Posts Tagged ‘Al Nusra’

Obama to Assad: Weapons Cache must be Verifiable, or there will be Consequences

September 18, 2013

John Price (Ambassador to Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros, 2002-2005)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Price’s September 17, 2013 blog post.


On Friday President Barrack Obama told Kuwait’s Emir Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah that any diplomatic solution in Syria depended on President Bashar al-Assad listing all of the  chemical weapons in his arsenal, and signing on to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Secretary of State John Kerry echoing the president’s remarks said that Assad must turn over the necessary data in less than the sixty day time frame allowed under the accord.  

The U.S. negotiators spent three days in Geneva negotiating with the Russians on how to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, and how to dispose of the scattered lethal weapons. Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov finally reached an agreement, giving Syria until September 21 to submit “a comprehensive listing, including names, types and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.”



A Field Guide to Assad’s Threatened ‘Shock and Awe’

September 11, 2013

Marc C. Ginsberg (Ambassador to Morocco, 1994-1998)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Ginsberg’s September 10, 2013 special to The Huffington Post.


During his interview with CBS’ Charlie Rose this morning, Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad ominously warned of unspecified retaliation in the event the U.S. strikes at his military assets. Bluff and bluster, or the equivalent of an Assad version of “shock and awe (shucks)”?

Memo to the nation: It’s bluff and bluster (at least from Assad’s military).

Just to set the stage here. For the western mind it must be extraordinarily difficult to imagine how Assad can deny and deny again that his forces never used chemical weapons in the conflict in the face of such compelling evidence to the contrary. But there he was, in a crucial “big lie” moment, mild-mannered, and ever so meekly presenting his counter-arguments in anticipation of President Obama’s speech tomorrow evening, all the while feigning innocence from the brutality that is the Assad family motto that every Syrian life is expendable to retain ruthless power. The interview compellingly validated how absolute power corrupts absolutely.