I wanted Russia to give the US viable alternatives to bombing Syria instead of just criticizing and the Assad regime seems to have stumbled upon an out. That said, this could simply be another example of the Assad regime trying to stall foreign military intervention while it continues to slaughter its own People with traditional arms.
If this option is truly viable; however, it acts as a double-edged sword against the United States. One the position side, it affords the Obama Administration a means of saving face should it fail to achieve Congressional approval and sufficient international support while it shows the Assad regime is somewhat reasonable, i.e. it gives the rest of the International Community a means to justify inaction in favor of barren diplomatic solutions. On the negative side, now the United States looks like a warmonger instead of a benevolent superpower trying to end a humanitarian crisis. For those on the ground, a failure of the US to act due to a possibility of a nonmilitary solution hurts America’s image as many of these individuals viewed the use of chemical weapons to be an excuse for action against Assad’s massacre of civilians. From their perspective, the US and its allies are hypocrites hiding behind international law.
In essence, the US is damned if it does and damned if it does not. Quite frankly, the International Community was looking for another excuse to neglect its commitments to human rights and civil liberties; it found it. The US is on the verge of taking on its traditional role as the villain/hero to pick up the slack in order to maintain the stability and legitimacy of the International Community, yet this latest twist in the Syrian story means military intervention is less likely. For those seeking to maintain stability in the Middle East, this option is compelling and serves the purpose of sustaining the Assad regime in order to limit the risk of a failed Syrian state. For those seeking to end attacks on civilians and support revolutionary demands, the use of chemical weapons was a tragic opportunity to break the back of the Assad regime, thus they see the Assad regime giving up chemical weapons as simply extending the duration of Syria’s war.
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