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Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Washington Post, "U.S., Russia Reach Agreement on Seizure of Syrian Chemical Weapons Arsenal": Send in the Clowns

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want -
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Quick, send in the clowns.

- "Send in the Clowns," Stephen Sondheim, 1973

Could it be that I am fast developing a bad case of "coulrophobia," i.e. the fear of clowns?

Community organizer Obama sent in the clowns – Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Power – and we are now witnessing the destruction of American overseas credibility and deterrent power, and the emergence of American paper tiger diplomacy. Let there be no doubt: The mere threat of an American strike, “unbelievably small” or otherwise, against the chemical warfare capabilities of the barbaric Assad regime is now off the table following a diplomatic coup by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

As reported by The Washington Post in an article entitled “U.S., Russia reach agreement on seizure of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal” ( by Anne Gearan, Colum Lynch and Karen DeYoung:

“The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on an outline for the identification and seizure of Syrian chemical weapons and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week.

The agreement will be backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that could allow for sanctions or other consequences if Syria fails to comply, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said.”

“Could” allow for sanctions or other consequences? Who are they kidding?

“Other consequences”? As reported by the Washington Post article, they don’t exist:

“Senior administration officials had said Friday the Obama administration would not press for U.N. authorization to use force against Syria if it reneges on any agreement to give up its chemical weapons.

The Russians had made clear in talks here between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John F. Kerry that the negotiations could not proceed under the threat of a U.N. resolution authorizing a military strike. Russia also wanted assurances that a resolution would not refer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the International Criminal Court for possible war-crimes prosecution.

. . . .

[Obama administration] officials insisted that any agreement must be verifiable and include consequences for non-compliance. Short of a threatened use of force, it is not clear what those consequences would be.”

So what incentive does Syrian mass murderer Bashar al-Assad have to comply with the terms of this “agreement”?

Answer: None.

And who is going to do the actual "seizing" of whatever chemical weapons Assad reveals in the midst of a cruel civil war?

Answer: Your guess is as good as mine.

Many years ago, as a law student studying "contracts," I was warned not to draft "agreements to agree." That bozo, Kerry, has done something worse: he has reached with the Russians an agreement not to do anything.

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