Diplomacy works.

On Monday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We are calling on Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also it's subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons.” Shortly afterward, a Syrian official told reporters that his nation welcomed the proposal. In a series of television interviews that same evening, President Obama called the Russian proposal a “possible breakthrough” and a “positive development.”

The plan for a Syrian surrender of chemical weapons was a response to an off-the-cuff comment by Secretary of State John Kerry, who was asked what Syria could do to avoid a military strike by the United States. Secretary Kerry responded, saying, Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week, but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done obviously.” Almost immediately, Russian officials urged Syria to accept the proposal, and Syria accepted. Within 24 hours, China and Iran backed the plan as well, and pulled us back from brink of a potential world war.

This is what happens when our leaders use diplomatic efforts, rather than military strikes, to resolve a conflict. In a single day, we went from facing a world war, to Russian officials working on an “effective, concrete” plan for Syria to hand over chemical weapons. And, once those weapons are surrendered, there is little risk that chemicals will wind up in the hands of terrorists. Some media reports claim that President Obama worked out this proposal with Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Russia, and other reports say that Secretary Kerry's off-hand comment initiated the proposal.

Regardless of who gets credit, the lesson is clear. Dropping bombs is not the only way to resolve a conflict.


Vegasman56 9 years 29 weeks ago

The question is, did Pres. Obama have to rewrite his speech tonight, or will it be canceled. My personal belief is Pres. Obama and Mr. Putin worked things out.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

I certainly hope this ends here. I certainly hope that this scheme was cooked up between Obama and Putin to release pressure to go to war that Obama is under from the Pentagon and Corporate interests. I certainly hope that these malevolent criminal entities don't cook up another false flag event to obtain the same goal. I certainly hope WWIII never happens. I certainly hope the speech tonight reflects these other hopes. Here's to hope!

Global's picture
Global 9 years 29 weeks ago

It will be entertaining to watch Mr. magooBama and his foreign policy spin machine Talk their way out of this one tonight. One thing going for him is that most people care more about what's going on with Miley Cyrus than Syria.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 9 years 29 weeks ago

Diplomacy works. Until Bashar al Assad believed that the United States would kill his soldiers did he become interested in possibly giving up his chemical weapons. Syria is in a terrible condition, mostly because of its despotic dictator. He has to go just as the other dictators have been taken down. God bless our Secretary of State, John Kerry, he said the right thing because his heart is good. We are fortunate to have this good man on our side.

lkurnarsky's picture
lkurnarsky 9 years 29 weeks ago

Diplomacy works but Kerry wasn't up to diplomacy. It was diplomacy by happenstance and blunder. Kerry was attempting to answer a very reasonable question which was, what could the Syrian goverment possibly do to avoid an American Blitzkrieg, with what he thought was an absurd answer. This wasn't a time for snide Mr. Kerry. The Russians cleverly knew that this public statement, blunder though it was, could be a way out for the Syrian goverment and so it proposed to Syria to accept what Kerry said at face value, and do it. The Syrians instantly gave a resounding YES. And so diplomacy by blunder may save a lot of lives not to say American treasure. Obama sure seemed gobsmacked by all of this. It sure was obvious that he was wanting a run-around at the time. Now why would Obama and crew want to risk WWIII and who exactly benefits?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 29 weeks ago

Just saw the speech. That was a relief! Now if Obama can just keep the Pentagon on a short leash we might just survive this nonsense. I might have just got my vote worth!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 29 weeks ago

With Assad's money being hidden in Russian banks, it's no surprise he's willing to listen to his friends in the North.

It's funny how we as a country can prevent future mass murder of children from chemical weapons attacks in Syria but we can't pass laws to prevent future mass murder of school children from assault weapons in our own country......

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 29 weeks ago

Some people just have an innate ability to do the right thing without thinking!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 28 weeks ago

C'mon 2950-10k, Do you seriously think draco laws "prevent" people from behaiving badly!?!? Marijuana is illegal, and in some states use/possesion carries a pretty hefty punishment, yet people still use it. Don't tell me your one of those people that buys into false securities.

When it comes to gun control we don't need new or more gun laws...We need to fully fund and enforce the ones that are already written.

What my question is; Why is it that our government is so focused on other countries, and can always afford to spend billions on getting involved in their political affairs, yet when it comes to improving the lives of 300+million Americans, through an affordable Education system, or Single payer Medicare for all, or investing in jobs, better wages, etc...Time after time the U.S. government ignors the needs of its people, and wastes over 50% of every tax dollar on unecessary wars and a Military Idustrial Complex. To me thats just as wrong as using Chemical Weapons on your own people...Which Assad did not do.

Karl Smiley's picture
Karl Smiley 9 years 28 weeks ago

Here is what I am worried about. Congress will pass something that says there won't be any bombing unless there is another gas attack after Syria surrenders theirs to the UN. Then somebody will make sure there is one.

Magstar19's picture
Magstar19 9 years 28 weeks ago

I think Obama's itching to strike that Islamic pipeline. HIs masters are Big Oil & the Saudis. Follow the money.... Iran & Iraq moving their oil through Syria is in direct competition. Ask Sanchez if he agrees with me.

Magstar19's picture
Magstar19 9 years 28 weeks ago

Kerry's scary. He's been hanging out with Kissinger, which is beyond troubling.

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 9 years 28 weeks ago

Congratulations to Sean Nestor Ohio Green Party member, who received enough votes in today's primary to advance to Novembers election in his race for Toledo's city council... it has been a good night for the Ohio Green party

edayres's picture
edayres 9 years 28 weeks ago

We'll see, the devil is in the details. I do, however, question, just how off the cuff, John Kerry's remarks were. These guys rarely say anything unplanned. Thom, I know you believe it was diplomacy, but I think it was the threat of the military strikes that brought people to the diplomatic approach.

mcowley01's picture
mcowley01 9 years 28 weeks ago

Global, what is there for "Mr. magooBama" to talk his way out of? Looks like he's done a great job in avoiding WWIII, unles your Repug friends can find a way to start it, that is.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS ~ I must agree. We already have more than enough ridiculous laws on the books to ensure we will never be as free as we think we are. You are right in saying we need more investment in our society than wars or new laws. Publicly funded mental institutions for instance will solve the problem of shooting children much faster than any gun control laws ever will. The black market does not care if their clients have mental disorders or not. They only care about their ability to pay for the goods. As you've stated if we invest simply in single payer health care for all, publicly funded mental institutions will follow.

2950-10K ~ I share your concern about the abundance of assault rifles in the street. No good is ever going to come of that. However, I think that if we attack that problem at the source we will achieve better results. There is no reason that gun manufacturers should be allowed to manufacture more assault rifles then are needed by the military or special police units. It is this surplus that ultimately finds it's way into private and criminal hands. Gun collectors and responsible citizens who--for whatever reason--want to own and collect such things should be allowed to do so after a thorough background check, licensing, and showing proof of insurance. I believe that stricter regulation on gun manufacturing, not gun sales, is the way to go to reduce the number of guns--especially assault rifles and machine guns--on the street. We already have way too many guns in the world and not enough food. We need to encourage gun buyback programs that destroy the weapons and not resell them. There is no reason that we should allow enough guns to be produced that there is a gun for every man, woman, and child in the world. That is what will happen unless we attack this problem at the root of the source. Remember the law of supply and demand. The more guns there are the easier and cheaper they will be to obtain. That is the problem in my humble opinion.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

Karl Smiley/Magstar19 ~ I too share your concerns. This crisis is not over by any means. Now comes the very tricky process of identification and disposal of the chemical weapons. Meanwhile, no one was identified or indicted in the initial chemical attack. All the same nefarious players including members of Assad's own army are still running around free with perhaps even a more desperate agenda than before. You have the indigenous Syrians who resent being under secular rule. You have the Al Qaeda terrorists from abroad who want to kill as many as they can to undermine Assad. And most important of all you have the mercenaries who are hired guns from a myriad of special interest groups in the region from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and even The United States of America.

Meanwhile, all our war ships and destroyers are sitting there on high alert with their counterparts from the USSR and China. Soon there will be diplomats from the USA, USSR, China and the United Nations being escorted around by Assad's army to their weapons depots. All it would really take is three mercenaries with machine guns and a rocket launcher to create that "Archduke Ferdinand" moment. As we all know, the "special interest" groups in the region have far greater resources to clog up the slow moving and unarmed cogs of peace. Just dress up your mercenaries to look like soldiers in Assads army and have them blow themselves up. There are many willing such suicide bomber patsy's amongst the ranks of Al Qaeda to do that job. Then the attack is back on schedule--so is the potential for WWIII

mblockhart's picture
mblockhart 9 years 28 weeks ago

Dropping bombs may not work, but obviously a credible threat to send in missiles will. We wouldn't be here were it not for President Obama's willingness to face the wrath of both the unstable Obama haters and the knee jerk progressives. Sad to say, Thom's just not getting it because he is forgetting everything we know about Barack Obama the person. I cringed at some of his really insulting remarks. NO ONE is saying it's ok to kill people with conventional weapons, but what the President has clearly demonstrated is that chemical weapons, like biological and nuclear weapons, are classed as WMDs and banned for good reason. They are anti-civilian instruments used to terrorize, demoralize, depress, suppress, and run off the civilians, leaving the field open to destroy any opposition. For Obama it's not about "wanting" war, it's about the actual USE of WMDs. He's been at this for his whole public career, duh! And the minute he expressed his firm intent to stop it in Syria, notice that it DID stop.

I also found it absolutely cringeworthy for Thom to rant that the President hasn't seen people die. Every President is exposed to the horrors of all kinds going on around the world every day. For some of them it is meaningless, but for this President it hits home. He has been steeped in empathy has seen all the kinds of suffering and death. The difference here is this is ONE kind of suffering, at this moment in time he is in a position to DO something about. If you can't solve all the world's problems at least do what you can do about those you possibly CAN solve. Even if you have to appear to the home crowd like the bad guy for awhile.

We owe him thanks, but shy of that, should have some understanding and respect for what he is and what he's trying to do. I strongly support a congressional resolution to back up his threat in the event that diplomacy with the Syrians fails. It's the only way to make sure that diplomacy will succeed.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 9 years 28 weeks ago

Yes, diplomacy works, but i'm not at all sure America knows how to conduct diplomacy anymore. We are used to dictating terms, and, if the other side doesn't accept, we resort to threats and/or bombing. There is still much hard bargaining left to do, and whether we have the patience and perseverance for it, remains to be seen.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago
Quote mblockhart: They [chemical weapons] are anti-civilian instruments used to terrorize, demoralize, depress, suppress, and run off the civilians, leaving the field open to destroy any opposition.
But in this case the evidence posed by the UN shows that this "attack" was actually not done by Assad..that it was most likely done by the rebels! Have you forgotten all of the false flags that the US has done to justify invading or overthrowing other countries? Have you not paid attention to what the rebels did to those people in Maaloula, Syria and other places around Syria...in villages around Allepo in the north...Homs further south? They were especially cruel and murderous in Maaloula because it was mostly a Christian village. They cut the heads off of people they captured. And Assad's forces finally drove the rebels off.

Incidentally, many of those people who have been killed in Syria were casualties from both sides as a result of the attempts of the rebels to overthrow the Syrian regime...a rebel force that includes Al Qaida and mostly outside forces put up to no good by Saudi Arabia and the US. Blame those deaths on the instigators of unrest...the US and Saudi Arabia and other countries assisting the rebels. And for what? Again, as in Afghanistan, it has to do with putting a pipeline through Syria. But the western propaganda tries to put all the deaths off on Assad which just isn't true. People do die when they get caught in a battle zone. Shame on the US for helping to foment regime change in Syria. That, in itself, is a war crime.

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