Monday, September 09, 2013


On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria could avoid an American attack by turning over "every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week."

Russia immediately jumped on the offer, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow will urge Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control in a bid to avert military intervention.

This is a deft political move on Russia's part, especially since the State Department immediately walked back Kerry's comments by saying that he "was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used."

The Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara observes that Russia is capitalizing on a "silly Kerry mistake," since even though Assad would never turn over chemical weapons, beginning such a process would serve an ideal delay to any U.S. decision to attack Syria.