September 15, 2013
TO IMAGINE THE DEAL A VICTORY FOR ASSAD...:
Syria Deal Faces Long Odds (Max Boot, 09.15.2013, Commentary)
[I]f the deal is implemented as advertised, it would be an unprecedented and almost unbelievable achievement: UN inspectors will have to catalogue, seize, and destroy some 1,000 tons of chemical weapons while a brutal civil war rages around them. Little wonder that Kerry added, when he first offered a way for Syria to avoid American military action, that such a plan couldn't and wouldn't be accepted. Now it has been accepted at least by the U.S. and Russia but without any obvious sticks to compel Assad's cooperation, with Russia steadily refusing to support a Chapter VII resolution to compel Syrian compliance.The indications from Damascus are, at best, mixed: Assad most recently said he would eliminate his chemical weapons only if the U.S. stopped threatening him and stopped supporting the opposition. [...]Indeed, if he submitted a full and complete list of weapons and sites he would be in danger of putting a noose around his neck, since it would be tantamount to an admission that the chemical-weapons attack which killed some 1,400 civilians was carried out by government forces-something that Moscow and Damascus continue to strenuously deny, in no small part because Assad must know he faces the possibility of trial as a war criminal.
...you have to also imagine him a man willing to surrender power. That's not how such regimes work. W understood that about Saddam, which is why he let Colin Powell and Tony Blair make their play with a UN resolution.Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2013 2:10 PM