Because of fast moving events over the past week, culminating in an agreement yesterday between the United States and Russia, we have held up on updates on Syria. This post will constitute our final comments (for now) on this matter.
The week began with U.S. President Barak Obama ready to make a case to the American people to make a military strike against Syria for the use of chemical weapons. However, on Monday, some movement came from out of Russia that resulted in Syria agreeing to put its chemical weapons under international control. Syria would also agree to join a treaty that would ban the use of chemical weapons.
Because of these developments, President Obama's speech focused more on these developments and stated that the threat of military action would not yet be taken off the table, although he did ask the Congress to delay a vote on a resolution to invoke a military strike under the War Powers Act.
Then on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, taking advantage of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, published an op-ed in the New York Times -- you can read it here
. Putin's message "to the American people and their political leaders" was the biggest farce that we have ever seen.
The Russian president admits that sarin gas has been used in Syria, but that it was not used by the Syrian army but by the opposition. This is contrary to what is currently being reported and the U.N.'s initial findings. Putin then goes on to state:
It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in
foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in
America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world
increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying
solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan
“you’re either with us or against us.”
The United States is the world's oldest constitutional democracy and is still a model that many countries wants to follow -- because it works! We would challenge the president to further expound on this statement.
Bottom line is, while President Putin's comments are his own, The Shadow must respectfully disagree. But the president's point on letting diplomacy work does ring a tone and the Russian government has put their money where their mouth is.
The United States and Russia, through their top diplomats -- Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov respectively -- have now brokered a deal which will, for the moment, stall any military action on Syria. It will take about eight months for this deal to be fully implemented, which will result in the total destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. But it is promising and we are in full support of this plan.
We are also in full support of Secretary Kerry's statement that military action has not been taken off the table. But we will support this only if Syria does not fulfill the terms of this agreement.
We will continue to watch developments on this and report as is warranted.
For up to the minute updates, follow us on Twitter at @TheShadowSF.
Good night and good luck