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Rockets used to deliver chemical weapons in Syria.
Rockets used to deliver chemical weapons in Syria.
Dominic Evans at Reuters reports:
An official from the international mission overseeing the stockpile's elimination said Damascus had made an excellent start on Sunday, and the United States acknowledged its rapid compliance with a U.N. resolution on destroying chemical weapons as extremely significant.

Chemicals experts were overseeing a second day of work on Monday, which the official described as similar to Sunday's when Syrian forces used cutting torches and angle grinders to render missile warheads, bombs and mixing equipment unusable.

However, he noted that this was only the start of work that is due to last until mid-2014 and requires the cooperation of all sides. "It was an excellent first day, with the stress on the word 'first'," the official told Reuters by telephone from Damascus, declining to be named.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who, a month ago, made a forceful presentation in favor of military intervention against the Syrian regime for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds Aug. 21, said Monday at a press conference in Indonesia, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Conference, that he was "pleased" with the destruction of chemical arms so far and called it a "good beginning":
“[Syria] agreed in a record period of time to follow the framework that [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov] and I negotiated in Geneva and they put it into place both in The Hague as well as at the United Nations.

“I think that was a terrific example of global cooperation. I think it's also credit to the Assad regime for complying rapidly as they are supposed to. Now, we hope that that will continue.”

But later in the day, the familiar face of deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf emerged to walk Kerry's statement back a bit: "It is a fact that the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] and the U.N. must work with [Syria]," she said, "and they have responsibilities to assist in the destruction of these weapons. That's just a fact. That's not conferring legitimacy. That's not giving praise."

Okay, okay, some hedging for the home audience is to be expected. Assad is no angel just because the regime has agreed under pressure from just about everybody to destroy what is thought to be one of the world's largest chemical weapons caches. Moreover, the civil war continues most of its brutality and atrocities committed by the regime's forces and their foes. But who can say that what's happening to these chemical arms does not represent progress?

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 01:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  kerry says something (9+ / 0-)

    state department walks it back.

    becoming a pattern, with kerry and syria.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 01:58:04 PM PDT

    •  Remember 2004? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keith930, LinSea, koNko

      John Kerry is a very effective legislator and a real visionary, but when he stands in front of microphones, he needs someone following him around with a pooper scooper.

      I love you, Lurch, but it would be better for everyone involved if you let other people do the pressers.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If they can't get their act/message together, (5+ / 0-)

      then one or the other should be fired.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:48:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  he's a real eager beaver (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, DocGonzo, koNko

      he love's his new gig so much he'll almost say anything.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:40:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I trust the people walking it back less (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, DocGonzo, PorridgeGun

      than I trust Kerry. At least Kerry sometimes says something real. Those official State Dept. presser people are as good at saying nothing repeatedly as you can get.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that's the point. (0+ / 0-)

        Sometimes you can say too much and Kerry is a master of the art.

        •  I like more reality in my politics (0+ / 0-)

          even if it comes at the price of occasional gaffes. If I want plastic endlessly repeated talking points that mean nothing, I can turn on Fox.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 08:10:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You know, I'm starting to think that John Kerry... (6+ / 0-)

    maybe isn't the absolute gold standard when it comes to public messaging.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:20:17 PM PDT

  •  Kerry had it right. (6+ / 0-)

    It IS to Assad's credit that they are cooperating. And Kerry is right to acknowledge that. Reward good behavior.
    It doesn't absolve Assad of other crimes and transgressions.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:21:58 PM PDT

    •  Well, yes, but the Sec. of State's public.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, Not A Bot

      statements need to be more than just "right." They need to be strategic and on-message.

      We don't want the Assad regime thinking they can backslide, or that they aren't being watched like a hawk.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:24:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        I quess I believe in sticks AND carrots.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:34:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rewards for good behavior are quite strategic. (0+ / 0-)

        There wasn't any gushing over Assad in that statement, I didn't think.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:05:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But likewise (0+ / 0-)

        The US needs to avoid demonizing Assad and Syria.

        We should watch all nations like a hawk, including the USA, which has, historically, been a great innovator and user of weapons of mass destruction and others various and sundry, and still seems to justify its own use of force to get what it wants, often using the argument it is exceptional and morally superior in doing so.

        Just saying what can be said.

        And all of the above is a good reason for Kerry to say less.

        Dude, U R Secretary of State, button up.

        •  How does one demonize a chemical war criminal? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm glad no one recced your irrelevancy.

          There are other things going on in the world than your hatred of the United States, and it would be nice if you could hold in check your emotional impulse to threadjack whenever one of them is being discussed.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 03:09:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think you are making too much of this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, DocGonzo, PorridgeGun

    It sounds like Harf was asked a question about whether Kerry's statement gives Assad legitimacy, and she answered no, while not taking away anything from the progress being made.

    I get the criticism of Kerry from a month ago, but this seems kind of petty.  

    •  Petty, Yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo

      My only real criticism of Kerry is that he bungled 2004 & saddled us with W for four unnecessary years.

      Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

      by olo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:14:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Other Elections (0+ / 0-)

        Also that he said after 2004 that election integrity was now his highest priority, but did nothing. While Republicans have stolen election after election across the country.

        But yes, it's the same point you made.

        He does seem to have failed to do anything new anywhere else, and is letting the CIA run the world even worse. But (who really knows, perhaps despite himself) he does seem to have played his Syria role quite well.

        Too bad there's no good solution to their civil war itself. Certainly Kerry doesn't indicate he's got any rabbits in his hat.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:54:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I find it so amusing that (0+ / 0-)

    the same person who played the Godwin Card repeatedly against Syria a couple of weeks ago is now identifying "credits" to that very regime.  

    Embarrassing.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 02:49:53 PM PDT

    •  Embarrassing in a way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo

      but a fairly standard application of stick and carrot.

      I still don't appreciate the risks that were taken by Kerry and Obama to get us here, which were considerable, IMO. Nor did I enjoy the spectacle of Kerry playing the crazy man who would do anything regardless of the danger, in order to stamp out a foreign evil. That was embarrassing.

      But I understand why, after threatening fire and thunder, Kerry would offer praise for Syrian compliance. That's actually pretty sound strategy. Would it have been better if he'd kept foaming at the mouth? If he'd acted like nothing happened?

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:09:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People wonder why I think Kerry is stupid (0+ / 0-)

        and Obama not quite as brilliant as we're supposed to believe.

        Maybe they aced their LSATs, but it's clear to me that all this eleven-dimensional chess is, in reality, so much making it all up as they go along.

        And finally, what carrot?  For months we've been offering logistical support -- and more -- to the Syrian "rebels" . . . just to get Assad to give up his CWs?  Sheesh.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:42:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I'm not saying the whole thing was planned (0+ / 0-)

          I think they were intending to go into Syria, guns blazing (or missiles/drones blazing).

          Once Lavrov saw an opening he took it (good for him!) and got Kerry on board. Thank God.

          It is a carrot, for the SoS to praise the Assad regime for something. It implies that the U.S. will back off of Assad if he keeps it up. Now, that may well not be true--in fact, I bet it isn't--but in the world of diplomacy, the words of a high-level official (his public words) still mean something. I'd say Assad at least has to be glad when Kerry says something positive. It might mean he won't have U.S. forces shooting missiles at his military bases.

          That's a lot different from saying this was all a big plan to make Assad give up his CW.

          Now, having said all that, I admit the Obama Administration's real position on all this is a bit opaque to me. He's been dragging his feet on hostilities toward Iran for years, with Israeli officials, including Bibi, being downright nasty in their criticism at times. Clearly he's not toeing the PNAC line, or wasn't. Then this Libya and Syria shit happens, and it looks like he is toeing the PNAC line. So what gives?

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 05:33:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again: he's making it up as he goes along, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SouthernLiberalinMD

            waiting for the perfect focus group to tell him what to do.  

            So, yeah, PNAC line.  Remember, even Dubya Bush didn't want to attack Iran, despite considerable pressure from his VP and a host of other thugs.  That Obama has also not done so is, well, not all that big a whoop-dee-doo.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 05:48:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Waiting for the perfect focus group (0+ / 0-)

              to tell him what to do."

              That feels really right--except that the gov't seems downright schizophrenic over whether or not they care about what the American public thinks of them.

              I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 08:14:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Harumph, If that's what we call Progress... (0+ / 0-)

    If that's what we call Progress -
    We have fallen far.

    It once was that Progress was known as inventing the wheel... Now  - not so much.

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:02:28 PM PDT

    •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

      progress is incremental improvement.

      The wheel was a paradigmatic shift.

      (well, once they realized it wasn't fit just for a child's toy).

      47 is the new 51!

      by nickrud on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:45:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Progress is incremental, actually. (0+ / 0-)

        Breakthroughs are few, far between and seldom what they appear.

        Where chemical weapons are concerned, progress is usually measured in years because of the nature of the work.

        They have made a "good start" on low hanging fruit, but as they get to loaded munitions, expect the work to slow down and be prepared for a longer timeline than projected.

        The US has spent decades destroying its chemical weapons stock and won't be done for several years more. Let's not expect the work done under conditions of civil war to be smoother or faster.

        •  I don't think anyone is under the illusion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          that destroying it all will be smooth or quick.

          However, as I understand what I've read according to both russian and american intelligence reports (independently arrived at, of course) and syrian self reporting to the UN there isn't all that much actual loaded munitions - Syrian sarin is stored as its two precursor chemicals and mixed shortly prior to use. Which will make destruction much easier.

          Also remember that the biggest obstacle to final destruction of the US stocks has been intense local opposition to operating the incinerators at all, not the difficulty of destroying them. I don't think there's going to be effective local resistance in Syria.

          47 is the new 51!

          by nickrud on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 09:36:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  See my comment (0+ / 0-)

            Here, which elaborates.

            My specific concern is how loaded weapons will be destroyed by the mid 2014 deadline, which quite clearly requires destruction, not mere removal as some people on Daily Kos have suggested.

            No country has ever managed to do that, technically, or politically. Not the USA. Not Russia. So I wonder how that will be accomplished in Syria.

            I would like to see that, but until it happens I will remain a bit skeptical.

            However, if it is done, then the same technique might be used by the USA to dispose of it's remain weapons, which are more than a decade past deadline for destruction, and not presently scheduled to be destroyed for several more years. In fact, the US is still building facilitates to destroy it's remaining stocks.

          •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

            There are some people who seem to think this destruction will be smooth and quick, including a few on Daily Kos who are downright insistent this will be so.

            I need to see this.

          •  oops, here I go again (0+ / 0-)
            I don't think there's going to be effective local resistance in Syria.
            Actually, this is a significant concern of the inspectors as several rebel factions are clearly against the exercise for political reasons since they consider it a means for Assad to hang on to office and even gain some legitimacy in the international community. They are already on the record stating their opposition and it includes groups effectively in control of areas where some sites are, so let's not count chickens so fast.

            Certainly there is some basis in reason for their opposition since:

            (a) a condition of the agreement is recognition of the present government as legitimate.

            (b) Obama/USA signed up to the principle that removal of the weapons not regime change is the demand and objective of the USA.

            (c) provided Syria reasonably adheres to the agreement, there would not be a basis (within the terms) to refer the case back to the Security Council.

            So this does, to an extent, legitimize the Assad government, or at least provide the basis for that.

            So I would NOT assume conditions are more friendly than the USA, and certainly they are not better, give the fact the country is a war zone and in pretty bad shape.

            All the more reason to question if the deadline can be met, which some of the inspectors and some other arms control experts are questioning.

            To me, it is more reasonable to say let's monitor progress, give credit where it is due, and prepare to run the process as long as it takes regardless of the deadline.

            No country has yet to meet such a deadline. It require quite a leap of faith to assume Syria will do so.

            I'm happy to be proven wrong on this.

            •  The deadline isn't a drop dead one (0+ / 0-)

              Kerry and others have already stated that 'significant' progress will suffice. They are aware as yourself that circumstances will dictate. As you've stated earlier the US has taken longer than planned and that's not a war zone.

              Anyway, I'm not fixating on the end game but rather that Syria works at it and the US et. al. aids, and not hinders, that work.

              47 is the new 51!

              by nickrud on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:32:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Got any links? (0+ / 0-)

                Because the agreement as written is pretty clear and I haven't heard much moderation from Kerry et al so far.

                And as I write, the press has put similar questions to the OPCW secretary who replied, in effect, that it's a difficult task but possible if all parties cooperate, underlining his belief all parties "should" have an interest to destroy the weapons.

                He also stated that, so far, Syrian authorities have been cooperative and support from the UN good.

                I would call his message guardedly optimistic, which is encouraging, because I'm more inclined to believe what practitioners have to say than politicians of any stripe.

                •  I went to the actual text again (0+ / 0-)

                  and there is no drop dead deadline in either the SC resolution or the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' timetable for destruction. The dates given in all the articles proposed, not written in stone.

                  I admit I couldn't find those Kerry quotes, so I figured I'd look for reasons he'd make those statements. I think I've found them :)

                  http://www.un.org/...

                  47 is the new 51!

                  by nickrud on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:58:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  How would you define progress? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm all ears and eyes. Seriously, what are your expectations?

  •  Harf (0+ / 0-)

    pretty much blew her spokesperson creds last month.  She needs to be reassigned

  •  It is good news. Nothing controversial about that (5+ / 0-)

    The fact that an accord could be hammered out in such a short time, and all parties are acting in accordance with such, is most definitely NOT business as usual.

    •  Lavrov did great work. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo, PorridgeGun

      An unsung hero, at least in this country.

      Glad Kerry responded well to him.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:12:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I cannot say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD

    "what's happening to these chemical arms does not represent progress?" but have to add, "Not enough" and, cynic that I am becoming, must also say, "whither must we (and can we from here) go to finally achieve a reasonable, peaceful world.? I have grandbabies that need us to get this done...now.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:01:59 PM PDT

  •  Uh-oh. Asia-Pacific Conference? (0+ / 0-)

    Are they finalizing TPP?

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:14:34 PM PDT

  •  So much for warmongering rusemanship, huh? (0+ / 0-)

    So many here were utterly convinced that the President and his administration were dead set, bound and determined to get us into a war in Syria just like Bush lied us into Iraq. They were loudly accusing --hell, announcing as fact!-- that any talk of non-violent solutions were a cover spin for an invasion that was already scheduled.

    I'd love to see those people admit they were wrong and offer an apology, but I expect hell to freeze first. Still, the cry of wolf has been counted and the "ZOMG EBIL CONSERVOBAMA!!!" meme will be discredited next time it rears its ugly head.

    "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

    by DarthMeow504 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:48:39 PM PDT

  •  A Giant Step for Humankin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cheminMD

    This destruction of Syria's chem WMD is an incredible turn of events, an unqualified victory for Obama. A foreign policy victory probably unmatched since I dunno - maybe Poland joining NATO, and maybe bigger in its implications.

    Obama said he wanted Syria's weapons destroyed, and that he didn't want to invade. He indicated he didn't want to help the rebels, because they'd be even worse than Assad, especially for the US, since they're dominated by actual Caliphate jihadists (not the usual made up ones from Fox).

    Obama got all that. And he got it quick once he announced the red line was crossed. He confirmed the "carry a big stick" part of Roosevelt's "talk softly" diplomacy, without firing a shot. He got the Russians to take the initiative to execute on the weapons client country they'd been defending.

    He got the Russians to destroy WMD in a Mideast rogue state, by talking.

    Which caused an unprecedented break in Iran diplomacy.

    That result is astonishing. It sounds like a Colbert mashup: Russians disarming Syria's WMD by talking!?! That got a friendly Iranian president to offer to make friends? What!

    I think so many heads exploded all at once that nobody noticed. The corporate mass media is still reporting this turn of events as some kind of embarassment for Obama. Nobody is crediting him with making Russia a WMD destruction partner, right as Putin becomes a Tsar.

    I'm far from Obama's biggest fan. But if Syria really does demonstrably detroy his chem WMD by sometime next year, Obama will have actually earned the Nobel Peace Prize he got 5 years ago, from a very prescient Nobel committee.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:51:02 PM PDT

    •  Let's break out the Champagne (0+ / 0-)

      A few years from now when it is actually done.

      And note the brinkmanship could have had other outcomes, so we can thank our lucky stars.

      I'm far from Obama's biggest fan. But if Syria really does demonstrably detroy his chem WMD by sometime next year, Obama will have actually earned the Nobel Peace Prize he got 5 years ago, from a very prescient Nobel committee.
      Yeah, if they manage to do that by mid 2014 then the US can invite Syrians to tech how it is done since the US has spent decades destroying it's stockpiles and is not forecast to complete the job for several more years.

      Hope Syria can set a better example. Seriously.

  •  Is that the super sophicated CW rocket that only (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Not A Bot

    the Syrian government could possibly have the resources to create?  The Syrians don't believe in painting their munitions to prevent corrosion?   This doesn't even meet the standards for a science fair rocket.

    Ah well.    It is a very good step forward for humanity that the Syrians are destroying their stocks of chemical weapons, however we got there.

  •  What should be understood (0+ / 0-)

    Is that:

    (1) A majority of the "chemical weapons" inventory is precursor raw materials, process equipment and empty shells, which are significantly easier to destroy than munitions loaded with poison gas.

    (2) Right now, progress is being made on the low hanging fruit, mechanical destruction of equipment and empty shells (one does not take cutting torches or angle grinders to loaded weapons).

    (3) The problems down the road are:

    (a) Destroying loaded weapons, which could take years (usual done on a timeline of decades, actually). Some people question the practicality of the plan's deadline in that respect because it requires "total destruction (inside or outside Syria)" by mid 2014, which they consider optimistic at best.

    (b) Not all weapons sites are created equal and not all days have sunny weather. While they may make quick work of destroying some equipment under government control, there are significant security risks elsewhere and no guarantees rebel factions will cooperate, or that sunshine prevails, and the weapons inspectors themselves have voiced concerns about security.

    In other words, destruction of the weapons, even given the advantages stated in (1) is no simple task and under more ideal and secure conditions, historically takes years, not months.

    Therefore, it is important to track and credit progress and cooperation from the Syrian government, but also to track and credit cooperation, or lack of it, from any party properly account for any problems or roadblocks encountered.

    Understanding of the above may explain the State Department's press release.

    And it might be good for Kerry to temper his enthusiasm to stand in the spotlight and banter because of the position he holds.

  •  Rightwing believes Syria WMD were Iraq's (0+ / 0-)

    I've seen several rightwing posts claiming it's been "proved" Saddam merely shipped his WMD to Syria and that's why the UN and US didn't find any in Iraq.  Amazing how they can twist the truth, or truthiness.

    Everything we do is really just a little marker on the long road to death -- Joss Whedon

    by OnePingOnly on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 07:43:48 PM PDT

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