Syria formally accepts Russian proposal to avert US strikes

posted at 8:41 am on September 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

To no one’s shock, Syria has leaped at the chance to have Russia defuse the standoff with the US … to the benefit of the regime and its chief benefactor.  After all, a thumb in the eye doesn’t do any good until it makes full contact:

Syria said Tuesday it has accepted Russia’s proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly “agreed to the Russian initiative.”

His statement sounded more definitive than his remarks Monday, when he said that Damascus welcomed Russia’s initiative.

Of course Bashar al-Assad welcomes the Russian proposal to secure Syrian chemical weapons. Why wouldn’t he?  He gets his patron as his overseer, undermines Barack Obama’s credibility in the region even more, and gets to go back to his civil war with less chance of any significant international intervention against his regime.

Not everyone in the neighborhood is delighted by this turn of events.  Israeli politicians noted another benefit for Assad in this diplomatic coup from Moscow, which is the gift of time:

Senior Israeli politicians have voiced skepticism about Russia’s proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to international control.

Avigdor Lieberman, who chairs the parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee, told Israel Radio on Tuesday that Syria could use the proposal to “buy time.”

He says Syrian President Bashar “Assad is winning time and lots of it.”

Lieberman’s a hawk, but he’s not alone.  Shimon Peres isn’t any more impressed with the idea than Lieberman:

President Shimon Peres warned on Monday that negotiations over a weapons transfer would be “tough” and that Syria is “not trustworthy.”

Thanks to the epic failure of the Obama administration, Assad will end up with Russia brokering the transfer, which makes this only slightly more trustworthy than Assad claiming he doesn’t have the weapons on his own.  Don’t expect Israel to change its calculus vis-a-vis the threat from Assad on the basis of this settlement, in other words.  However, at worst it just extends the status quo we already had — Assad’s chemical-weapons stores have been well known for a very long time — and contains the Syrian civil war mostly within the borders of Syria.  That gives everyone else more time, too.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

If this is such a great thing, then why wasn’t it done with the first chemical attacks in this civil war?

Why was diplomacy ignored for so long?

And if it was ‘behind the scenes’ why does it take Putin to broker a deal? Why not someone from the US State Dept with Putin to put this forward if it was ‘behind the scenes’?

What does Putin gain in return? Perhaps a free hand in Georgia and Ukraine with no US criticism?

And now it is a question if anything will come of this.

An offer is not a deal.

And a deal is not done until it is executed and finished.

Saddam knew how to string along the West, and I bet that Putin and Assad learned a bit from those tricks as well.

ajacksonian on September 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

http://1389blog.com/2013/09/09/re-murdering-the-dead-syrian-children-kidnapped-by-rebels-were-misrepresented-as-nerve-gas-victims/

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM

This is an absolute lie by the Assad regime… The fact that they have to invent this ridiculous lie is 100% proof that Assad forces launched the chemical attacks on August 21… They could have just said the rebels did it without coming up with this incredible lie about the rebels going all the way to Assad most fortified stronghold, kidnapping Alawites children and then gassing them later on…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Syria said Tuesday it has accepted Russia’s proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.
 
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly “agreed to the Russian initiative.”

 

Ed –
Remember when Bush’s credibility was undermined when Libya dismantled their WMD program?
Oh, you don’t.
Hmm.
 
verbaluce on September 10, 2013 at 10:54 AM

 
+1. I doubt Putin’s credibility will suffer at all from this.
 
Good point.

rogerb on September 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM

It’s becoming obvious that English is not its first language. I’m thinking arab in the US on a student visa or diplomatic visa.

slickwillie2001 on September 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Yeah that is it, you got me and exposed me for everyone to see… You are so smart slickwillie2001… I hope that your children have got your high IQ… We need more geniuses like you in this world…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM

OK Syria surrenders their chemical weapons and keeps Iraqs. The only thing worse would be if Israel is somehow tricked into taking possession of them and they are boobie trapped to kill millions.

meci on September 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM

No, Skippy. America is those 2 million Bikers, many of them Veterans, who will descend on DC tomorrow, to remember those who perished on 9/11/01 and to honor our country.

The well-known Christian American Author, John C. Maxwell, wrote,

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

Obama is neither.

kingsjester on September 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Most excellent and God bless them all.. However this has nothing to do with my comment that many on the right are not different than the left wing lunatics… It is so clear that for both sides it is politics 100% of the time and for both side USA = Who is President…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

This is, as everyone outside of the White House knows, idiotic

The Russians made the same promise with enriched uranium inside of Iran…and boy oh boy, that worked great…

GHEEEEEEEESHHHHHH

georgealbert on September 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

When a United States President is supporting the enemies of America, do not expect me to support him.

This is a Constitutional Republic, not an idolotrous dictatorship.

3,000 Americans died at the hands of al Qaeda, 12 years ago tomorrow. The Syrian Rebels have been infiltrated by al Queda. You have been show that, but yet, like a mule with blinders on, you choose to ignore it.

I will continue to stand against Radical Islam and any United States President that chooses to fund it and endorse it.

So help me God.

kingsjester on September 10, 2013 at 11:22 AM

President Checkers is trying to play 3D chess again!

freedomfirst on September 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Russian Parliament Gloats as Putin Checkmates Obama Over Syria

THIS is what a ‘victory’ looks like to LIVs like mnjg.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Does this mean his face won’t be on our televisions tonight?

lonestar1 on September 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Does this mean his face won’t be on our televisions tonight?

lonestar1 on September 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

TV ice-fishing comes before the REB.

slickwillie2001 on September 10, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I don’t own any. Those all belong to Hezbollah.

{o.o}

herself on September 11, 2013 at 3:34 AM

Comment pages: 1 2