Syria: John Kerry blunders into a win for Russia and Obama
JOHN Kerry, the man whose gravitas is found almost entirely in his hair and ‘thinking face’, had a thought about Syria.
Asked if there were steps the Syrian president could take to avert an American-led attack, Mr. Kerry said, “Sure, he 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 the full and total accounting.”
The State Department reacted:
“Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to reporters after Mr. Kerry’s comments. “His point was that 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. That’s why the world faces this moment.”
Always utterly brainless to use hypotheticals when confronting war. What a pillock.
But once said, it’s hard to unsay. The Russians cocked an ear – and heard what they had already suggested in private:
“We don’t know whether Syria will agree with this, but if the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in the country will prevent attacks, then we will immediately begin work with Damascus,” Mr. Lavrov said at the Foreign Ministry. “And we call on the Syrian leadership to not only agree to setting the chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also to their subsequent destruction.”
Huzzah! The rad line is rubbed out, maybe. No war for Obama. And Russia looks good.
Amos Yadlin in the Times of Israel:
Were Putin to offer to take Assad’s chemical weapons out of Syria, said Yadlin in an Israeli Channel 2 news interview, “that would be an offer that could stop the attack.” It would be a “genuine achievement” for President Barack Obama to have ensured the clearing out of Assad’s capacity, and that would justify holding fire, said Yadlin. For Putin, such a deal would also keep the US from acting militarily in a state with which Russia is closely allied.
Kerry has blunders into a win.