An editorial in the Wall Street Journal points out that:
“…already the Russians are disputing U.S. information about where and how much poison gas Assad holds. There are a hundred ways to cheat on this agreement, starting with the declaration.
“Meanwhile, Russia got Mr. Obama to concede that all of this will go to the United Nations for approval without any mention of enforcement. If Assad does cheat, the U.S. would have to go back to the Security Council again for another resolution to use force, which the Russians will veto.”
The WSJ points out that now Obama says his goal was to make sure this doesn’t happen again, which is not what he said previously – there was supposed to be price paid for what Assad did….”Assad will have violated what Mr. Obama repeatedly called ‘international norms’–killing at least 1,400 people including 400 children–and then get a pass for promising not to do again what he claims he didn’t do but Mr. Kerry says he did at least 14 times.”
Then this, from ABC:
“Despite Russia’s close relationship and influence with Syria, there is not yet any indication that the Assad government will sign off on the details of the agreement.It contains requirements that are above and beyond the normal criteria for countries bound by the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria agreed to join earlier this week under pressure from Moscow.“Although Russia has accepted the U.S. intelligence estimate that Syria has about 1,000 metric tons of chemical weapons and precursors, the two sides have not agreed on the number of sites where they are manufactured and stored.
“U.S. officials say they believe Syria maintains roughly 45 sites associated with chemical weapons, about half of which have ‘exploitable quantities’ of chemicals. The Russian estimate is considerably lower, but U.S. officials would not say by how much. This could be an issue in determining where the inspectors are to work.
“Details about the composition of the inspection teams and their security must still be determined. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which technically is in charge of the inspections, has never mounted an operation as complex as this and will require assistance from outside parties to conduct the work.Nationalities of inspectors as well as the guards who will provide security for them must still be determined.”
Jeffrey Goldberg says:
“1. So long as he [Assad] doesn’t use chemical weapons on his people, he’ll be safe from armed Western intervention. Roughly 98 percent of the people who have died in the Syrian civil war so far have not been killed with chemical weapons, so obviously Assad and his regime