Foreign Policy Syria

US, Russia Reach Agreement on Chemical Weapons

Russia and the United States have reportedly reached a deal that will see the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by next Summer.

From the Associated Press

The deal, announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, includes what Kerry called “a shared assessment” of the weapons stockpile, and a timetable and measures for Syrian President Bashar Assad to comply. [...]

“The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments,” Kerry told a packed news conference at the hotel where negotiations were conducted since Thursday night. “There can be no games, no room for avoidance or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime.”

And there are no boots on the ground and not a single bomb has been dropped. The threat of force was enough.

The American people should be glad that President Obama is willing to use the threat of force to achieve diplomatic ends, because the alternative is refusing to talk to your adversaries and branding them the Axis of Evil while demanding their unfettered compliance.

Obama is not Bush.

  • LTanya Spearman

    Syrian PM al – Haliq welcomes the deal struck over Syria’s CWs
    French Pres. Hollande says vote possible on UN Syria resolution by end of the week..
    [reported by Reuters]
    China, the fifth of the veto – wielding -Security Council members, said Sunday it welcomed the [U.S. – Russia Syria] deal.
    P5+1 consider strategy for meeting new Iran team NY
    Putin said, Tuesday that he & Pres. Obama had “indeed discussed the idea during a meeting on the side line of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. He & Obama agreed “to instruct Kerry & Larov to get in touch,” & try to move this idea forward.
    U.S. & Iran maybe edging toward direct talks.
    Russia hands Syria CWs plan over to U.S.
    U.S. – Russia agreement on Syria CWs, is theoretically, a godsend for Israel.
    How Putin “OUTSMARTED” Obama: By completely surrendering to all of Pres. Obama demands.

  • Zen Diesel

    The RightWing media is way too busy polishing Putin kremlin knob to ever give the President one half ounce of credit.

  • LTanya Spearman

    U.S. & Iran may be edging toward direct talks…
    rwng/empro freak-out in

    • Lady Bug

      Thanks for the link, I remember reading something similar in the NYT about a week ago.

      You know, if there is a more or less peaceful settlement to the Syrian crisis, the emergence of the recognized and viable Palestinian state and the re-establishing of diplomatic ties with Iran by the end of Obama’s term…

      the rwng/emoprogs would still complain 😉

  • AJ Slemmer

    Jedi Ninja Chess Master hater-aggravatin’ Obama strikes again!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Game, set, and match: Obama

    And Putin is left remaining as his ball boy.

  • D_C_Wilson

    And there are no boots on the ground and not a single bomb has been dropped. The threat of force was enough.

    And that is why our “liberal media” will be treating this as a major defeat for President Obama.

  • villemar

    I made the mistake of clicking on a Cory Booker article in Alternet and like a dope I read the comments. You think they hate Obama you have no idea how much they fucking loathe Booker. It’s Obama Derangement Syndrome by proxy. Get ready for the term “Bookerbot” to start showing up. Because he’s not Bagger Vance or Uncle Remus or some other Magic Negro. Just think, of all the Blue Dog Dems out there, all their firepower goes towards taking down Cory Booker. Gee, I wonder why?

    • Lady Willpower

      Yes, all these so-called liberals sure don’t like smart, strong black men in power. I wonder…

      • Zen Diesel

        Yeah, Cory Booker must be gay or something, he’s not married….blah blah blah….yet no one seem to question Huckleberry J. Butchmeup Graham on his sexuality.

  • BlueTrooth

    And we just may have to rethink the Assad situation. It may be that Assad will be offered a redemption plan with the ultimate goal being an election and a peaceful, or somewhat peaceful, transfer of power. The rules have changed and it will take the old hacks of foreign policy a good 3 months to either get with it or get lost. The Syrian opposition is not ready for prime time by any means. McCain is sputtering nonsense about an immediate transfer of power or prolonged civil war that only invites more extremists into the State. It’s just important to remember that the US made it clear that removing Assad immediately is not considered in our best interest or the interest of the region.

    • Schneibster

      We said what we wanted, and it looks like we got it. There are three factions in Syria and the mad bomber jihadists are the smallest one.

      I’m content to wait and see. I’m not talking (other than rhetorically) about letting them beat each other to death; I’m talking about letting them work out their differences however they choose. It’s none of our business as long as they’re not gassing one anothers’ babies. I just don’t see their chosen government as our business. And I think it’s unlikely it will turn out to be the mad bomber jihadists.

    • Lady Bug

      An ideal (under the circumstances) situation, IMO, would be a deal that establishes a transitional government that includes members of the Baath Party (Assad’s political party) but does not include Assad, but at the same time also assures that all sections of Syria’s demographic, religious and ethnic groups get political representation. It will not under any circumstances be easy. Just getting the sides to sit down with each other is going to be challenging enough, let along to agree and implement a peace plan. I can’t see how a peace plan is going to be implemented without UN peacekeepers.

      Then there’s also the question about the possibility of an international tribunal to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred during the war.

      I’m trying to learn more about the Lebanese Civil War to see if there are any applicable parallels to how a peace deal might be implemented. If anything, the Lebanese Civil War was even more complicated and complex than the civil war in Syria.

  • muselet

    Obama is not Bush.

    Clearly not, but in some quarters of the intertubes he is regarded as little more than George W. Bush in blackface. Indeed, some of the commenters at Truthdig hold Barack Obama in such contempt that their opinions wouldn’t be out of place at RedState or The Blaze. For example:

    A face saving agreement with Russia taking the lead and the USA taking its lumps. A true world leader, which Obama is certainly not, would have asked for this very agreement from the first.

    How does one even begin to argue with someone who thinks like that?


    • i_a_c

      What an absolutely moronic comment you found. Syria did not even acknowledge it kept a CW stockpile until the US threatened attack. Gunboat diplomacy is not always the best strategy but when it works it’s hard to argue with the results.

      • muselet

        It’s not like I went hunting for it, either. The fringe of the Left and the fringe of the Right have well and truly met.


      • Sabyen91

        No kidding, in one freaking day it went “What? Us? Chemical weapons?” to “Yes, we will surrender our stockpile.” One day.

    • mrbrink

      Reminds me of Airplane:

      But my dad says you don’t work hard on defense, and he says that lots of times, you don’t even run down court. And that you don’t really try… except during the playoffs.

      “The hell I don’t! Listen, kid. I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night.”

      Tell your old man to drag Putin and Assad up and down the court for 48 minutes!

      • D_C_Wilson

    • It seems to me that they just can’t bear the thought that President Obama is much smarter than they are, more responsible than they are, and more beneficial with his pragmatism than they have ever been with their lofty “ideals” that are made of abstractions.

      • nathkatun7

        Thanks FG! You hit the nail on the head with your excellent comment.

    • FlipYrWhig

      I’ve been pointing out the, let’s say “irony,” of the same group of people who pillory Obama for his supposed tendency to compromise too soon and get too little (public option, stimulus, debt ceiling, etc.) _now_ railing at him for not compromising sooner. He did exactly what they always say he should do: went in with a show of strength, then negotiated to something less than everything but that got him a whole lot of what he wanted. But it’s still wrong. I guess if your whole shtick is to be chronically unsatisfied, you’ll never lack for reasons to grumble.

      • muselet

        It never seems to occur to the kibitzers that maybe, just maybe, the administration knows more about what’s going on in these negotiations than they do.


  • mk3872

    Just imagine, though, if Bush W were president now.

    Instead of the MSM calling POTUS “weak”, “unstable” and “muddled”, he’d be hailed as a genius and brilliant.

    It’s the enduring legacy of the treatment of DEM presidents that never befalls GOP presidents.

    BTW, this meme has now even become part of the Professional Left’s jargon and opinion of the Syria crisis.

    I just don’t get it.

    • muselet

      Probably not a genius and brilliant, but he’d certainly be hailed as decisive as the USAF turned Syria to glass.

      Either that or GWB would be busy clearing brush on his ranch and no one would mention Syria at all.


      • mrbrink

        Decisive…heh, heh, heh!

        That was my W impression. I think I nailed it.

        • muselet

          Not bad at all, but you forgot to add, “Now watch this drive.”


        • D_C_Wilson

          ‘Cause I’m the decider . . heh, heh, heh!

    • D_C_Wilson

      If W were president now, US troops would be marching on Damascus as we speak.

      But, you know, Obama is a warmongering.

      • Victor_the_Crab

        On their way to Iran.

    • Badgerite

      I think the left just cannot handle the idea of power residing anywhere. Even in the hands of someone who shares their goals. Maybe especially in the hands of someone who shares their goals. Because inevitably there will have to be compromises made by the person and the people who actually have the power to affect policy. And those decisions and compromises with the reality of the human condition can be ‘problematic’ for the purest of the pure, who have always been able to rely on others to make those compromises for them. And then pretend it has nothing whatsoever to do with their own lives. Why, they wouldn’t have made those kinds of decisions. Because they are way to moral. No, they probably wouldn’t have. Why they wouldn’t have required unconditional surrender from the Japanese military in WWII. And what do they think would be going on now in that part of the world if Truman had not insisted on the dismantling of the Japanese militarism that had ruled the country of Japan engaging in the conquest and brutality of Asian countries. And you would have Al Qaeda surging in places like Mali, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan. And Al Qaeda has not shown itself to be a ‘gentle’ organization or particularly concerned with civilian death. Carrying out terror campaigns all over the world. The Chechnyan Islamist rebels once used as their target a Russian school full of children. Saddam Hussein had children’s prisons for the children of his political enemies. What do they think happened in a ‘children’s prison’ run by Saddam? You would have the Assad regime continuing its strategic use of chemical weapons on its own people with the help and support of Vladimir Putin. And the attendant message as to what is acceptable in war. Which could only be termed as genocide. Genocide as an acceptable strategic weapon in war. Sounds like a plan. The bubble that the American left likes to create for itself might be an easy place to operate in just as the bubble the American right likes to create is easy for it to navigate morally. But the world at large is not.

  • Craig Moffitt

    President Obama is exactly the same as George W. Bush because he isn’t acting like George W. Bush. You got to understand the logic involved here. The whole Firebagger/Emoprog crowd wanted an imperial president, just doing what they wanted and they are disappointed that they didn’t get it.

  • Schneibster


    • Oh yeah— in that horrid moment of hearing ‘What does Assad get out of it?’ on that horrid cable news program I saw briefly, I heard that most people who are trained and certified to be inspectors of chemical weapons are from the U.S.; and therefore, we really would have “boots on the ground.”


      • Schneibster

        It’s good to have the adults in charge.

      • D_C_Wilson

        “What does Assad get out of it?”

        He gets to not have the shit bombed out of him.

        • I know, right?! It’s like they expected Obama to give Assad a consolation prize for being deprived of the capability to exterminate another neighborhood like rats. Is this the effect of giving children ribbons for showing up to compulsory events?

  • >>>Obama is not Bush.

    Indeed, he is not. And fuck the firebagging/emoprogs who will continue to try to sell the notion that he is.

    • Richard_thunderbay

      But, but, but Syria will be like just like Iraq, just like Libya was just like Iraq, just like…

    • Lady Willpower

      They’d much rather see how much of Putin’s nutsack they can fit in their mouths than EVER give props to Obama. It’s fucking disgusting.

      • You are so right! It makes me sick.

        • Lady Willpower

          I have to wonder what kind of diseased mind prefers Vlad Putin to Barack Obama. Putin is a homophobic, murdering, totalitarian gangster and Obama is a center-leaning liberal who’s trying to do his best while dealing with an intransigent Congress and a public who doesn’t know what the fuck to believe in. So yes, by all means don’t take the side of the liberal!

          • Brutlyhonest

            Putin is a homophobic, murdering, totalitarian

            Yeah, I wonder why the right is sucking up to him …

          • I am so disgusted with those who can not find it within themselves to give this president one tiny little bit of credit. It’s like their racists or something [/snark because of course, they are exactly that].

      • Schneibster

        I said exactly the same thing on a “Putin Makes Russia the New Middle East Power Broker” article over on Foreign Policy.

    • drspittle

      But, but, but… DRONES and SPYING and stuff? Oboot lickers!


  • formerlywhatithink

    Obama is not Bush.

    This is something the far left cannot understand no matter how many times you explain it. Just because Obama didn’t wave a magic wand and make all their precious policy wet dreams come true, they equate him with Bush. Morons.