WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Did the Russians just throw a lifeline to President Obama on Syria?

Depending on how you look at it, Secretary of State John Kerry either committed a gaffe the Russians immediately seized on, OR floated a trial balloon by which Syria tensions could ratchet down and - in the process - President Obama would avoid a humiliating defeat in Congress.

Either way, the proposal for the Syrian government to hand over all its chemical weapons to international control is finding favor as the world seeks to head off U.S.-led military intervention in Syria.

Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to embrace the concept this afternoon. (Probably with great relief if it happens, because - as discussed in this blog earlier - her support for a U.S. intervention in Syria once again threatened her presumed Presidential ambitions for 2016.)

Not that this is a cure-all. Dr. Moqtedar Khan, Middle-East expert at the University of Delaware, says the international community would have no way to verify the Assad regime had come completely clean.

And doubtless the female hawks within this administration - those who see any Syrian intervention through the lens of the former Yugoslavian and who apparently have been goading on this President - see this merely as Russian procrastination/obstructionism to further undermine President Obama within the U.S. Congress and globally.

Here was a late Monday report from The NEW YORK TIMES website...


From the ABC News website, a story incorporating some of the President's reaction...


A statement from Senator Chris Coons (D-DE):

"Credible pressure from the United States helped draw out Russia's proposal to work with the international community to remove Assad's chemical weapons stockpile from Syria. If genuine, the Russian proposal represents a welcome change from its policy of supporting and supplying arms to Syria. The world cannot afford for the Assad regime to continue using its arsenal of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, nor for them to be used against our allies in the region. It is my hope that this proposal signals Russia's willingness to take constructive responsibility for ending the threat posed by Assad's chemical weapons and I will work with my colleagues this week to craft a path forward that allows both diplomacy and continued pressure."

Posted at 6:26pm on September 9, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Sep 9, 2013 8:28pm
Kind of sad, it used to be the Russians were the aggressors & we were the ones trying to keep the peace; now we are the aggressors & the Russians are trying to keep the peace.

Yes Allan, I think Obama should jump on the Russian plan with both feet. Score one for Ruskies. Great idea.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Sep 10, 2013 8:07am
Allan: this news story is off topic, but might be of interest to all here. Something a bit lighter.

One Way Mars Trip looking for volunteers.


Mike from Delaware
Tue, Sep 10, 2013 10:31am
Allan: Sorry, another very interesting news item that's not Syria, the Arctic Ice Cap has increased, possible Global Cooling?

Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year


Wed, Sep 11, 2013 10:16pm
The Presidency is alive and well, so the answer to Allan's title is ... yes.

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 10:35pm
To Mike....

Don't take the sighting of one butterfly as the return of the species... We aren't out of the woods yet...


Let me explain. Last year was the record low for ice, ever since recording began. In fact the record broke in August, not September. Now notice the article compares this year to last year, but does not compare it to the average. That is because we are on the very low end of the plus or minus 2% standard deviation. Global warming is still in effect, even though we have 60% more ice than last year. Last year, the Gulf Stream almost got diverted away from Europe when it got hit with the melted ice coming down the Labrador current. The amount of cold water was unprecedented. So had we had just a tiny bit more melt, Europe might have turned into Siberia or Baffin Island or Thule. It was that close.

Because last year was so disastrous, a 60% increase still puts us up to "below normal"... meaning global warming is still in effect. When and if we get more ice than the average, multiple years in a row, then, there could be substantiation for such a claim that global cooling is in effect.

In ways we can all understand.: Let's say you make $40,000 a year, but get hit with chemo and your income was only $18,000 a year. The chemo stretches over two income cycles and this year you came back and were able to earn 60% more than last year... 60% is $10,800 more... Your yearly income is $28,800. Far cry from average...

Imagine if your boss was the Daily News and said, ... Mike has a 60% gain over last year... We shouldn't pay him any more...

That is why one can never believe headlines. One must always look at the comparisons before believing anything,... especially something affecting billion-dollar corporations...

Global warming is alive and well, and we are having a better year than last year, but it is still one of the top hottest in our lifetime...

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