The BBC is reporting this:
Syria crisis: Russia urges Assad to give up chemical weapons
Russia has asked Syria to put its chemical weapons stockpile under “international control” in a bid to avoid US military strikes, and then have them destroyed. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the offer was made during talks with his Syrian counterpart, and he hoped for a quick response from Damascus. (…) When asked at a news conference whether there was anything Mr Assad could do to avoid military action, Mr Kerry replied that he could hand over his entire stockpile of chemical weapons within the next week. US officials later clarified that Mr Kerry was making a “rhetorical argument” rather than a serious offer. However, Mr Lavrov later called on Syria to “place the chemical weapons under international control and then have them destroyed”. He said the offer had been made to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during talks in Moscow.
Very interesting idea indeed. But does it make sense?
There is a terrible precedent to this idea: the US and NATO bullied the Krajina-Serbs and the Bosnian-Serbs to agree to place all their “heavy weapons” (anything bigger than a machine gun!) under United Nations control. We know what happened after: the US/NATO attacked from the air while Croat and NATO special forces attacked on the ground. The Serbs could not get to their weapons, while Milosevic ordered the Federal Forces to retreat. I can even reveal the following here (Saker exclusive! This was never reported before because nobody cares about the “evil Serbs”):
The attacking US/NATO forces contacted the UN forces which were supposed to “defend” the UNPAs (UN Protection Areas) and ordered the peacekeepers to immediately get the hell out of the way. The UN forces were ordered to obey by the UNPROFOR command. The UNPAs were all occupied and the Serbs “ethnically cleansed”.
That is, of course, a terrible precedent. However, there is a *HUGE* difference between the Serbs giving up their so-called “heavy” weapons and the Syrians giving up their chemical weapons: for the Serbs their weapons were crucial for their defense, whereas Syria has no use for its chemical weapons in the current war and, I would argue, has no use for them even in case of an Israeli attack. This is not the place to discuss the Syrian deterrence doctrine, but I will say for the record that I find it deeply flawed.
I have always believed that chemical weapons are useless and that also applies to Syria.
So yes, emphatically yes, this could be the way out: let the Syrian put their chemical weapons under international control, let them agree to have the US, NATO or the Gulf States pay for their destruction and let that idiot Obama claim a huge success in forcing the evil dictator to give up his weapons of mass destruction. Even the Zionist Lobby would have to agree that this is good for Israel :-)
However, if the US walks away with that kind of agreement, then that would also mean that they would give up on regime change. The insurgency would be allowed to peter out and the Assad regime would remain in power.
Finally, yes, I know that the US, Israel and the KSA can claim that “Assad hid his WMD” like they did with Saddam Hussein, but at the point the momentum for war will be close to zero. So at the very least, this is an excellent diversionary tactic to buy Assad more time.
I say that this is a much better solution than a regional war and an absolutely brilliant move by Lavrov. Hopefully the Syrians will agree within the next few hours and then, hopefully, this will tip the balance even if the folks at the White House understand that they have been skillfully out-maneuvered.
What is your take on that, do you agree?
IMPORTANT UPDATE: SYRIA AGREES!
UPDATE2: “United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Monday that he is considering urging the Security Council to demand the Syrian government immediately hand over its chemical weapons to be destroyed.”
This would only make sense as long as, on the ground, the Syrian Army is making significant progress against the Takfiris. My opinion is that they would need much more than the odd fortnight to wipe out the foreign combatants.
I don’t think that the US is looking for some sort of trophy to show the world, or that it has been dragged in this situation unwillingly. On the contrary, it is mainly the Saudis (and possibly Israel and Turkey) to have pushed for an intervention. Therefore the US will not abandon its plans in exchange for what you define a symbolic act*.
Washington cannot simply ignore this request, as it would reflect bad on its status: what’s the point to brown nose a bully, if you can’t have him beat your enemy?
What is really keeping the Pentagon at bay is the risk that the conflict escalates in a way that would reflect bad on the US.
*Of course you know much better than me whether chemical weapons are effective (whether on the battlefield or just as a threat). However I find at least suspicious that the US have always asked and obtained from its enemies that they give up chemical weapons (Saddam, Qaddafi) before crushing them. What do you think? Coincidence?
I have been quite busy lately, so sorry for not commenting in your last posts. However I have read them and must say that they are some of the best on the Syrian crisis!
I am of the opinion that you have only touched briefly on the countries led down this path, only to be attacked later.. .
Libya, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, to name a few.
Instead, Syria should make it abundantly clear that it’s WMDs are on 3 minute scramble, that any attack against it will be followed by immediate launch of everything in the WMD stockpile against, Nicosia, TelAviv, Haifa, Instanbul, Imman, and Riadhya, for the express purpose of killing their inhabitants by the millions.
Furthermore, Syria should make it abundantly clear that it considers the US/Qatar/KSA perpetrators of the insurgency, and demands immediate compensation on the order of $1 trillion USD, to be paid to it’s account at SperBank, or else TelAViv and Haifa will be annhilated, together with Imman, and Riadhya.
This is called MAD (mutual assured destruction)
Can you substantiate the claim the Serbs handed over heavy weapons? Can you provide a link or give more specifics?
@astabada:. My opinion is that they would need much more than the odd fortnight to wipe out the foreign combatants.
Maybe, but if the US falls for this plan, it will demoralize the Takfiris who will lose any hope of winning. They will start to run pretty fast, and that would make sense: they cannot win without a US intervention, so if the intervention does not happen, they cannot win.
However I find at least suspicious that the US have always asked and obtained from its enemies that they give up chemical weapons (Saddam, Qaddafi) before crushing them. What do you think? Coincidence?
No, the US simply used the chemical weapons of these regimes against them as a way to justify an attack on them. But that does not mean that these weapons would deter the US from attacking and the 2 Gulf Wars have shown. To repeat: chemical weapons are 99.99% politics and 0.01% militarily significant, unless of course they are directed at defenseless civilians where they are adequately effective.
@INDY:This is called MAD (mutual assured destruction)
Exactly. And the aim of the Resistance should be to *PRESERVE* Syria and its people and not to have them all killed alongside the Israelis.
@The Hero of Crappy Town:Can you substantiate the claim the Serbs handed over heavy weapons?
Not right now, I need to leave for the afternoon, but its hardly a secret. A quick search on the Internet will show you that the UN agreed to take a number of areas under its protection in exchange for the Serbs agreeing to hand over their heavy weapons to the UN which would keep them in storage for them. These UN protected areas were called UNPAs. The OFFICIAL idea was that the Serbs would agree to stop shelling the Croats and Muslims in exchange for being protected by the UN. What happened of course was that the Croats and the US/NATO attacked the Serbs, the UN got out of the way, and the Serbs lost every single UNPA. And nobody gave a shit, of course, because all the attention was on the UN protected areas in Bosnia were Muslims were “protected” by the UN (Gorazda, Srebrenica and a few others). And there NATO deliberately ordered the UN forces to let the Bosnian-Serbs into Srebrenica in order to have an excuse to intervene.
So much for UN “protection” of anybody – Serb or Muslim…
Find a halfway decent chronology of the events in Croata and you will find a confirmation of all I have said except the order given by US forces to UNPROFOR to lift their (very modest) roadblocks “protecting” the UNPAs. That is something which I personally (but remotely) “observed” while this was happening and which was confirmed to me by a UNPROFOR battalion commander which I cannot name but which made a brilliant career after that. More I cannot say. Sorry.
Are there enough Russian and Chinese troops and specialists on those recently sent/arrived warships and large landing craft to carry out the ‘international duty’ of stockpile guarding/removal on behalf of the rest of the world?
I think it reasonable for Assad to make the case that as the US/UK/Saudi/Israel/et al have sponsored / are sponsoring the insurgents, he will comply re chemical weapons stockpiles but will only allow Russian and Chinese boots on the ground?
Now that would leave Barry O’Bomber in an ‘interesting’ place; but not seem unreasonable to rational folks.
Agreed Syria should do this. The chemical weapons can’t be used except to commit a ghastly atrocity against civilians and the consequence of doing that would give the USrealians all they need to topple the Assad regime and allow the Takfiris to slaughter every Christian and Alawite they can get their hands on.
It would be both wicked and insane for the regime to use the chemical weapons. They’re not an asset to the regime but a total liability. So yes absolutely Assad is right to agree to Lavrov’s scheme which may allow all the players on each side to save face.
Of course there’s still the danger that the USraelians and their Saudi allies will not give up on their regime change and will continuing arming and financing the rebels, training them, possibly using special forces inside Syria and doing whatever else to prolong the war and continue the agony of the Syrian people. But Assad’s chemical stockpiles aren’t going to prevent that. Get rid of them.
Whilst deeply suspicious of American intentions I think this is quite the maneuver and the Syrians have publicly accepted the Russian proposal very quickly (ie I personally doubt it was a chance)
Judging by the whiplash inducing turn in the corporate media today the Anglos are on board with this being Obamas face saving backdown, really seems to have taken the wind out of push for strikes – the tone and content of the commentary has changed, as has the imagery shown in the reports, example; western media hasn’t given a shit about Syria’s various minorities, today Sky News, BBC are covering whats been happening to the ancient Christian village of Maloula (sp?) – not much usage of ‘rebels’, now its AlNusra, AlQaida etc
I agree – if this works out and the US is not going to provide air cover for the wahabis then the SAA and assoc militias should be able to clean up.
If not and things go kinetic then Lavrov will have made even more clear to *everyone* that this was never about humanitarian concerns and only regime change which will bite the US in the arse when inevitably things get really messy and oil prices start to spike.
In that sense it calls Obama’s bluff – we’ll know that option 1 and 2 are out of the window (otherwise easier/safer to accept CW proposal?)
Your move Obama!
Ээээ, а ссылочку можно? На сайте МИД РФ написано : ” Сегодня в Москве мы провели переговоры с Министром иностранных дел Сирии В.Муаллемом. Уже после их завершения пришло известие о том, что Госсекретарь США Дж.Керри сделал заявление, согласно которому ударов по Сирии можно избежать, если Дамаск передаст все химическое оружие международному сообществу. Не знаем, согласятся ли на это в САР, но если установление международного контроля над химоружием в этой стране позволит избежать военных ударов, то мы немедленно включаемся в работу с Дамаском. Призываем сирийское руководство не только договориться о постановке мест хранения химического оружия под международный контроль, но и о его последующем уничтожении, а также о полноценном присоединении к Организации по запрещению химического оружия.
Мы уже передали это наше предложение Министру иностранных дел Сирии В.Муаллему, который находится в Москве. Рассчитываем на быстрый и позитивный ответ. ” http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/4B6CF9DF7225584344257BE1005104AF
Ога, призываем… ))))) Предположим Асад предложение примет(приветствует не значит принял). Сдаст всю “химию” кому-то-там на хранение (от наивное дитё). Гы! Тут же посыпяцца десятки видео хим-атак с утверждением, что он, типо, не всё сдал, из-подтишка опять химичит…
Короче, сказка про белого бычка пойдёт по 2му 3му кругу.
З.Ы. пропускать коммент не обязательно, празднуем днюху…с сильным запозданием )))
This is the Russians playing chess, which they and its Iranian authors are rather good at.
The only down side I see is who has the REAL control of the forces put in place to supervise/destroy then etc. – But I’m also quite sure Putin is as aware of that as an issue as anyone.
Check Mr Obama – your move.
@Carrie:Are there enough Russian and Chinese troops and specialists on those recently sent/arrived warships and large landing craft to carry out the ‘international duty’ of stockpile guarding/removal on behalf of the rest of the world?
Most unlikely, unless that was the plan all along. You need very specialized personnel and gear to do that kind of stuff. Besides, everybody understands that the US will demand oversight over that, possibly via the UN, but its not like they will trust Assad (who, by the way, can be 100% honest and get rid of all his chemical munitions which is a very expensive proposition)
It would be both wicked and insane for the regime to use the chemical weapons. They’re not an asset to the regime but a total liability
Agreed at 110%!
Of course there’s still the danger that the USraelians and their Saudi allies will not give up on their regime change and will continuing arming and financing the rebels,
Yes, but the momentum will be lost for them and Russia and China will then have the time to further assist the Syrians. Here is my solution:
A) The the Anglo-Zionists pay for the removal and destruction of these (useless) chemical munition
B) With the money saved, purchase top-of-the-line Russian military equipment
@Wikispooks:Check Mr Obama – your move
Technically, this is not a check. This is a gambit which Obama can take or decline and I am quite sure that he would prefer declining it, but with the bad forecast in Congress and the rest of the planet against it (except the Ziocrazies, of course), my sense and hope is that he will have to go for it. FYI – a gambit is when you take a loss (here a loss of chemical weapons) if it can give you a strategic advantage (here buy time and take momentum away from the US attack).
Pepe Escobar on the 6th Sept, meant to post a link here earlier.
Summary; whilst Obama and co faff around on Syria, BRICS/SCO countries forge ahead.
Obama’s rogue state tramples over every law it demands others uphold
ZOG has a long standing habit of disarming its opponents and then launching attacks against them. I would add Iraq and Gaza to the list countries that have fallen prey to this tactic. You can be sure that if Hezbollah had disarmed, there would have been another attack on Lebanon as well.
This may buy Syria some time, but until the Jewish stranglehold on elite institutions in America (media, academa, finance) is broken, the threat of mass-murder by the ZOG machine remains.
Thing is that according to the Serbs themselves (eg: http://www.oklop.net23.net/VRSK/krajina.html) the army of Krajina Serbs still operated hundreds of pieces of armor on the eve of Operation Storm. Majority of these weapons were evacuated in the days of the fall of Krajina and entered into Bosnian Serb service. I do not how this is compatible with the claim that Krajina Serbs had been pressured to agree to hand over such weapons in their entirety.
@The Hero of Crappy Town: I do not how this is compatible with the claim that Krajina Serbs had been pressured to agree to hand over such weapons in their entirety.
It’s not. I have destroyed by UNPROFOR documents many years ago already, but I can try to make sense of this contradiction by saying the following. As far as I recall:
1) Any Serbian heavy gear outside of the UNPAs would probably not have been covered by the agreements. So keeping these weapons just inside Bosnia could have been an option
2) It is possible, though I very much doubt it, that some gear was kept inside the UNPAs more or less hidden as was the case inside Gorazde and Srebrenica in Bosnia. I honestly don’t know, but I do not recall that kind of information coming out of the UNPAs and, at that time, my info about the UNPAs was very very good.
3) iirc the BOSNIAN-Serb (as opposed to Croatian/Krajina Serb) heavy equipment was ordered to move away from UN protected areas in Bosnia, but not actually put under UN supervision. Thus the Krajina Serbs could have received some help from the Bosnian Serbs.
4) My Serbian is very rusty, but could it be that the equipment listed in the article was still considered “part of the Serbian inventory” (which strictly speaking it was), but just “assembled” in UN monitored depots?
Does any of the above click with the information you have?
The way to check this is to go through the relevant UNSC resolutions which codified all that. I simply don’t have the time to do that, but bet you that you can find the modalities of this agreement in UN documents.
Sorry about the lame reply – I am operating only from memory and with not a shred of paper with me to double-check references.