Does this strike anyone besides myself as unconvincing? Well, yeah, Obama and Kerry for starters.
So Putin is apparently floating a balloon about putting the chemical weapons in Syria under international control. He did not say how to do that, or who would be responsible for making sure that the Syrians could not use them. Why am I visualizing the Iranian Republican Guard taking control of the Sarin? Well, maybe because Iran and Russia are now the chief sponsors of Syria. Russia argued that Assad did not use any chemical weapons. So it makes no sense to lock up weapons that he never used.
Look, it is hard to visualize any such thing happening. Assad has lied about everything. No, he never shot unarmed protesters. Except that we know he did. No, he never fired rockets and artillery at apartment blocks filled with women and children. Except that we know he did. No he never used Sarin, it was the opposition that somehow stole his Sarin or manufactured it themselves- but they do to have the resources to do that, and why would they kill their own wives and kids? Whoops, there is another lie. Assad is not likely to put all his Sarin into someone else's hands, because he wants to be able to use it some more if he needs some.
There is also a deeper question here. since when does a user of chemical weapons get a do-over? It was like Khadafi saying I am a nice guy now, I will no longer blow up any of your commercial airplanes over Scotland. You do not get to wash away the guilt of something by promising to not do it more. You did what you did, and the blood of your victims stains your hands. It smells like Munich to me, giving him a pass on the use of chemical weapons. New rules: you get to use chemical weapons once, but if you do it twice, you might get in trouble. That is certainly a pink line, or maybe pale lavender.
And this whole thing is making for some crazy buddies. Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin on the same page. Tea Party conservatives and left wing peace fans holding hands. As I said in an earlier post, people mocking Obama for having no authority, when they refused to give him any.
Once upon a time there were the 1930s. A guy called Hitler was re-arming Germany, and swallowing up little countries in Europe. He was great at playing the same games that Putin and Assad are playing. If you just let me do this one thing, you will have peace forever. But the peace never arrived. Oh sure, Assad has not attacked beyond his own borders, and he may not. But there are several million Syrians still within his borders, and he is intent on killing all who do not support him. That makes the 100,000 already dead look like a small number. You think this is going to fix itself? keep saying that. The war weariness of the American public is understandable- but Americans being publicly war weary never discouraged a dictator from killing more people. Obama is not even asking to put American boots on the ground, in fact his bill before Congress explicitly denies him that authority! yet it seems unlikely for him to win the vote even with that in the bill!!
Well, it took a couple years of Britain fighting alone against Hitler before we got attacked by Japan and finally saw the light. So I figure that Assad might eventually go too far and then some US cruise missiles might land on him. Maybe we just needed Obama to swagger and wear an orange flight suit? I hope at that point some of the people in favor of tolerating the use of chemical weapons may someday be embarrassed that their intransigence delayed things so long, but I tend to doubt it.