Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I can't believe I watched the whole thing...

But this is comedy gold. I don't usually watch MSLSD MSNBC, and think O'Donnell is reliably stupidly and deliberately provocative in an attempt to garner ratings.  That being said, this clip with Carlos Danger, a full 15 minutes long, is fascinating in a train-wreck sort of way.

Synopsis: Attention seeker criticizes attention seeker for being attention seeker. Attention seeker responds by criticizing attention seeker for being attention seeker. Slaps on backs at end of segment, no hard feelings. Both know it's all in a days work for attention seekers to go full-on-faux-outrage attacking attention seekers for being attention seekers.

I know there is a word other than "seeker" that is usually the vernacular.


Still can't believe I watched the whole thing.

Kerry: I totally meant that…really.

Obama: Actually, I thought of it first.

Putin:  Er.. don't forget we talked about this some weeks ago cowboy, not that I want to take credit...

From the Hill:

Quite by accident Secretary of State Kerry seems to have proposed a solution to the Syrian problem.

 In an “apparently off-hand remark” he said: The Russian proposal came after Kerry said Syria could avoid a military strike by giving up its chemical weapons. “He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week,” Kerry said. “Turn it over, all of it, without delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that. But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.”

Kerry couched his apparently off-hand remark as an unlikely hypothetical, but Russia immediately seized on the comments, triggering the unexpected approval from its ally Syria.

“We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons store sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, who was visiting Moscow.

 From the WaPo:

 It began when Kerry was asked early Monday whether Assad could avoid a U.S. attack.

 “Sure. He could turn over every bit of his weapons to the international community within the next week, without delay,” Kerry responded with a shrug. “But he isn’t about to.”

As Kerry flew back to Washington to help lobby lawmakers, he received a midair call from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said he had heard the secretary’s remarks and was about to make a public announcement.

The statement in Moscow came before Kerry landed. “We are calling on the Syrian authorities [to] not only agree on putting chemical weapons storages under international control but also for its further destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Lavrov said, adding, “We have passed our offer to [Syrian Foreign Minister] Walid al-Moualem and hope to receive a fast and positive answer.” 
From Reuters:

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the idea of placing Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under international control on the sidelines of a G20 summit last week, Putin's spokesman said on Tuesday. "The issue was discussed," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said by telephone. He would not say who raised the issue or give other details.

What to make of this?

Assume the Russians are a reliable monitor. Assume the U.N. can reliably monitor. Assume the Chinless Wonder does not prevaricate or hide things. Assume the removal is completed. Even, assume Assad retains some chem weapons, but never uses them again, because of the U.S. threat of force. (Big assumptions)

What results?

Assad will have been deprived of his chemical arsenal either in fact or in practice. His conventional capabilities would remain unchanged. The civil war will continue, all killing now done by means other than chemical. Iran will retain its client state, Hezbos retain sponsor. We will not have to strike in the short term. Regime more stable than it would be with strikes. Status quo.