Skip to main content

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference with Britain's Foreign Minister William Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London September 9, 2013. Kerry said on Monday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a military strike by turning over all his chemical weapons within a week but immediately made clear he was sure that would never happen.  REUTERS/Susan Walsh/Pool   (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX13E0B
So Secretary of State John Kerry says Syria should put its chemical weapons under international control ...
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that if President Bashar al-Assad wants to avert an attack on Syria, he should hand over all of his chemical weapons within one week.

Asked if there were steps the Syrian president could take to avert an American-led attack, Mr. Kerry said, “Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week — turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow the full and total accounting.”

... and then the Russian Foreign Minister endorses Kerry's position ...
“We don’t know whether Syria will agree with this, but if the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in the country will prevent attacks, then we will immediately begin work with Damascus,” Mr. Lavrov said at the Foreign Ministry. “And we call on the Syrian leadership to not only agree to setting the chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also to their subsequent destruction.”
... and a couple of hours later, Syria's Foreign Minister says Syria would agree to hand over its chemical weapons:
Syria welcomes Russia's proposal for Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control: Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem
Presumably, the big question here will be whether the administration believes Syria and Russia are simply giving lip service to Kerry's ultimatum, or if they are actually serious about complying with it. Before Syria issued its reaction, an anonymous "senior administration official" told NBC's Peter Alexander that the Russian offer wasn't enough to get the administration to change course:
The Russians are using this as yet another delay tactic to protect the Assad regime and prevent them from being held accountable for gassing its own people [...] We're making our own decisions about a military response on our own timeline, period.
But even though that statement says the U.S. will continue forward on its own timeline, if Russia were actually able to get Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons, it's hard to imagine a scenario where the administration would proceed with an attack. Of course, that's the best case scenario. The flip-side is this: What happens if Russia and Syria say they are in the process of handing over weapons, but don't take action quickly enough to satisfy the administration? Would the U.S. attack Syria at the same time that Russia was claiming to disarm it of chemical weapons?

Email your member of the House of Representatives, letting him or her know your opinion about a military strike on Syria—whatever your opinion may be.

9:52 AM PT: If you're wondering whether Syria has elaborated on what exactly it is saying that it is agreeing to do, you're not alone. And according to the New York Times, Syria's foreign minister did not offer any details.

Mr. Moallem, however, would not give any further details in his brief statement and did not take any questions.

9:55 AM PT: Adding to the lack of clarity: Earlier today (before the Russian and Syrian statements), the State Department had issued a walk-back to Kerry's words:

"Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used," a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 09:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site