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by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013 at 6:47 AM
Obama's War on Syria Delayed, Not Deterred
by Stephen Lendman
John Kerry's stumble delayed Obama's war. It's not averted. He intends to wage it. He'll do it later, not now.
In London, Kerry said Assad "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 a full and total accounting for that."
"But he isn't about to do it, and it can't be done, obviously," he added.
A previous article said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Kerry's bluff. He's going all out to prevent war. So are Syrian officials.
From Moscow, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem welcomed Russia's proposal. It calls for placing Syria's chemical weapons under international control, agreeing to their destruction, and signing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
CWC prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It mandates their destruction. It doesn't deter Washington from violating its provisions.
America maintains huge chemical, biological, nuclear stockpiles. New more dangerous weapons replace older ones.
CWC mandates non-complying nations be referred to the Security Council for action against them. America's veto power precludes efforts to do so.
Washington uses banned weapons in all its wars. They include chemical, biological and radiological ones. No evidence links Syria to chemical or other prohibited weapons use any time throughout months of conflict. Claims otherwise are fabricated.
Moallem pledged "full cooperation" with Moscow. He did so to deter Washington's planned aggression.
Syria isn't party to CWC or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It's a 1925 Geneva Protocol signatory. It prohibits chemical and biological weapons use.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is preparing a resolution for Security Council consideration.
"I'm considering urging the Security Council to demand the immediate transfer of Syria's chemical weapons and chemical precursor stocks to places inside Syria where they can be safely stored and destroyed," he said.
"I am sure that the international community will take quick measures to make sure that these chemical weapons reserves are stored in a safe place and are to be destroyed."
Paul Walker's a chemical weapons expert. He's Green Cross International program director. He welcomes Syria agreeing to place its chemical weapons under international control, saying:
"I think it still would be a very positive step forward and might be the one open door left to President Assad to hold off a very serious military strike - which obviously would threaten the Assad regime, and certainly his chemical, military forces and command and control."
He called moving and destroying chemical weapons very hazardous work.
"Part of it would depend to what extent their chemical agents are alive. In other words, are they already prepared? Are they loaded into weapons? If they are it could be quite dangerous."
If toxic chemicals aren't weaponized and haven't been pre-mixed into a live agent, they can be moved or otherwise handled more safely, he added.
If Assad signs CWC, he's obligated to declare what's in his stockpile. OPCW experts would inventory it. Destruction would follow.
According to Walker, doing so's a lengthy process. It's costly and complicated. Depending on Syria's quantity and types, it may take years to complete.
Opposition Free Syrian Army head Salim Idress accused Moallem and Vladimir Putin of deceit, saying:
"We call for strikes and we warn the international community that (Assad's) regime tells lies, and the liar Putin is its teacher. Putin is the biggest liar."
"The regime wants to buy time to save itself." He warned Washington and other anti-Assad "decision makers" against Assad's "trap of deceit and dishonesty."
He revealed his own agenda in the process. He's collaborating with Washington. He's doing it against all Syrians. They want peace. Idress wants war. He's waging it for self-serving interests.
Lavrov promised Moscow's full support to avert war. He's trying to broker a diplomatic solution. He caught Obama flatfooted.
The US president's between a rock and a hard place. He backed himself into a corner. He did so based on lies.
On the one hand, Kerry suggested putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control can avert war.
On the other, Obama's increasingly isolated. He was caught back-footed. He faces overwhelming anti-war sentiment. It resonates at home and abroad. Congressional defeat for war looks likely.
Obama's best laid plans hit a speed bump. They're floundering. They're doing so temporarily. They're delayed. They're not deterred. Obama didn't wage war on Syria to quit. Planned shock and awe will wait for later.
On Monday, Obama taped six TV interviews on Syria. He did so for ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC and PBS.
Tuesday night he delivered a nationally televised address. It was typical Obama. It was duplicitous. It concealed his rage for war.
He lied calling international monitoring and destroying Syrian chemical weapons potentially a "significant breakthrough."
At the same time, he said:
"I think you have to take it with a grain of salt initially. We are going to run this to ground. We're going to make sure that we see how serious these proposals are."
Senate Democrats scheduled a Wednesday procedural motion vote on Syria. Passage would begin formal debate. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) delayed it, saying:
"What we need to do is make sure the president has the opportunity to speak to all 100 senators and all 300 million American people before we do this."
Senator Diane Feinstein (D. CA) was the first senior Democrat to support Lavrov's proposal, saying:
"I think if the UN would accept the responsibility of maintaining these facilities, seeing that they're secure, and that Syria would announce that it is giving up any chemical weapons programs or delivery system vehicles that may have been armed, then I think we've got something."
Other Senate and House members feel the same way. Foreign leaders expressed support.
They include Britain's David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius among others.
An unnamed senior State Department official said Kerry warned Lavrov. Washington's "not going to play games," he said.
Other current Obama officials scrambled on Monday. They urged no delay in attacking Syria. Former Obama officials said the same thing.
They turned truth on its head. They called Lavrov's proposal a delaying tactic. Russia's allied with Syria, they said. It's against Obama's agenda. They want it pursued, not delayed or deterred.
Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken said:
"Its very important to note that its clear that this proposal comes in the context of the threat of US action and the pressure that the president is exerting."
"So it's even more important that we don't take the pressure off and that Congress give the president the authority he’s requested."
Deputy National Security Advisor for strategic communication Benjamin Rhodes, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf made the same argument.
Former Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Obama. She emerged saying Lavrov's proposal "would be an important step, but this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction."
Doing so shows Obama's war plans aren't averted. It bears repeating. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus.
Longstanding plans call for regime change in both countries. Syria's a sideshow. It's prelude for what's planned. Iran is Washington's prime target.
Strategy calls for replacing Syrian sovereignty with pro-Western puppet governance, isolating Iran, and repeating the same process belligerently.
Lavrov's proposal isn't a game-changer. It's a temporary monkey wrench. Perhaps it blindsided Obama. New developments call for new tactics. Longterm plans remain unchanged.
Attacking Syria is delayed. Obama said "(i)t's possible if (what's proposed) is real."
"And, you know, I think it's certainly a positive development when, the Russians and the Syrians both make gestures toward dealing with these chemical weapons."
"This is what we've been asking for not just over the last week or the last month, but for the last couple of years."
"If we can exhaust these diplomatic efforts and come up with a formula that gives the international community a verifiable, enforceable mechanism to deal with these chemical weapons in Syria, then I'm all for it."
"But we're going to have to see specifics. And I think it is reasonable to assume that we would not be at this point if there were not a credible military threat standing behind the norm against the use of chemical weapons."
Assad told CBS News he's "no butcher." He's a doctor who saves lives. Not "a single shred" of evidence links Syria to chemical weapons use, he said.
"We were not in the area where the (August 21 Ghouta) chemical attack" occurred. "Our soldiers in another area were attacked chemically."
"They went to the hospital as casualties (from) chemical weapons. But in the area where they said the government used chemical weapons, we only (have) video, and we only have pictures and allegations. We're not there."
"How can you talk about what happened if you don't have evidence. We're not like the American administration."
"We're not social media administration or government. We are the government that deals with reality."
Kerry's "high confidence" isn't evidence, he stressed. He compared what he said to Colin Powell's infamous February 2003 moment.
Russia's evidence is polar opposite of what Kerry claims. "In this case, Kerry didn't even present any evidence," he added.
"He talks (and says) 'we have evidence,' and he didn't present anything, not yet. Nothing so far. Not a single shred of evidence." He can't because he has none.
Vladimir Putin called Kerry a liar. Assad implied the same accusation. All wars are based on lies. Obama's planned aggression is no exception.
It bears repeating. It's delayed. It's not averted. Russia Today (RT) reported two important developments.
On September 10, it headlined "Intl experts have strong proof images of chemical victims fabricated - Moscow," saying:
"(S)peakers told a UN human rights conference in Geneva" that video of photo images Washington cites are fake.
Experts debunked them. They blamed insurgents for attacking Ghouta. Doing so was a willful provocation for war.
Separately Russia Today headlined "RT sources: Syrian rebels plan chem attack on Israel from Assad-controlled territories," saying:
Doing so would be a "major provocation." It might prove an unstoppable casus belli. It would involve Israel more than already. It would assure strong congressional support.
Previous articles suggested a major anti-Assad false flag was likely if needed. What better one than on Israel.
It bears repeating. Obama didn't wage war on Syria to quit. Regime change plans are delayed. They're not deterred.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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