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NYT Sobs: Assad Is Using Crisis To His Advantage!

From an outraged New York Times:

Listing Demands, Assad Uses Crisis to His Advantage

By ROBERT F. WORTH | September 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — Not long ago, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria seemed a remote and embattled figure, with the United States threatening airstrikes and other Arab leaders denouncing him for having used chemical weapons against his own people. Yet in recent days, he appears, paradoxically, to have turned the crisis to his advantage, making clear to a global television audience that he aims to use President Obama’s own “red line” against him.

Isn’t that exactly what Rahm Emanuel preached, and a technique Obama and other Democrats have mastered?

In exchange for relinquishing his chemical arsenal, Mr. Assad said Thursday, he will require that the United States stop arming the Syrian opposition — a demand that might seem wishful from the leader of a devastated country where civil war has left 100,000 dead, two million living as refugees and large swaths of territory beyond his control.

In fact, the US has has only recently begun arm the opposition, if they have at all.

Mr. Assad outlined his demands on Thursday, telling a Russian TV interviewer that the arms-control proposal floated by his patron in Moscow would not be finalized until “we see the United States really wants stability in our region and stops threatening, striving to attack and also ceases arms deliveries to terrorists.”

Assad really would make a great Democrat politician. He’s got the ‘accuse your enemies of what you are doing’ down pat.

Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a blunt response to Mr. Assad’s comments after meeting Thursday with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, saying the standard procedures for identifying and securing the weapons were too slow in Syria’s case. “There is nothing standard about this process,” Mr. Kerry said. “The words of the Syrian regime, in our judgment, are simply not enough.”

None of which is a response to what Assad said above.

Mr. Assad, sounding relaxed and confident, hinted in his interview that the Russian proposal — which requires Syria to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention — could become a lever for endless negotiations and delays, much as Saddam Hussein delayed arms control inspectors during the 1990s. “It doesn’t mean that Syria will sign the documents, fulfill the obligations, and that’s it,” Mr. Assad said.

So it is a game, after all. And a game Middle Eastern countries have been playing for centuries.

The state-owned Syrian newspaper Al Watan put it bluntly in a headline on Thursday: “Moscow and Damascus pull the rug out from under the feet of Obama.” …

Or, to use a more American idiom, ‘Lucy has pulled the football away from Charlie Brown one more time.’

Some analysts cautioned that Mr. Assad could be overplaying his hand.

“The Syrian regime swings between nihilism and triumphalism; there’s nothing in between,” said one Damascus-based analyst who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. “The chemical weapons deal — there is no deal, it’s very impractical, and if that becomes clear, it could put Obama in a stronger position vis-à-vis airstrikes.”

No wonder this analyst wanted to remain anonymous. This will never happen in a million years.

The analyst added that Mr. Assad’s comments on Thursday could be less a reflection of his own thinking than of what the Russian leadership wants him to say. “Syrian foreign policy has been contracted out to Russia, and Assad was speaking to Russian talking points,” the analyst said. “That is troubling in itself.” 

Well, he got that part right. Assad is just Putin’s plaything.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, September 13th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “NYT Sobs: Assad Is Using Crisis To His Advantage!”

  1. captstubby

    or we could just pick up our marbles, flip them off, and go home.
    this is a no win any way you look at it.


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