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Russia the peacemaker -- Foreign minister crushes Obama war strategy with peace

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 10th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Russia, not the United States, could earn a reputation as a world peacemaker following the proposal by that country's foreign minister that Syria could evade U.S. strikes by giving up its chemical weapons stockpile.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem has already expressed his country's assent to the Russian proposal leaving the world to scramble back from the precipice of war, wondering how to actually implement a plan to avert a military crisis.

Both the Syrian and Russian foreign ministers spoke at length on Monday, working out the basics of a plan whereby Syria would relinquish control of its chemical weapons stockpiles to avoid armed conflict with the U.S. Such a plan would also ensure the Syrian state could never again use the chemical weapons on its own people.

The only drawback is that it leaves Assad unpunished for the use of those weapons. Assad denies his nation used them, but only the Syrian state has the capability to launch such an attack, if the Obama administration is to be believed on the issue.

The Obama administration also claims to have damning evidence which proves that Assad's forces carried out the attack. Circumstantial evidence also suggests Assad's culpability.

With the Russian proposal already accepted by Syria, the U.S. now has a way out of the Syrian quagmire that Obama seemed intent on getting the nation into. Already, the Senate has delayed a crucial vote on his request for strikes and support is fading fast. It is understood that if any vote were held today, Obama would lose.

This does not mean that strikes would not occur -Obama has reserved the right to act unilaterally, but he also admitted in an interview which aired on Monday that he was aware of the precedent he would set by ordering them and he did not wish to set that precedent.

Obama is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

It appears the Russian Foreign Minister may be due for the medal next.

What happens next is the subject of speculation. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon of the UN has called for a security council resolution on the proposal. If all sides agree to the proposal, and it appears they will, a plan would have to be quickly devised and implemented to ensure compliance. How this would happen and what risks would be asked remains to be seen.

It is likely that either Russians, who have military assets in the region, could take possession of the weapons. Alternatively, a team of UN inspectors and experts could do the same. The weapons would have to be safeguarded against use or destroyed. Most importantly, Obama would have to be convinced the weapons were secure and the regime can never use them again.

If a plan can be implemented, then a massive military crisis of international proportions would be entirely avoided.

At the same time, while the world lauds peace, a mass murderer remains at large, uncharged, and unindicted. Assad would escape justice, at least for the moment, for gassing his own people.

The situation on the ground in Syria would continue to be a war of attrition with al Qaeda accepting an increasing role of responsibility and control on the ground. It is likely hoped that the war will destroy al Qaeda the same as Assad.

The protracted conflict leaves over 2 million people as refugees, over 100,000 dead, and many more internally displaced. Civilians still face slaughter at the hands of both sides. Christians remain in danger, perhaps even more from al Qaeda rebels than from Assad's forces.

The war, without more substantive world intervention does not seem close to a resolution. The Assad regime continues to make minor gains, however their progress is slow. The conflict is essentially nothing more than a grinder for humans.

We can only pray for peace as we step back from the brink of a greater war and watch with horror the world's abandonment of the people of Syria to the depredations of two great evils: Assad and al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Russia stands tall as the world's new peacemaker.

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