Disappointing, But Unsurprising, Headline of the Day

“U. S. Says Syria Delaying Chemical Disarmament,” Naftali Bendavid aand Adam Entous, WSJ

“Just 4% of Syria’s 530 metric tons of most-dangerous chemicals have been removed…despite a Dec. 31, 2013 deadline for removing all of them.”

So the Obama Administration has lain down with dogs and is shocked, shocked to wake up with fleas.  Which reminds me of that dog in Kiev who had an uncanny resemblance to Vladimir Putin…

And So It Begins…

In his interview with Fox News, Syria’s President Assad said it was “no problem, we can do it tomorrow” to provide the inventory of his chemical weapons due this Saturday.

But now Syria admits it won’t make that seven-day deadline, and our State Department is saying “Oh, okay, whenever, Dude.”  They now claim “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline,” but that’s how the agreement was presented to the world, as a date certain, not some loosey-goosey goal, if the Syrians were up for it.  And it’s tough to do a weapons inventory when you’re still busy laughing your asses off and high-fiving each other.

And of course there are now problems at the UN due to Russian intransigence with the resolution that must be passed before work can begin on securing those weapons.

This BS agreement is never going to become reality.  We’ll just move on to other issues and crises and eventually fuhgeddaboudit.


Chemical Weapons Experts Not Optimistic on Syria

From “How Assad Could Twist a Chemical Weapons Treaty to Keep His Poison Gas,” Yochi Dreazen, “The Cable,” Foreign Policy:

“‘The Chemical Weapons Convention was created to deal with a very different type of set of circumstances,’ said Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association.  ‘It was designed to deal with a country that was willing to renounce its chemical weapons voluntarily and not under coercion, a country where there was no real chance of them being used again, and a country that was stable enough that they could be destroyed safely.  None of those conditions exist in Syria.

“‘It’s not inconceivable that he adopts the Saddam Hussein playbook from the 1990s — refusing access to facilities, having the inspectors run around the country chasing their own tails — as a way of playing out the clock,’ said Brian Finlay of the Stimson Center.  ‘The more time that passes, the more the shock of the chemical weapons attack will fade away and the more the momentum for a strike will begin to disappear.  It’s clearly in his favor for this [to] stretch out as long as possible.'”

We’ve got nothing, people.

Rand Paul Accuses Prez of Treason

I watched Rand Paul’s response to President Obama’s Syria speech on Fox News, which cut in a little late on the live speech, so all Fox viewers missed the opening.  I didn’t think anything of it until I later read the first sentence of his speech.  Now I wonder if Fox, with an advance copy of the text, purposely delaying switching to him.

Paul begins, “Twelve years after we were attacked by Al Qaeda, 12 years after 3,000 Americans were killed by Al Qaeda, President Obama now asks us to be allies with Al Qaeda.”

Basically, Paul says the President isn’t just wrong-headed about Syria, he’s a traitor, he’s a terrorist.  It’s not about upholding international abhorrence of chemical weapons, it’s about actively helping Al Qaeda.

And this guy is widely viewed as one of the front runners for the GOP nomination in 2016.

Can We Please Clear Up This Lie?

Among all the crap we’re being sold about Syria is that Syria has just admitted for the very first time that it has chemical weapons.  Not true!

I quote to you from The Guardian, July 23, 2012, “Syria insists chemical weapons would only be used against outside forces” by Ian Black:

“Syria has made it clear that it would only use deadly chemical or biological weapons if it was attacked by outside forces….

“Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, added his voice to a chorus of alarm over the issue as the Damascus government scored what observers ridiculed as a damaging own goal on Monday by admitting for the first time that possessed an arsenal of the banned weapons.”

“Barack Obama said Assad would be held accountable if [he] made the ‘tragic mistake’ of using chemical weapons.  ‘The world is watching,’ the American president said.

“Jihad Makdissi, the Syrian foreign ministry spokesman, was responding to public and private warnings from Israel and the US by insisting that the weapons would only be used in case of a foreign attack on Syria and not against its own people, as the opposition has warned could happen.

“‘No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used…no matter what the developments inside Syria,’ he said at a press conference, reading from a prepaped statement.  ‘All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is exposed to external aggression.’

“Until now, Syria has never officially confirmed it has chemical weapons, although it is no surprise that it does.”

So why are we being fed this bizarre and blatant lie?


We Are Never, Ever Striking Syria

John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov came up with a four-page agreement that brings peace in our time removes the threat of U. S. missile strikes against Syria.

The agreement gives Syria until the middle of next year to get rid of its chemical weapons.  You know, until just before our mid-term elections.

They side-stepped the issue of the threat of force if Syria fails to live up to the agreement.  The agreement says that the non-compliance would go to the Security Council, where we know Russia would just veto any use of force.  Obama could still use force unilaterally, but we all know that ain’t gonna happen.  If he didn’t do it two weeks ago, before he got his enemies, foreign and domestic all enmeshed in the decision, he’s not doing it.

Syria is supposed to provide a list of its chemical weapons in a week, then outside inspectors are supposed to finish checking out Syria’s sites — in the middle of the civil war! — by November.

One of the Syrian rebel commanders reacted, “Let the Kerry-Lavrov plan go to hell.”  This is how you get to hell, on a road paved with good intentions.


Obama Shrinks

A week ago Saturday, the President announced that rather than strike Syria that weekend, as we all expected, he was turning the whole thing over to Congress, even though he claimed he had the power to act without their consent.  So he shrank as Commander in Chief.

Last night, he took the ball from Congress and handed it to Vladimir Putin, shrinking even more and basically out-sourcing Syria from another branch of his government to our enemy.

This is both pathetic and scary.

The original purpose of the speech had been to rally public support on the eve of a scheduled Senate vote on the Syria strike.  Once that vote got postponed, the speech should have been postponed as well.

You don’t ask all the networks for prime time to announce that you are postponing a vote in Congress so you can follow Putin down the primrose path.


This Sounds More Like Putin

So now Putin is saying that for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, the U. S. has to renounce the use of force first.  Okay, this makes a little more sense, this sounds more like the Vlad I know.

Aside from that ridiculous, DOA demand, the thing is already falling apart at the U. N.  The Russians have told the French that a Security Council resolution must be toothless — it can’t contain any threat of military action if Syria doesn’t follow through on transferring its chemical weapons to international authorities.

We don’t have a potential solution here, people, just an ever-expanding mess.

What’s Russian for rope-a-dope?

Senate Postpones Vote

Using the hope that Syria will agree to give up its chemical weapons (because you know what stand-up guys Putin and Assad are), the Senate has postponed its vote on the resolution for a military strike.  The vote had been scheduled for Wednesday.

And I woke up this morning thinking this thing couldn’t be an even bigger mess.  I seriously misunderestimated how much John Kerry’s chronic “thinking out loud” could throw even more sand in the gears of this strike that Obama should have done the weekend before last.

About That Syria Vote…

So here’s the latest on the voting, and it’s not putting any smiles on West Wing faces.

In the Senate, Obama has 31 yes, 20 no, and 49 undecided.  He needs 60 yes votes for cloture.

In the House, Obama has 47 yes votes, 232 no votes, and 153 undecided.  So he’s lost the House.

Meanwhile, Kerry may promise there won’t be boots on the ground, but we definitely will have more of Kerry inserting his boot into his own mouth.  Apparently “thinking out loud” yet again and going off script, he suggested that Syria put its chemical weapons under international control, which led Putin and then the Syrians to chime in that that was a fantastic idea.  Ain’t gonna happen, of course, but it certainly muddies the waters for a strike.  Can’t anybody in the executive branch play this game?

I can’t see Russia from my house, but I certainly can hear Putin laughing.