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      Russia Proposes, Syria Agrees to Shutdown of Chemical Arsenal

      The UN investigation team takes soil samples in the Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria, August 28, 2013. (Photo: AP)As an alternative to US military intervention, Russia and Syria have agreed on a plan to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control and destroy them. The proposal would provide the US government with a change to "win without war" and give a major boost to peace forces seeking to block a Congressional war authorization. 

      The proposal seems consistent with the Obama administration's stated goal of destroying Syria's chemical weapons capacity without a full-scale war for regime change. Under the proposed formula, both Russia and Iran can avoid the stigma of supporting a stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons while continuing to protect the Damascus regime against regime change. 

      U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad can end the crisis by surrendering control of "every single bit" of Syria's arsenal to the U.N. in one week. The U.N.'s Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, is urging Syria to transfer chemical stocks to a secure location for their destruction. 

      An authoritative article in Ha'aretz also reports Iranian efforts at a diplomatic settlement involving the dismantling of chemical stockpiles.

      Whether such forceful diplomacy averts the need for a wider war would seem to be up to the US government. It could be a win win win win…

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      Reader Comments (2)

      If the U.S. doesn't take up this offer, that would signal to me that we Want War. Sometimes it's hard to believe that we don't want war, the way we beat the drums, and continue getting involved where we just end up making things worse! This is a great opportunity for US and others to stop the rush to war, and to work one get rid of the chem weapons, and perhaps to more goals, of helping broker peace. I hope our officials have the good sense to work on this proposal from Syria and Russia.
      Thank you Tom.

      September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLola Terrell

      Lavrov has also suggested that Syria sign the CW convention and that there be a peace conference to in Moscow for all interested parties to consider peace in the ME! Wonder if that would include, in the discussion, Israel? Would have to eventually, I would hope. By the way, Chomsky thinks the Repubs are against the war mainly because they want us to leave other nations alone. I am not sure they want to spend the $$$ on jobs, education, etc. Always enjoy your comments. Lee Loe, TX Grandmother for Peace

      September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee Loe
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