Posted By LambChop
Sec State John Kerry, when asked in London by a fellow yacht owner what Assad could do to avert military action, Kerry replied in an off-the-cuff dismissive remark:
"Turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting for that," referring to Syria's chemical weapon stockpile.
"But he isn't about to do it and it can't be done."
Wandering red lines and amorphous undefined international norms surely seemed plausible. Okay maybe not.
Luckily Kerry’s gaffe provided a window of opening for Russian President Putin. Putin swooped in like a SuperComrade and saved the day, indicating that Russia would be delighted to push Syria to accept terms of turning over its stockpile of chemical weapons.
Immediately, Syria accepted with this statement:
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid
al-Muallem: "The Syrian Arab republic welcomes the Russian initiative,
motivated by the concerns of the Russian leadership for the lives of our
citizens and the security of our country."
Meanwhile Hillary (fresh from her months-long nap) speaking perhaps from a state of concussion said: “Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Syria surrendering chemical stockpiles would be an "important step" to averting a potential US military strike but can't be an "excuse for delay or destruction. And Russia has to support the international community's efforts sincerely or be held to account. It is very important to note that this discussion that has taken hold today about potential international control over Syria's stockpiles only could take place in the context of a credible military threat by the United States to keep pressure on the Syrian government as well as those supporting Syria like Russia."
Except nobody was listening to her. The DOD was too busy playing the “find Syria on the Map internet game” sadly only 57% percent of the DOD could successfully locate Syria…at all.
Hillary's ineffective statement was the equivalent of a Tebow "Hail Mary" pass in the NFL - it looked like she really scored but nobody gave a damn. Putin and Assad won the PR war and rendered Obama’s speech today (and even future congressional action) thoroughly inconsequential.
The Obama administration feebly tried to take credit for the plan but quickly gave up once they realized Putin and Assad had won that round. The administration instead moved to replace the Assad strategy from a policy of punishment to a policy of take away his chemical toys.
The switch in strategy is a game changer: the focus will be on seizing chemical weapons , the negotiation of those terms and all of this will take a ridiculously long time. Obama will punt. Putin will gloat.
Where is Hans Blix when you need him?