Monday, September 9, 2013

Last Call For 11-Dimensional Chess, Syrian Edition

So, the story today goes like this:  Secretary of State John Kerry made some interesting remarks about Syria to the British press early this morning...

“Sure. [Assad] could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week,” he said. “Turn it over, all of it, without delay. And allow the full and total accounting for that, but he isn't about to do it.”

The press screamed GAFFE...

White House officials spent several hours downplaying Kerry's comment, calling it a "hypothetical," a "rhetorical" comment — an anonymous American official even told CNN it was a "major goof." And it sure looked like a comment tossed off without much thought — in the GIF at right, you can see Kerry throw up his hands at the idea. "But he isn't about to do it," Kerry said of Assad handing over all his chemical weapons, "and it can't be done, obviously."

...but then something very remarkable happened. The Russians LOVED it, and more importantly, so did the Assad regime.

But Russia treated it like a serious proposal. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said his country would work "immediately" to convince Syria to hand over his large chemical weapons arsenal. Then Syria foreign minister Walid al Moualem said he "welcomes Russia's proposal." Suddenly the goof was serious. Then deputy national security adviser Tony Blinkin said "We're going to take a hard look at this," in a press conference with reporters. "We'll talk to the Russians about it."

Hillary Clinton was on hand to seize the upper hand...

Then Clinton played it off in a speech that was originally supposed to be about wildlife trafficking. "Now, if the regime immediately surrendered its stockpiles to international control as was suggested by Secretary Kerry and the Russians, that would be an important step," Clinton said. "But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction. And Russia has to support the international community's efforts sincerely, or be held to account." That's not a rejection of Kerry's comment as a goof — that's a demand that Russia take it extremely seriously! Syria would have never been open to this proposal if it weren't for the threat of military strikes, Clinton said.

And now, all of a sudden, there might be a way out of this mess, without President Obama actually having to fire a single missile. And considering the now overwhelming opposition to Syrian strikes, it's something the White House is going to actively pursue, I should think.

Who knew?

Assad Uses The Shaggy Defense

As he tells PBS' Charlie Rose "It wasn't me."

The Syrian president, Bashar Assad, has said there is no evidence he is responsible for the deadly gas attacks the US government claims left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children.

In an exclusive interview secured by Charlie Rose of PBS, Assad said: “There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people.”

Assad refused to confirm or deny that he had chemical weapons but said if he did, they were under “centralized control”.

The interview will air in its entirety on PBS on Monday night, as president Barack Obama is due to sit down with six television networks for recorded interviews and press his case for a targeted attack on Syria.

I'm sure his military didn't kill 100,000+ with conventional weapons of war, either.  Must have been some other dude named Assad.   Who happens to control Syria.  Let's just call the whole thing off, guys.  He says he didn't do it.

What?  Seems rather loony?  But Alan Grayson, Ron Paul, Vladimir Putin, and El Rushbo say we should believe the guy.  Must have been some other dude. 

And for pretty much everyone on that list of people there, the "other dude" is President Obama himself.  Assad's more trustworthy to them.

How does that work?  Stop asking so many questions.  Obama is evil, that's all you need to know.

Stand With Rand, Standing With Assad

Rand Paul has his list of demands to make sure the Assad regime is heard, or he'll filibuster any Senate legislation on Syria forever.  Or something.

Sen. Rand Paul, who's already said he opposes the limited U.S. military strikes in Syria being pushed by President Barack Obama, said Sunday he was still weighing his options for stalling a vote in the full Senate on the use of force resolution.

The Kentucky Republican said a filibuster - which he used earlier this year to demand more information from the Obama administration on the use of drones - could only delay a vote, but wouldn't "put off a vote forever."

Instead, he said, he'd demand that any vote taken by Congress be binding, meaning that the president would be barred from striking Syria without congressional approval.

"The president cannot, if we vote him down, decide to go to war anyway. That's the way I interpret the Constitution," Paul said on "Fox News Sunday."

So, no big deal, he just wants an end to the War Powers Act built into any Syria legislation.  Good luck with that.  But if he doesn't get it, well, he'll filibuster it for a day or two and more dudebro liberals will tell me how great Rand Paul would be as President.  It won't solve any of the problems in Syria or in America, but it'll be awesome, somehow.


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