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Syrian Chemical Weapons Deal: What Follows?

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013 at 6:05 AM


Syrian Chemical Weapons Deal: What Follows?

by Stephen Lendman

It's all over but the beginning. More on that below.

On Friday, Security Council members unanimously adopted Resolution 2118: Security Council Requires Scheduled Destruction of Syria's Chemical Weapons.

Ir rules out military force. It's "fully consistent with the Russian-US Geneva agreements," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"This is the result of coordinated efforts of Russia and the United States backed by all members of the UN Security Council and the majority of other states."

"The resolution does not fall under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter and does not authorize the automatic use of measures of compulsion."

"It reaffirms the agreement reached at the Russian-US meeting in Geneva to make a breach of its provisions and the use of chemical weapons by any side a subject of thorough investigation at the UN Security Council, which will be prepared to act under Chapter 7 of the Charter."

Naturally, (it will act) proportionately to the severity of violations, which must be proven to be 100% true," Lavrov stressed.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is in charge of destroying Syria's stockpile.

According to Lavrov:

"We firmly believe that OPCW and UN experts on Syria mission will be professional and unbiased and fully respect the sovereignty of that country."

"Everything must be done to put Syrian chemical arsenals under control in line with the OPCW Executive Council's decision in an efficient way and within a period sufficient for observing all the safety norms."

"The Syrian government is not the only side responsible for the fulfillment of this resolution."

"The Security Council demands that the Syrian opposition also must cooperate with international experts."

"Therefore, the reports to be submitted to the Security Council during the implementation of the OPCW decision and the newly adopted resolution must be objective and present the situation applicably to all sides of the Syrian conflict."

"Those who support and sponsor the opposition bear the special responsibility. They must prevent extremists from coming into possession of chemical weapons," Lavrov stressed.

"Syria has begun to fulfill its commitments with the submission of a detailed declaration of the status of its chemical arsenal to the OPCW. We expect Damascus to continue its conscientious and constructive interaction with the international inspectors."

"Hopefully, the increasingly disconnected units of the Syrian opposition will finally announce their readiness to participate in the international conference without preconditions, like the Syrian government did a long time ago."

"Russia is ready to participate in the forthcoming operation in Syria in all its components," Lavrov said.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow will be involved in destroying and/or transporting Syria's CWs if called on to do so.

Syria's obligated to destroy its production facilities by November 1. It must eliminate its CWs by mid-2014. No specific date is mandated.

OPCW's governing council is fully in charge. Syria must give its personnel "immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites."

An accelerated timetable is planned. On Friday, OPCW officials agreed on what follows.

On October 1, its inspectors will arrive in Syria. They'll examine its CWs, delivery systems and production facilities.

According to OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu:

"This decision sends an unmistakable message that the international community is coming together to work for peace in Syria beginning with the elimination of chemical weapons in that country."

Syria's UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafair said Resolution 2118 includes most of his government's concerns.

Damascus is fully committed to comply, he said. At the same time, he expressed concern about "some delegations adopting a negative interpretation of the resolution in order to derail it from its lofty purposes."

America, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar must commit to its provisions, he stressed. They must stop arming insurgents. They must be held accountable if they continue to do so.

"You can't bring terrorists from all over the world and send them into Syria in the name of jihad and then pretend that you are working for peace," he added.

Plans are for a mid-November Geneva II peace conference. Syria agreed to participate. It'll do so with no preconditions. It remains to be seen how opposition elements react.

On September 19, Syrian National Coalition (SNC) president Ahmad Jarba said he'll participate if "all parties agree that the purpose of the conference will be the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers."

Weeks earlier he refused to do so unless Assad agreed to step down. On September 27, he said he's prepared to participate conditionally.

He wants assurances of a "clear timetable" for achieving results. He's against an "open-ended dialogue" with Syria's government.

He wants Assad allied foreign groups excluded. He alluded to Iran and Hezbollah. He said nothing non-Syrian anti-Assad insurgents involved in daily fighting.

About a dozen "rebel" groups broke ranks with SNC. Infighting's gone on for months. Competing factions are their own worst enemies.

Internecine fighting continues. Disputes aren't just over weapons and tactics. They reflect a desire to usurp power. Extremist elements want religious rule imposed.

They comprise the vast majority of fighters. Assad believes they constitute from 80 - 90%. His front line forces are in the best position to know.

Whatever Geneva II achieves won't stop Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and other extremist elements from continuing to fight. Stopping them depends on refusing to supply more arms, munitions, funding, training and direction.

Washington calls the shots. Other anti-Assad countries go along. On the one hand, Obama and Kerry urge diplomatic conflict resolution.

On the other, they continue waging war. They're using proxy death squads. They have no plans to stop. They want Assad ousted. They want pro-Western puppet governance replacing him.

Geneva I (June 2012) agreed on lofty guidelines and principles. They included "a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people."

Efforts going forward require "facilitat(ing) a Syrian-led political process" representing all its citizens.

Transitional government must be "genuinely democratic and pluralistic."

Syrians alone must "determine the future of the country."

"The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected."

Conflict resolution must be achieved through peaceful dialogue and negotiation. Force was ruled out.

Washington ignored Geneva provisions. It systematically violated them repeatedly. It still does so.

Whatever Geneva II achieves won't matter. Obama wants Assad toppled. War is his bottom line option to do so. He didn't launch it to quit.

Escalating it is delayed. It's not deterred. America's addicted to war. Obama believes war is peace.

The business of America is war. One segues into another. They rage without end. They do so while homeland needs go begging.

They do it to advance America's imperium. At issue is eliminating all independent sovereign governments. Washington wants puppet ones replacing them. It wants unchallenged global dominance.

Waging war lets racketeering profiteers gorge themselves at the public trough. Millions of lost lives don't matter.

Profits and power alone count. Pursuing them involves ravaging and destroying one country after another.

Eisenhower warned about the "potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power. (It) exists and will persist," he said.

Imagine what he'd say about today's fortress America. Imagine his reaction to America waging one war after another. Imagine his horror about unconscionable amounts spent.

Imagine his reaction to global wars. Imagine his condemnation of out-of-control imperialism. Imagine how he'd address possible mass annihilation.

Imagine his outrage about America heading for tyranny and ruin. Hannah Arendt addressed it decades earlier. She did so in her book titled "The Origins of Totalitarianism."

She said tyrants are "never content to rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence; thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus of coercion, totalitarianism (and) a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from within."

She called it dictatorship based on:

"(1) an elaborate ideology;

(2) a single mass party;

(3) terror;

(4) a technologically conditioned monopoly of communication;

(5) a monopoly of weapons; (and)

(6) a centrally controlled economy."

These characteristics reflect today's America. Wealth, power, privilege and dominance alone matter.

Duopoly power runs things. Monied interests control it. State terrorism is official policy. Waging war on humanity reflects it.

Media scoundrels march in lockstep. They support unconscionable policies. They regurgitate Big Lies. They do it consistently. They facilitate mass slaughter, destruction and homeland police state harshness.

Banks and other corporate favorites run things. They decide policy. US-style democracy is the best money can buy.

Genocidal wars are waged for profit and power. Afghanistan is America's longest conflict. It shows no signs of ending. It could persist for another decade or longer.

America's legacy in Iraq and Libya is anarchy, horrendous daily violence, poverty, unemployment, disease, hunger, homelessness, deprivation and human misery.

Syrians suffer the same way. The worst may be yet to come. Make no mistake. Obama wants full-scale war. He intends to get it.

It's as simple as another false flag Big Lie. UN resolutions and peace conferences don't matter.

Cruise missile diplomacy is official US policy. Bombs away could happen any time. Stopping Obama's rage to war matters most.

Never in human history was a global peace offensive more needed. Humanity's survival depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

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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