In an article posted on Bloomberg.com today there’s a rundown of recent public statements made by Bashir al-Assad regarding his conditions for a deal that would include destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal in exchange for not being attacked militarily over the use of such weapons against rebellion forces and civilians. Al-Assad apparently is under the impression that he has a position from which to make demands, an impression which I am positive is quite mistaken. Nevertheless, according to the quote in the article, he also wants the US, among others, to stop arming the rebels.
It is very unfortunate that al-Assad chose to negotiate in public because, at least from my perspective, a military strike against his regime heretofore appeared entirely optional. Now, it appears to be inevitable. The sheer hubris involved on the part of the Syrian regime has pushed me off the fence into the camp supportive of a military strike for the purpose of maintaining credibility. Otherwise, other situations in which it is necessary to employ the threat of military action it would be met with ridicule. We now have no choice but to carry through with the threat unless the regime meets our demands to the letter – which I believe should include his acceptance of exile to the Hague.
Secretary Kerry and President Obama must be quite happy now because Bashir al-Assad did for them in five minutes what would have taken them months to do – convince the fence sitters to come on over to their way of thinking. I am there now and suggest that they strike while the iron is hot.