Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Golf Claps for Putin

This current stream of applause for Putin is naive and short sighted.

It's almost comical to begin by noting that Assad and Putin stood firmly by the notion that Assad's regime never used chemical weapons, but now want to utilize this "diplomatic opportunity" to turn this into a "peaceful solution" (ya know..  after they didn't use those chemical weapons to maim over 1000 people).  

It's not like Putin came up with this alternative solution to avoid military strikes and convince Assad to hand over his chemical weapons...  This option has been floated since last year's G20 Summit.  ..And Assad isn't doing it just because Putin said,"Please."  Syria and Russia are in a symbiotic relationship militarily and financially that make this entire "deal" favorable for both parties at this juncture.  Syria has been purchasing billions of dollars worth of military gear from Russia to use against the rebels.  Russia makes a killing on military weapon/vehicle sales (no pun intended), they look "good" and bolster their previously dwindling international influence, they keep these chemical weapons from falling into the hands of Islamic militants that can use them in Chechnya/et al., and Russia maintains a strategically placed naval base on the Mediterranean.  Just about the only logical point that can be made on Russia's behalf that doesn't just benefit themselves is the fact that forced regime change in all previous attempts (Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc) hasn't created any further stability in the region.

Chemical weapon experts have stated that the organization and implementation of this supposed agreement to a chemical weapons resolution is a monumental task that has not been effectively executed before.  It will require up front logistics and ongoing monitoring and control with firm commitments.  How many weapons inspectors, who protects those teams on the ground, how do they verify all the weapons sites have been disclosed, who receives the weapons, and what will happen to the weapons after they've been removed from Syria's control?  They're saying it could take months to secure the sites and years to destroy the weapons, if all parties can agree on that entire process.

What is the real end game?  If we eliminate Assad's chemical weapons threat, are we really making a change for the Syrian people?  Assad has supposedly killed ~100k of his own people without chemical weapons.  The world is losing sight of the fact that it is Assad, not the type of weapon he chooses, that we need to continue to monitor in Syria.  This smoke screen is working.

I'm not saying the US government, from the Presidential administration to several bumbling members of Congress, are getting this right..  But let's stop putting Putin and Assad on a fucking pedestal.



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