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.

Susan Rice Will Run Foreign Policy From WH, Not State

Susan Rice, who withdrew from consideration as secretary of state after criticism over her Sunday talk show appearances right after the Benghazi terror attacks on 9/11/12 that left four Americans, including Amb. Chris Stevens, dead, is President Obama’s new national security adviser.  The job doesn’t require Senate confirmation, so Rice’s GOP enemies can’t do anything about it.  She who laughs last, laughs best.

The losers here — besides those GOP enemies — are John Kerry and the Syrian rebels.  Kerry because foreign policy will be concentrated at the White House now, giving him less power, and the rebels because Rice opposes intervention in the Syrian civil war, where the tide is turning in Assad’s favor.

Speaking of “power,” Obama is nominating Samantha Power to replace Rice at the U. N.

What GOP Is He Talking About?

David Brooks* is all ecstatic about the New GOP:

“Over the past month, the Republican Party has changed far more than I expected. … There has been an epidemic of open-mindedness as Republicans try to win minority votes and create a version of their party that can be competitive in states like Connecticut and California.”  Emphasis added.

An epidemic of open-mindedness?  Does he mean like all the GOP Senators who irrationally voted to kill the U. N treaty on the disabled?  Looks like the same group of unrepentant crazies to me.

* “The Republican Glasnost,” NYT


Having a Bad Day?

Maybe you are, but I’m guessing you’re not locked in a coffin with scorpions and biting ants.

From “In Obama’s Speech, Their Voices,” Nicholas Kristof, NYT:

When President Obama made a landmark speech against modern slavery on Tuesday, many of us in the news media shrugged.  It didn’t fit into the political narrative.  It wasn’t controversial, so — yawn — it wasn’t really news.

But women like Sina Vann noticed.  She’s a friend of mine who was trafficked as a young girl from Vietnam into  Cambodian brothels — where she was regularly punished by being locked inside coffins with scorpions and biting ants.  Now an anti-trafficking activist with the Somaly Mam Foundation, she sent me an exuberant e-mail (in fractured English, her third language) with a message for Obama:  “We are survivors here so proud of you, you are the big president in U. S. and you take action of trafficking.  So you give victims from around the world have hope.”