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AP: Enforcement Doubts Cast Cloud On Syria Plan

From a suddenly questioning Associated Press:

Question of enforcement casts cloud on Syria plan

RYAN LUCAS and LORI HINNANT | September 11, 2013

BEIRUT (AP) — A Russian plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to avert Western missile strikes has bogged down after Moscow rejected U.S. and French demands for a binding U.N. resolution with "very severe consequences" for non-compliance.

The surprise Russian proposal, which Syria and the United States both accepted, would put President Bashar Assad’s regime’s chemical stockpile under international control before its eventual dismantling.

Note that the AP has also signed on to the revisionism that this plan originated with Putin.

The initiative — also cautiously endorsed by Britain and France — appeared to offer a way out of a crisis that raised the prospect of U.S.-led military action against Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last month.

But the plan ran aground as the world powers haggled over the crucial element of how to enforce it. Wary of falling into what the French foreign minister called "a trap," Paris and Washington are pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution to verify Syria’s disarmament.

Because the UN are so good at verifying these kinds of things.

Russia, a close Assad ally and the regime’s chief patron on the international stage, dismissed France’s proposal as unacceptable on Tuesday…

What a shock. It’s so out of character.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said early Tuesday during a trip to Moscow that Damascus "agreed to the Russian initiative as it should thwart the U.S. aggression against our country."

Whoops. Did he mean to say that out loud? Of course, that is really all that is behind this.

Before departing Moscow in the evening, al-Moallem told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV that Syria would place its chemical weapons locations in the hands of representatives of Russia, other unspecified countries and the United Nations…

And never mind that Russia probably gave them these chemicals in the first place.

Syria will also declare the chemical arsenal it long denied having, stop producing such weapons and sign conventions against them.

And we know their word is good. Especially when it comes to these chemical weapons, which until just this week, they denied even having.

Mindful that Damascus could only be seeking to avoid Western military strikes, France said it would put forward a draft resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, making it enforceable with military action…

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the French resolution would demand that Syria open its chemical weapons program to inspection, place it under international control, and ultimately dismantle it. A violation of that commitment, he said, would carry "very serious consequences." …

How bad are things when you have to depend on France to be the enforcers with military action?

Obama threw his support behind the French resolution and discussed the matter with French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. At the same time, he continued to push his original plan to win congressional authorization for U.S. airstrikes against Assad’s regime in case the diplomatic efforts fail.

The prospect of a deal that could be enforced militarily met swift opposition from Russia, which has provided economic, military and diplomatic support to Assad throughout the 2½-year conflict.

President Vladimir Putin said the plan can only work if "the American side and those who support the U.S.A, in this sense, reject the use of force." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his French counterpart that it is unacceptable for the resolution to cite Chapter 7, the U.N. resolution authorizing force, his ministry said in a statement.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in turn, said the U.S. rejects a Russian suggestion that the U.N. endorsement come in the form of a non-binding statement from the Security Council president…

So why are we even talking about it? Why is everyone pretending that this plan is going to work?

By the way, as we have previously noted, Israeli intelligence says Syria has a least 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, which are stored in more than fifty different locations.

The Congressional Research Service said in a report released on August 20 that the Pentagon has estimated it would take "over 75,000 troops" to secure Syria’s chemical weapons. Are we going to sign on to a plan that will give Assad 75,000 Russian soldiers to aid his cause?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP: Enforcement Doubts Cast Cloud On Syria Plan”

  1. untrainable says:

    France threatens “very severe consequences”. Like what? Are they going to send Syria to bed without any supper? France doesn’t even qualify as a paper tiger.

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