Syria to Sign Chemical Weapons Ban, Sec. Kerry Wants More


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Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem has responded to a Russian proposal for the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. Moualem gave this statement:

“We want to join the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. We are ready to observe our obligations in accordance with that convention, including providing all information about these weapons,”

He continued,

“We are ready to declare the location of the chemical weapons, stop production of the chemical weapons, and show these (production) facilities to representatives of Russia and other United Nations member states,”

This should come as good news to all involved, but U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry says that though the U.S. welcomes this decision that would prevent a U.S. airstrike, we “will not wait long.” Kerry says that the Assad-led Syrian regime must go further and give up control of these weapons so that they can be destroyed.

US-SYRIA-POLITICS-KERRYThere is at least the prospect of peace. Pres. Obama addresses the nation tonight at 9 PM (EDT) and though he will undoubtedly demonstrate approval of a deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, he will still lobby for support for a strike in the event that Syria is bluffing or delaying. I also foresee the president taking credit for this move by Russia and Syria as he will claim it is the result of the threat of action. I hope not. It is never good to come across as the “bully nation.” However, since the decision to attack seemed to be primarily about the president’s credibility and not a justifiable moral response to an atrocity, it will not be surprising for Obama to take the position of Sec. Kerry in his comment, “nothing focuses the mind like the prospect of a hanging.” Yeah, yeah. With all of this in mind, Obama will desperately need Congress to delay the vote in order to continue to look strong.

I pray that Syria follows through with their decision to stop the production of chemical weapons and disclosing the location of their current chemical weapons. However, like Sec. Kerry, I too hope they take the next step and give up control of their chemical weapons. I only see that action preventing military action from the President. And with Congress looking like it will not vote yes, these next few days should be very interesting.

(HT: The Huffington Post)

 

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