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In a very carefully worded statement to the press after her meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the decision to carry out an attack on Syria hinged on three points. She welcomed the suggestion that was made by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia to place whatever chemical weapons Syria has under international control. The suggestion was also welcomed by Syria's Walid Muallem

I'll post the transcript as soon as it is available.

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette and Docudharma

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Comment Preferences

  •  Careful with an eye on 2016 (6+ / 0-)

    And memory of 2008.  Trying to thread the needle.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 12:46:49 PM PDT

  •  Secretary Clinton (12+ / 0-)

    sounded very much like she was speaking for the Administration.

    Firm but open to talks.

    Very presidential, I might add.

  •  Here is a report on it. (5+ / 0-)


    "I will continue to support his efforts and I hope the Congress will as well," Clinton said at forum on wildlife trafficking, an issue that was one of her priorities at the State Department.

    Clinton noted that Secretary of State John Kerry had suggested a new proposal that would have Syria turn over its stockpiles but she said "the international community cannot ignore the ongoing threat of the Assad regime's stockpiling of chemical weapons."

    "Now if the regime immediately surrenders its stockpile to international control as was suggested by Secretary Kerry and the Russians that would be an important step. But this cannot be another excuse for delay and obstruction and Russia has to support the international community's efforts sincerely or be held to account," she said.

    "The world will have to deal with this threat as swiftly and comprehensively as possible," Clinton added.

    More at the link.  I think the headline is misleading there.  It's more nuanced than "punishing" Syria.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 12:53:42 PM PDT

  •  This war-mongering is why I can't support Clinton (16+ / 0-)

    I don't want a continuation of Obama's polcies + extra war.
    It's indefensible morally and uncompelling electorally.

    No thanks.

  •  Looks like she's running. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, gooderservice
  •  Ain't gonna work, people aren't going to buy (3+ / 0-)

    it.  She's done.

  •  "Careful words" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    micsimov, triv33, Johnny Q, TheMomCat

    Those are what a seasoned diplomat chooses in difficult times.

    I sincerely hope that Secy. Kerry was paying attention.

    UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:44:16 PM PDT

  •  John Kerry should be taking notes (5+ / 0-)

    Really amazing just how much more effective Hillary is at communicating a coherent position.

    Of course some will not like that she suggested that the current negotiations for Syria to give up the chemical weapons lkely wouldn't have taken place without some threat of force, but she's probably right on that.  

    And her three points are things almost everyone should agree with:

    1. The use of chemical weapons was a serious violation of a universal norm which demands a strong international response.

    2. The world also needs to deal with the threat of Syria's existing stockpiles.

    3. A political solution that ends the conflict is in everyone's interest.  What is going on now is a humanitarian catastrophe.  

    I'm not sure why some consider this an example of war-mongering.  I think there are some pretty strong arguments there implied against any reckless military action, which could easily worsen the humanitarian crisis, further destablize the region, and even cause a greater threat of those stockpiles falling into the wrong hands.  

  •  the most interesting thing is how Hillary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, TheMomCat

    referred to Kerry's pronouncement in London as a "suggestion"...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 02:46:51 PM PDT

  •  I don't believe for one minute that Kerry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheMomCat, aliasalias, mickT

    planned to make this suggestion.  I don't have time to find the video or audio where he answered the reporter's question, but I heard it earlier and it appeared to be definitely off the cuff, not planned, flippant, and he even started walking it back before his finished his answer.

    Kerry's "proposal"

    To clarify


    The Russian request followed what appeared to be an off-the-cuff remark from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to offer a way to avoid military confrontation in Syria.

        Kerry’s statement was in answer to a question at a London press conference on how President Bashar Assad’s regime could avoid a military response to what the United States insists was an Aug. 21 chemical attack on a Damascus suburb.

        "Sure," Kerry answered. "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, but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done.”

        Read more here:

    And it sounds like the Russians saw an opportunity and jumped on it. It may have been a plan, it may have been serendipity. I suppose that won't matter in the end as long as it results in diverting military attack.

    by cosmic debris on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 06:04:22 PM EDT

  •  It's really hard to know what to believe. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At first I was angry with the President's call to war, and I still am, but maybe there is a silver lining here. From the beginning he has done a lot of hemming and hawing about getting involved. The chemical strike couldn't be ignored this time. If he had, he would have been criticized for that just as harshly. Then he kept saying we needed to bomb, but if he wanted to bomb, why didn't he just go ahead with the limited strike. It seems to me that he may have wanted to give time to see if there was resistance. When he found out there was, he kept up the call to war and had Kerry trumpet it even louder to stir up more resistance. This put pressure on Congress to act, but Obama didn't call them back so that public pressure could build. This gives Obama a possible out if Congress votes him down while at the same time letting him maintain the pose of the warhawk putting pressure on Syria. Obama has no choice but to keep calling for a strike if he wants to influence Assad. Kerry's joke about Syria giving up all of its chemical weapons was perhaps not really a joke, but an attempt to see if Assad would take the bait. Apparently, they have. Hillary comes in so they can shift gears. Now if any of this is truly the case, Obama should accept Assad's surrender of chemical weapons and try to negotiate a peace, because it would seem that Assad wants peace as much as anybody. The problem on that score is the rebels, but that's why there would be negotiations.

    If Obama doesn't accept the surrender of chemical weapons and the possibilities that might bring, then that would speak very badly of him. I am against going into Syria. The limited strike idea seems like the first step into the quagmire.

  •   a proposed WMD-free zone once stopped by the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    UN Resolutions

    Unlike the case of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, there are no UN Security Council resolutions specifically demanding that Syria unilaterally disarm its chemical weapons or dismantle its chemical weapons program. Syria is believed to have developed its chemical weapons program only after Israel first developed its chemical, biological and nuclear programs, all of which still exist today and by which Syrians still feel threatened.

    However, UN Security Council Resolution 687, the resolution passed at the end of the 1991 Gulf War demanding the destruction of Iraq's chemical weapons arsenal, also called on member states "to work towards the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of such weapons."

    Syria has joined virtually all other Arab states in calling for such a "weapons of mass destruction-free zone" for the entire Middle East. In December 2003, Syria introduced a UN Security Council resolution reiterating this clause from 12 years earlier, but the resolution was tabled as a result of a threatened US veto. As I wrote at time, in reference to the Syrian Accountability Act, "By imposing strict sanctions on Syria for failing to disarm unilaterally, the administration and Congress have roundly rejected the concept of a WMD-free zone or any kind of regional arms control regime. Instead, the United States government is asserting that it has the authority to say which country can have what kind of weapons systems, thereby enforcing a kind of WMD apartheid, which will more likely encourage, rather than discourage, the proliferation of such dangerous weapons

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:16:40 PM PDT

    •  I undedrstand what you are saying, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if Syria collapses, won't it also be vulnerable to Israel? Syria did not have to accept the conditions of the offer. Syria has other weapons to defend itself and its military is still cohesive and strong. I am not a supporter of Israel. I recognize their right to exist, but I think that their treatment of the Palestinians is criminal. I think, for example, that rather than trying to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, we should be helping them build them. This would create some parity in the region and perhaps force Israel to allow the creation of Palestine. However, neither the Israelis nor the Saudis would want that.

      The situation here is the possibility of peace. If peace in Syria is achievable without the U.S. getting militarily involved, that would seem like the best course of action, that is if the real objective of the administration is peace. The administration could accept Assad's offer under certain conditions agreeable to both parties and the Congress wouldn't have to vote on it. I think that Obama should try to make peace without Congress giving him a "big stick" If that doesn't work, then Assad isn't sincere. If Obama needs authentic war powers from Congress before he will commit himself, that shows that he is not sincere, and in that case I say no to any Congressional authorization of military force.

      If Congress gets involved and approves this madness, that would only lead to a boots on the ground situation as far a I can see, and I'm against that. If Obama is truly acting in good faith, then he will exhaust all possibilities before resorting to a military solution. I don't really think that Obama wants to go to war, and that may be wishful thinking on my part, but if he is relying on Congress to stop him that might not work either. On the other hand, if he keeps clamoring for war then he does not have good intentions nor is he the person I thought I was voting for, and I want Congress to stop him. If he acts without Congressional approval, then the Congress should start impeachment proceedings.

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