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Friday, July 24, 2015

Syria Kept Chemical Weapons: What Does This Say About Obama's Deal With Iran?

"I believe our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress. And I believe that America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together."

- President Obama, Address to the Nation on Syria, September 10, 2013

You will recall Obama's "red line" concerning the use of chemical weapons by Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Obama turned to Congress for authorization to act against Syria, but then asked the leaders of Congress, in his aforementioned September 10, 2013 "Address to the Nation," "to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path." And indeed, a "deal" was struck with Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons stockpiles, pursuant to which Obama boasted at a press conference at Camp David just two months ago:

"Assad gave up his chemical weapons. And that’s not speculation on our part. That, in fact, has been confirmed by the organization internationally, that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons."

It now turns out, however, that Assad did not give up all his chemical weapons. As reported by The Wall Street Journal in an article entitled "Mission to Purge Syria of Chemical Weapons Comes Up Short" by Adam Entous and Naftali Bendavid:

"One year after the West celebrated the removal of Syria’s arsenal as a foreign-policy success, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the regime didn’t give up all of the chemical weapons it was supposed to.

An examination of last year’s international effort to rid Syria of chemical weapons, based on interviews with many of the inspectors and U.S. and European officials who were involved, shows the extent to which the Syrian regime controlled where inspectors went, what they saw and, in turn, what they accomplished. That happened in large part because of the ground rules under which the inspectors were allowed into the country, according to the inspectors and officials.

. . . .

Under the terms of their deployment, the inspectors had access only to sites that the Assad regime had declared were part of its chemical-weapons program. The U.S. and other powers had the right to demand access to undeclared sites if they had evidence they were part of the chemical-weapons program. But that right was never exercised, in part, inspectors and Western officials say, because their governments didn’t want a standoff with the regime."

Well, Obama has just concluded a similar deal with Iran, Assad's patron, and Obama would have us believe that IAEA inspections and monitoring devices will prevent the mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons. Only this time, Obama made an end run around Congress and first sought United Nations Security Council approval. "I believe our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress"? Yeah, right.

As also reported today by The Times of Israel in an article entitled "US ducks response to claims Iran gets to self-inspect suspect nuke sites" by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil:

"The Obama administration ducked concerns Thursday raised by senators in a public hearing that Iran would be responsible for collecting its own soil samples to turn over to the International Atomic Energy Agency for inspection of suspected nuclear sites.

Officials would neither confirm or deny the claims, made twice during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, which heard testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew."

Trust Iran to monitor itself? It just doesn't get any more horrifying.

1 comment:

  1. try watching the actual hearing, twice since last night.

    The soil samples were not quite the most horrifying revelation, e.g., Kerry on PM Netanyahu's "fear".

    Even so, Kerry displayed rare emotion when describing the existential threat to Israel, even as he had to downplay the linkage between this deal, and reality.

    Sen. Corker on making Congress the pariah instead of Iran as pariah was well said.

    Riveting, for the Senate.