So last night, I wrote a piece reporting on the Haaretz piece that facing mounting pressure from President Obama and his firm resolve to use military force to cripple Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons given Russia's intransigence in the UN, Russia may have started to buckle. That the world understood that Barack Obama doesn't dick around, and responding to this - and John Kerry's final ultimatum that Syria turn over its weapons to an international inspection regime by the end of the week - Russia is now reeling Assad in. Haaretz reported both an under-discussion proposed democratic transition in Syria as well as disarmament. This morning, several news organizations ... ahem, "broke" the story that at least the second part is true:
Russia has urged Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters Monday.And now, CNN has just reported that Syria is jumping on the proposal.
"We have passed our offer to (Syrian Foreign Minister Walid) Al-Muallem and hope to receive [a] fast and positive answer," Sergey Lavrov said, according to RT.com, the Russian news agency, and the Associated Press.
Lavrov said Monday that if such a move would help avert a possible U.S. strike on Syria, Russia will start work "immediately" to persuade Syria to give up the control of its chemical arsenals.
Lavrov told reporters that Russia would urge Syria to concentrate its chemical weapons in certain areas under international oversight and then dismantle them.
This seems to be reported in all kinds of outlets, especially "liberal" ones, as some sort of a triumph for Putin as they completely ignore the circumstances and Russia's own statement to the effect that this only came about under a serious threat of US military strikes.
Regardless of where the media stands, if this can be pulled off - and now that Russia is publicly caving to Obama on this, it certainly seems more and more likely - this will achieve more than the American military goal without firing a single shot. The president, with a military expects to degrade Assad's chemical weapons delivery capacity so as to prevent or soften the effect of his future chemical attacks. This proposal, once again by Russia's own admission cobbled together under intense US pressure, would not just degrade Syria's chemical weapons delivery capabilities, it will disarm the Syrian regime of its chemical weapons altogether.
Now maybe somebody in the media or the vast wasteland of emoprog babbling will explain to me how the achievement of President Obama's goals and more translates into Putin upstaging him, but until then, I just must do a mic drop (more for President Obama's leadership than my observation of it - I am not clairvoyant; I just pay attention).