I know I’ve been Syria-obsessed the last few days. But everything else I’m considering writing about pales in comparison to dropping bombs on a chaotic Middle-Eastern country with an maniacal leader who has chemical and biological weapons and who hasn’t taken off the table the threat of using them against our soldiers in retaliation.
Congress has been expected to take up the issue of a resolution authorizing strikes against Syria this week. As of this writing, whether or not they do so is still up in the air, which is sounding more and more like a good thing.
It was all set to go until Sunday, when, in what was described as a “gaffe,” Secretary of State John Kerry said offhandedly that the U.S. might not strike if Syria agrees to surrender control of its chemical weapons. On Tuesday, pundits are increasingly questioning whether the” gaffe” was wrapped in brilliant diplomacy because it allowed Russia, which has been against the strikes and has veto power at the U.N. Security Council, to find an opening.
As a result, members of the U.N. Security Council are working on a resolution that would authorize the international community, lead by Russia, to take control of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile.
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of eight senators announced that they also plan a new resolution. This one would authorize an attack on Syria, but only after the introduction of that U.N. resolution, which would set a deadline for the Assad government to hand over its chemical stockpile. If Assad fails to do so, then the U.S. could use military force.
That’s the latest. It’s constantly evolving however and President Obama is scheduled to address the nation on the situation this evening. But the latest doesn’t look so bad. Here’s my favorite blogger Andrew Sullivan’s take:
It is, if it transpires, a huge victory for the US. Yes, it means we have to relinquish ownership of all this and let Russia take the credit – and all the blowback domestically and internationally that might entail. Expect a whole slew of “Munich” stories; a chorus singing the A-word (appeasement); and the usual derision of Obama from the loony right. The great thing about this president is that he doesn’t care how the short-term optics look or how the news cycle plays as long as the result is one he wants. The process toward that goal is inherently messy, but what matters is the result.
Up next: Why U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is breathing a sigh of relief.
This just in from the AP: “Syrian foreign minister says Syria will declare its chemical weapons arsenal, sign chemical weapons convention.”
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org