September 15, 2013
Poll: 75% of Israelis say Syrians won't give up chemical weapons (GIL HOFFMAN, 09/15/2013, Jerusalem Post)
More than three-quarters of Israelis do not believe Syria will keep its commitment to dismantle its chemical weapons program, according to a poll published in this weekend's Israel Hayom.
If History Is Any Measure, the Clock Is Ticking (WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER, 9/14/13, NY Times)
Weapons experts and diplomats say that if President Bashar al-Assad is serious about complying with the landmark agreement announced in Geneva on Saturday, he will have to take similarly dramatic action in the coming weeks. Anything short of an immediate demonstration of willingness, they say, will be a sign that Mr. Assad is seeking to drag out the process, betting that time is on his side as memories fade of the attack that is said to have killed more than 1,400 people and prompted a military standoff with the United States.The benchmarks laid out in the Geneva agreement seek to capitalize on the momentum by imposing quick deadlines, including a requirement that Syria submit a complete list of its chemical weapons, and storage and production facilities within a week. The agreement also requires "immediate and unfettered" access to chemical weapons sites by international inspectors.The agreement calls for the destruction of chemical agent mixing equipment by November and, perhaps most ambitious, for Syria to completely rid itself of chemical weapons and production facilities in less than a year, a timetable that would set a speed record and one that many experts doubt could be completed even with Syria's full cooperation.
To comply with the deal that was negotiated over his head, Assad would have to essentially surrender sovereignty over his state.
W, of course, laid exactly the same trap for Saddam, then used his noncompliance as the basis for his ouster::
Meanwhile, suppose for the nonce that he were to disarm himself, all that would do is deprive him of the means to retaliate against his own people when we do attack him.Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm.Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power. For the last four-and-a-half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that Council's long-standing demands. Yet, some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it. Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace, and a broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world. The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2013 8:01 AM
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