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Monday, September 9, 2013

New York Times Editorial, "A Diplomatic Proposal for Syria": Obama Desperate to Climb Down from His Tree

Obama is desperate to climb down from his tree, and The New York Times, always ready to put out the flames for his administration, is, in this instance, happy to provide a ladder.

In an editorial entitled "A Diplomatic Proposal for Syria" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/opinion/a-diplomatic-proposal-for-syria.html?_r=0), The New York Times endorses a Russian proposal for "international control" over Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and its "subsequent destruction." The Times claims:

"The removal and destruction of stockpiles of weapons would ensure greater safety for the Syrian people."

No arguing with that, but what about "international control" over the removal? Can we realistically expect the likes of Russia, China, Iran, Sudan and Venezuela to faithfully supervise such "control"?

"Subsequent destruction"? Such destruction could easily prove open-ended, particularly when we're talking about a war zone. And if it doesn't happen almost immediately, does anyone really expect that Obama, chastened by the UN, the Arab League and the US Congress, will climb back up his tree? Believe me, he's happier on the links, puttering with his balls.

The New York Times declares:

"To have any measure of credibility, Mr. Assad will need to allow monitors into the country immediately. That would be a gesture to the world that his government will abide by international laws against chemical weapons use. The Russians will have to work closely with the United States and the United Nations to create a plan to catalog and verify Syria’s chemical weapons and set forth a specific timetable for the removal and destruction of those weapons under international auspices.

Russia and the United States should propose a formal resolution by the United Nations Security Council — of which both are members — to condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria, support this plan and put its full authority behind carrying it out, as well as establish consequences if Syria reneged. It would be impossible to destroy the entire stockpile instantly, but that task must be done with care and speed because those weapons cannot be allowed to fall into other murderous hands in the conflict."

First, mass murderer Bashar al-Assad doesn't have the slightest "measure of credibility." Moreover, if the Russian proposal should even get that far, he can be expected to play cat and mouse with anyone responsible for overseeing such an agreement, in much the same way that Iran plays with IAEA inspectors.

Second, regarding the issue of implementation of such a scheme, Max Boot observes in Commentary (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/09/09/kerrys-unserious-proposal/#more-832882):

"Even if we knew where all the stockpiles were, removing them and destroying them–presumably a process that would have to occur outside the country–would be an enormous undertaking that could easily involve thousands of foreign workers along with thousands, even tens of thousands, of soldiers to protect them. It is hard to imagine such an undertaking occurring in wartime; few if any nations will risk their troops on the ground in Syria to make the process possible and Syria’s government would be unlikely to grant them permission to do so."

Is Russia's proposal ridiculous? You bet, but Obama wants down from that tree!

The Times concludes:

"The diplomatic proposal creates at least a pause in the action. It could mean that the United States would not have to go it alone in standing firm against the Syrian regime. And it could open up a broader channel to a political settlement between Mr. Assad and the rebels — the only practical way to end this war. It could also be a boon for Mr. Obama, personally, because he could take credit for pushing Syria and Russia into making this move."

Yup, that Obama is one heck of a tough negotiator and has established his decisiveness, credibility and backbone around the globe . . . not.

Game, set, match, Putin.

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