vote for this bluff we might not bomb Syria after all)
    (However dont hold us to the ‘turn the CW over deal’ and not bomb Syria cause our goal is regime change –wink wink —-to Israel and Saudi.)

    • Citizen
      September 10, 2013, 5:53 pm

      @ American
      Kerry was totally demolished today by the Congressional reps–I watched it on CSPAN today. Although Turd Blossom, Rove is more intelligent than Kerry, neither understand why the US public is so much in favor of no strike on Syria,

      • mijj
        September 11, 2013, 12:58 pm

        as a Corporate-Capitalist state, the US is, essentially, a Corporation. And run as one. With the same lack of morality and lack of democracy (except for the “feel good to be taking part” theatrical kind). The Political and Corporate elite are the directors of the US Corporate state. The general citizen is an employee. The US Corporate state expects the same toadying respect and admiration for its Political/Corporate leadership as a Corporation expects from its employees. It’s the duty of the US Corporate Citizen to follow orders from the top to achieve their goals in the best way he can. The employees are not expected to have an opinion about the goals set (unless it’s to totally agree with them). They are expected to be totally on-board with the goals of the Corporation.

        Thus .. the Corporate/Political elite are naturally confused when the average citizen fails to fall over themselves to make their superiors feel good about their decisions. This isn’t the behavior expected of a good employee. There will be hell to pay at annual appraisal time. Perhaps the employees should be more closely monitored and supervised.

        /end of rant

  19. Forseti
    September 10, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I do not see this plan viable though. How are you going to get that stuff out in middle of ongoing civil war?

  20. Justpassingby
    September 10, 2013, 12:11 pm

    No sane state give up its WMD.

    Israel, US vs Syria = 1 – 0

  21. xanadou
    September 10, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Awesome article. The news is a powerful ray of hope for all of humanity. Let’s hope that the refugees crowding in Jordan and elsewhere are soon able to return home and rebuild their beautiful country.

    One more value-added benefit is the saving of Syria’s enormous cache of archeological artifacts from the early days of the cradle of civilization. The other significant part of which the US and its allies had destroyed with their bombings and massive theft of same, earlier, in Iraq.

    Not least of all the deal will likely be a blow to the banksters end-game:
    link to truthdig.com
    Time for humanity to focus on and pick up that gauntlet.

  22. just
    September 10, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I am watching the House hearing with Dempsey, Hagel and Kerry.

    I still remain stunned that again, “we” are labeling another leader a monster. We did that to Khaddafi, to Saddam and now Assad. Why is this civil war and all of the killing laid at his feet? It’s simply not believable to me. We ‘care’ about the killing over there, but express no remorse over the massive killing that we have done and are responsible for all over the region and beyond…..some of it with chemical weapons and nukes.

    I’d also love to hear what plans the glorious west and her allies have for Syria if President Assad ‘goes’. What then?

    • Citizen
      September 10, 2013, 6:02 pm

      @ just

      It’s like watching a bunch of frat boys in an American Pie movie. The US PTB are very juvenile. It’s been going on for decades, and now, finally, Dick and Jane are getting the picture, and, to them, it’s not funny at all. America’a soul does not lie in the old Catskill, and, actually, it never has.

    • ziusudra
      September 11, 2013, 3:19 am

      Greetings just,
      At 72, i can remember that we dumped Adolf & Tenno.
      Then a Nun screamed gleefully at class that Satan, Stalin was dead.
      Then came the No. Koreans. Then along came Vietnam etc., not forgetting all the enemy countries we had behind the iron curtain up till today nothing, but enemies against America. Now we know how the Roman citizens felt.
      The world is evil & we are the good guys.
      ziusudra
      PS Our present enemy is the ME & our pure love for the perpetual suffering of
      Zionistic Zionistan. Just this last battle & we would have beaten our last enemies forever!

  23. MHughes976
    September 10, 2013, 1:25 pm

    The Real Clear Politics site is now dominated by a series of polls on intervention in Syria – 10 or a dozen – and they all show huge negative majorities. Public opinion this strong has got to be accepted, hasn’t it? Hasn’t it??

    • crone
      September 10, 2013, 1:53 pm

      Nope… remember Iraq? millions took to the streets. Bush had the drapes in White House drawn.

      By the time they got thru beating the war drums 24/7, and Judith Miller/NYT published her lies, the numbers had come down, so that when Bush attacked Bagdad, country was split. The 1% owns the megaphone/the media…

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2013, 2:35 pm

        The 1% owns the megaphone/the media…

        not so much anymore. the innertoobs have shifted the balance of media power.

      • crone
        September 10, 2013, 2:53 pm

        thanks for the reminder Annie… gives me hope!

  24. Taxi
    September 10, 2013, 2:55 pm

    Obama Remembers He’s Not George W. Bush:
    link to readersupportednews.org

  25. mijj
    September 10, 2013, 3:22 pm

    i lost my pencil the other day. I know Syria was responsible. It’s a FACT! [Bangs table hard to emphasize Absolute Truth!] (For any doubters, I have strong scientific evidence. But, obviously, i can’t reveal it for security reasons.)

  26. Citizen
    September 10, 2013, 6:08 pm

    According to two polls reported this weekend by the Jerusalem Post, Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria. Why not, Israeli Jews do not care about US goy treasure or goy blood spilled. Neither does APAIC. According to two polls reported this weekend by the Jerusalem Post, Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria.

    • Taxi
      September 11, 2013, 7:19 am

      Why aren’t Americans polled about this? Has any American poll ever asked the question:
      ‘Are you prepared to go to war for israel?’

  27. James Canning
    September 10, 2013, 7:56 pm

    Let’s give Kerry credit for raising the issue of Syria’s getting rid of CW. Even if a bit of an accident.

    • Citizen
      September 11, 2013, 2:47 am

      You might as well give Kerry credit for a gaffe, which is what it was. Beiden is the one who usually does that on Obama’s team.

    • mijj
      September 11, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Kerry only deserves credit if he denies the “rebels” their US military backup – which is the reward they’re expecting for using the chem weapons in the first place. .. and, if he volunteers to get rid of all US’s chem weapons.

      The ones who should get the credit for Syria getting rid of Syria’s chem weapons are Assad and Putin.

      • James Canning
        September 11, 2013, 2:03 pm

        @mijj – - US is destroying all its CW.

      • just
        September 12, 2013, 7:19 am

        “Israel is believed to have secretly built up its own stockpile of chemical and biological weapons decades ago, reports Foreign Policy, citing a recently unearthed CIA document.

        American surveillance satellites uncovered in 1982 “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert,” states the secret 1983 CIA intelligence estimate obtained by Foreign Policy (FP). “Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry,” the document adds.

        According to FP, US intelligence agencies are almost certain that Israel possesses a stockpile of nuclear weapons that the Middle Eastern country developed in the 1960s and 1970s as part of its defense against a possible attack from Arab neighbors.

        For years, arms control analysts have speculated that Israel built up a range of chemical and biological weapons to complement its alleged nuclear arsenal.”

        “The FP report is based on a page from a secret, Sept. 15, 1983, CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate entitled “Implications of Soviet Use of Chemical and Toxin Weapons for US Security Interests.” Part of the document was released in 2009 in the National Archives, but the piece on Israel was extracted from that version. ”

        link to rt.com

      • mijj
        September 12, 2013, 3:42 pm

        .. ahem .. White Phosphorus, Depleted Uranium. The US has no intention of getting rid of those chem weapons.

      • Walid
        September 12, 2013, 9:07 am

        “The ones who should get the credit for Syria getting rid of Syria’s chem weapons are Assad and Putin.”

        Not really, I’d give credit to the US whether it was a bluff or intentional. Had it not been for the US threat, Assad and Putin would have never given them up. Either way, good riddance that they are being given up. Now if the others would also give up their chemicals, it would be a better world for all of us.

  28. NickJOCW
    September 11, 2013, 5:04 am

    The truth has a habit of wriggling out and in recent days two hostages released from Syrian rebel hands, one Italian and one Belgium have had these things to say.

    link to bbc.co.uk

    link to rt.com

    and the Guardian quotes a piece from the German press

    Bild am Sonntag cites high-level German surveillance source suggesting Syrian president was not personally behind attacks

    link to theguardian.com

    This is where they got that 3 days ago (in German).

    link to bild.de

  29. NickJOCW
    September 12, 2013, 6:11 am

    I’ve just watched this interview with the Iranian Foreign Minister which is worth a look. link to presstv.ir

    • just
      September 12, 2013, 7:56 am

      Thanks for that Nick– it was superb.

      I especially liked his call for respect for the Iranians in any negotiations and the basic rights of the Iranian people– it surely has been missing for far too long.

      I found his soft voice, his wisdom, and his grasp of reality formidable.

  30. Taxi
    September 14, 2013, 1:48 am

    America, Syria and the World:
    link to online.wsj.com

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