11 September, 2013

Diplomacy Doubles

The Russian team of Putin and Lavrov easily outclassed the Americans Obama and Kelly, the British Cameron and Hague and the French Hollande and whoever to register a remarkable victory.

In the last minute of play the Russians produced a staggering gambit whereby the Syrians hand over their chemical weapons to international control.

Now the Americans can't attack (the plan came out just as Obama was honing his speech to the American people suggesting he does just that), they have to give the Russian plan a go.

Of course the plan won't work - that's the beauty of it. 'International' must mean the UN, which would take a long time to gear up. The last time the UN was in Syria the team was shot at and they don't know who by; it was equally likely to be one side or another. Syria is undergoing a civil war and you can't just ask the protagonists to down weapons. And there will be confusion as regional approvals are not sought, inspectors turned away with a 'sorry, we didn't mean it' the week later (remember Saddam?), lost weaponry (now where did we put that Sarin gas?) and the 'discovery', true or false, that some are in the hands of the rebels, who haven't done a deal to hand them over.

The American and British peoples (Hollande wasn't going to bother to ask the French) are tired of war. Parliament refused Cameron permission to wage one. Then Hague hinted that if things changed there might be another vote. Things changed but not the way Hague wanted: if there were a vote now that there is a chance of mediation, it would go even more horribly against the Government. The Americans will pause.

And Putin will sit back, comforted that the war can continue as normal, just supplying a little more weaponry to make sure his side wins.

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