(Dallas, Texas) — The U.S. and Russia have announced that their diplomats have struck a deal to identify all chemical weapons in Syria by November, and destroy them all by mid-2014. It will take some time to learn all the details and assess the deal. Here are some of the questions that will need to be answered:
- Will Assad really disclose all the chemical weapons the Syrian regime possesses?
- How will we know for certain?
- Is it really possible to destroy an estimated 1,000 tons of chemical weapons in the middle of a raging civil war?
- What countries will provide the weapons inspectors?
- How many will be needed?
- How will they be protected?
- What happens if they are ambushed, kidnapped, or killed?
- What happens of Assad reneges on the deal?
- Will the U.S. use force then?
- Would a U.N. Security Council vote be required first?
- Wouldn’t Russia veto such a resolution?
- Will Russia be able to continue selling — or giving — conventional arms to Assad’s regime?
The larger question is this: Even if all of Syria’s chemical weapons could be identified and destroyed (that would be a good thing), this deal does nothing to stop the mass murder and savage brutality still underway in the country, right?
Let’s keep in mind:
- Sheer evil has been unleashed in Syria.
- Both sides are guilty of war crimes.
- We are witnessing the implosion of a modern Arab state.
- More than 110,000 Syrians have been killed in the last 30 months — only a tiny percentage by chemical weapons; most by conventional methods.
- An estimated 7 million Syrians — nearly 1 in 3 citizens of the country — are fleeing for their lives (2 million have fled the country as refugees; another 5 million are “internally displaced”).
Here is the text of the agreement.
- Text of the Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons (State Department)
- U.S., Russia reach agreement on seizure of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal (Washington Post)