Is Assad Being Tricked Into Sacrificing Syria?

Or is the plan to relinquish chemical weapons a geopolitical master stroke?

20130910-205622.jpg
Image: Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Joseph Watson, INFOWARS.COM

Is President Bashar Al-Assad being tricked into creating circumstances that will hand the Obama White House a justification for war, or is the plan for Syria’s chemical weapons to be destroyed a geopolitical master stroke that will avert a regional conflict?

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem today formally accepted a Russian proposal – first mooted by John Kerry – for Syria to hand its chemical arsenal over to international control in a bid to avoid a US military attack.

Many see the development as a stunning example of Russia once again outmaneuvering the United States, seizing on an apparent gaffe by Kerry in order to pull the rug out from underneath Washington and derail Obama’s pretext for war.

However, could the precondition of Syria destroying its chemical weapons actually be used to rescue a congressional vote that had looked doomed to fail?

As Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain – both aggressive supporters of military intervention – have indicated, Congress could now be made to vote for air strikes not on the dubious basis of last month’s alleged chemical weapons attack, a justification that has failed to convince the vast majority of representatives, but on the basis of a complex set of terms that would mandate Syria disarm or face US attack.

With lawmakers seemingly confident that Syria would agree to disarm now that they have accepted the Russian proposal, they would be far more likely to green light such a resolution.

The United States could then, as happened with Iraq, accuse Syria of being too slow or failing to disarm, before launching air strikes with congressional approval already secured.

Forcing Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons would also significantly reduce the country’s capability to fend off any potential future aggression on behalf of Israel or other hostile Gulf states.

It would be naive to think that the White House has not at least considered using Syria’s supposed “victory” against US aggression as a precondition which could be used weeks, months, or even years down the line to back Assad into a corner from which he cannot escape.

However, to believe that this had been the plan from the very beginning would mean Kerry’s apparent “gaffe” of giving Assad a week to disarm was in fact a calculated maneuver.

It also fails to explain why Israel has all but rejected the idea, in addition to people like British Foreign Secretary William Hague pouring cold water on the plan by assuming Assad will fail to go ahead with disarmament anyway.

However, history tells us that regimes who attempt to acquiesce to demands for disarmament are by no means protected from future US military aggression.

In December 2003, Colonel Gaddafi agreed to give up his weapons of mass destruction and allow unimpeded inspections. This didn’t stop the Obama administration coming to the aid of Al-Qaeda-linked rebels eight years later to destroy Libya and leave it in the hands of brutal warlords.

Continue reading

OBAMA: A Strike On Syria Would ‘Absolutely’ Be Off If Syria Gives Up Its Chemical Weapons

Said he hadn’t made up his mind about Strikes if the Congress vote NO.

20130910-092000.jpg
Obama in his interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace

By Brett Logiurato, BusinessInsider

President Barack Obama said Monday that he would “absolutely” put plans for strikes on Syria on hold if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave up control of his country’s chemical weapons.

“Absolutely — if, in fact, that happens,” Obama said in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, which was one of six interviews he gave at the White House on Monday.

Obama’s comments came after a day of unexpected developments in the Syria situation that signaled a potentially dramatic shift in course on Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry first made what appeared to be an offhand remark in London early Monday, suggesting that Syria could potentially avoid a U.S. attack if it handed over “every single bit of his chemical weapons” to the international community in the next week.

Russia immediately jumped on the offer, despite the State Department’s furious walk-backs of Kerry’s remarks as “rhetorical” and “hypothetical.” And Syria said it would “welcome” the offer.

Obama echoed his sentiments in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“It’s possible if it’s real,” Obama said. “… It’s certainly a positive development.”

Obama told PBS’ Gwen Ifill and Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he had “conversations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin about this issue during their conversation last week at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. But he emphasized that even if this deal led to a “breakthrough,” it would require strict conditions and follow-up.

In interviews with NBC and Fox News, Obama quoted former President Ronald Reagan, saying he would “trust but verify” Russia’s offer. After the interview on NBC, Savannah Guthrie reported, citing a senior administration official, that Putin initiated the conversations.

“We will pursue this diplomatic track,” Obama told Fox News’ Wallace. “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way. But I think it is important for us not to let the, you know, the pedal off the metal when it comes to making sure that they understand that we mean what we say about these international bans on chemical weapons.”

Continue reading