Well, it appears that the United States and Russia have agreed on some sort of mechanism for Syria to give up or destroy all of their chemical weapons. I really think that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have pulled a rabbit out of their hat. They were going lose a vote in the House on striking Syria. This could be the best of all options. No missile strikes and Syria gives up their chemical weapons. Totally cool.
The United States and Russia reached a sweeping agreement on Saturday that called for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014 and indefinitely stalled the prospect of American airstrikes.
The joint announcement, on the third day of intensive talks in Geneva, also set the stage for one of the most challenging undertakings in the history of arms control.
“This situation has no precedent,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on chemical weapons at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They are cramming what would probably be five or six years’ worth of work into a period of several months, and they are undertaking this in an extremely difficult security environment due to the ongoing civil war.”
Although the agreement explicitly includes the United Nations Security Council for the first time in determining possible international action in Syria, Russia has maintained its opposition to any military action. (more…)
My fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk to you about Syria — why it matters, and where we go from here.
Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war. Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country. In that time, America has worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement. But I have resisted calls for military action, because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21st, when Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war. Continue reading Obama on Syria→
Did you know or care that Yahoo! has changed their logo? Yep, that was keeping me up all night. By the way, what is it that Yahoo! does again?
Russia has started to wake up and decided that it could play a constructive role in the Syria mess. So, here’s what went down. 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.” He said this in response to a question about what Syria could do to avoid getting shelled. The Russian foreign minister then said – Russia would join any effort to put Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons under international control and ultimately destroy them. This is a way out for everyone. The question is whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will play ball. It sounds like he is interested. Continue reading News Roundup – Yahoo!, Russia and Zimmerman→