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Obama and Kerry converted on road to Damascus

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 11 September 2013


The swiftness with which attention is now being focused on collecting and destroying chemical weapons located in Syria has been truly breathtaking.

Last Friday 6 September - President Obama was waving a joint declaration signed by Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America at the G20 Summit in St Petersburg - in which there was not one mention of the need to collect and destroy those chemical weapons.

That same day President Obama in his press conference in St Petersburg had been dismissive of a similar proposal suggested in the Congress - after it was specifically drawn to his attention by a reporter.

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Yet on Monday 9 September - US Secretary of State John Kerry - when asked in London if there was anything Syrian President Assad could do to avert a US military strike - replied:

Sure. He 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.

Kerry seemed to shoot down his own idea - adding immediately:

But he isn't about to do it, and it can't be done, obviously.

Kerry was made to look rather stupid when Russia's Foreign Minister - Sergei Lavrov just hours later proposed the idea to Syria:

We have given our proposal to Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and are counting on a fast and, I hope, positive response,

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Al-Moallem's response was short and to the point:

I carefully listened to Sergei Lavrov's statement about it. In connection with this, I note that Syria welcomes the Russian initiative based on the Syrian leadership's concern about the lives of our nationals and the security of our country. We also hail the wisdom of the Russian leadership which is trying to prevent an American aggression against our people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron were quick to jump on the bandwagon and spoke positively of the proposal.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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