Syria Agrees to Chemical Weapons Deal

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jonathan Tepperman, managing editor of Foreign Affairs and columnist at the International Herald Tribune, talks about the latest developments on possible intervention in Syria, including a Russian proposal to move chemical weapons from Syria to international control -- and what that might mean for the President's message to the nation tonight.



Jonathan Tepperman

Comments [22]

Obama's testicles

Color me Freudian, but Jonathan Tepperman's allusion to President Obama's testicles seems far more self-illuminating than enlightening commentary on a matter involving the mass gassing of civilians, a race towards nuclear weaponry with the repeatedly stated explicit goal of genocide and the shielding of such activity by the two other superpowers which allowed for the development of a North Korea.

Thanks WNYC!

Sep. 10 2013 02:03 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Barack Obama Gets Schooled by Putin"

"Obama now is desperately trying to take credit for this turn around, but that is laughable. At least he is smart enough to jump on this train since his war wagon lost its wheels and horses. Obama was going to be completely emasculated in the House and the Senate had he pressed forward."


Sep. 10 2013 01:18 PM

this is the guy that said recently that Thailand is not corrupt. asia/thai expats saw that and erupted in laughter.

Sep. 10 2013 12:20 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

A reason, and important one for why Russia wants to gain control of those chemical weapons, are the jihadists that are in the midst of the rebel forces. Russia has the opportunity to stop chemical weapons from falling into the hands of those jihadists who are in the mix of rebel fighters, from his part of the world, which could maybe be used by them in Russia.

Sep. 10 2013 11:49 AM

Assad's offer to surrender their gas has now removed this sole excuse for entering a senseless war.
Do not authorize the President to start this war.
Do not authorize the President to start another unnamed war, at some indeterminate future time, on some possible indeterminate "justification".

I sent this to my Congressmen using a campaign which can be found here:
The message was sent to the following recipients: Representative Pete King, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Sep. 10 2013 11:16 AM
Scott from Soho

This is an obvious gift from Putin to the Obama administration. A chance to save a little face. Now Obama can look a little incompetant as oppossed to completely incompetant.

I wonder if Putin will get a Nobel Peace Prize for this action?

Sep. 10 2013 11:16 AM
WB from Queens

How about a more positive spin on:

US suggests solution.
Russia implements with Syria.
Syria agrees.
French propose further discussion at UN
US agrees to discuss.

Therefore possible we don't have to play God and punish Syria by killing more Syrians.

Why spin these facts with what ifs and wherefores and ulterior motives. How about a cheer for a potential perfect solution!!!

Sep. 10 2013 11:16 AM

Far from making the Admin look more indecisive and confused, as Mr Tepperman has just opined, the ongoing demarches make BHO look like a diplomat astute enough to plan several obscure moves ahead, threatening attack, opening a line into congressional debate, working behind the scenes w VP, and keeping all these vectors in play to make possible the ultimate goal of preventing any further use of chem weapons in Syria--something which could not be achieved by any practicable military action (nothing less than major war and occupation).

Sep. 10 2013 11:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Obama's determination has scared Assad and the Russians, but the only way Assad will get serious is if Congress approves Obama's request. If not, Assad will stall, balk and not come through with the goods.

Sep. 10 2013 11:03 AM
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Sep. 10 2013 11:01 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL ... Bravo, John Kerry.

It didn't take much to upstage the 4 empty years of Hillary (the BUTCHER OF BENGHAZI) Clinton.

Sep. 10 2013 10:59 AM

It’s inaccurate to credit Sec. Kerry for an offhand remark opening a possible diplomatic path to solve the Syrian problem by having its chemical weapons taken custody of by an international body.

Isn't it clear that that diplomatic opening was what BHO and Putin discussed at the G-20, and Kerry discussed w Germany foreign minister Westerwelle?

Sep. 10 2013 10:58 AM
Lance from Manhattan

Unfortunately, this possibility had more to do with Russia than Kerry. They were discussing this long before Kerry brought it up. I wish it were the way you laid it out, Brian.

Sep. 10 2013 10:57 AM

Correction: Council on Foreign Relations (obviously! Preoccupied while typing)

(Wouldn't it be nice to be able to simply /edit/ one's own posts...)

Sep. 10 2013 10:32 AM

Oh look, yet /another/ establishment mouthpiece on the BL Show. How refreshing.

Foreign Affairs is published by the Council on Foreign Relationships. Perhaps the preeminent propaganda operation (euphemistically: "think tank") in its field.

Andrew Bacevich, As'ad AbuKhalil ( ), Patrick J. Buchanan, Phyllis Benis, Noam Chomsky are just a few of many individuals who would actually bring some critical analysis and commentary on the Syrian situation...

Sep. 10 2013 10:29 AM
Pilar R. from Brookyln

I think we know why Obama half heatedly turned on a dime in the last couple of weeks. Politics of course and Israel.

This was on the front page and left quickly.

We really don't need to involve ourselves on any side here.

Sep. 10 2013 10:19 AM
Ed from Larchmont

What was suggested (I think on the Charlie Rose interview) was that in the chaos of Syria a local army person used chemical weapons without the command of Assad, and later reprimanded by Assad ... a complex possibility.

Sep. 10 2013 10:13 AM

Your lead-in question was essentially, "Is Kerry an accidental hero?" There are a few pieces of information as reported by the BBC and seen on PBS that suggest that recent developments are no accident.

First, the BBC reports that the President and Putin discussed several options in their half-hour meeting in St. Petersburg. This was acknowledged by Putin at the time.

Second, the BBC also reports that before he made his remarks on Sunday morning, Kerry discussed a plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons with the EU foreign ministers and that they expressed support.

Third, Obama confirmed his discussions with Putin on this plan in his interview on Monday with Gwen Ifill on PBS.

This is all hopeful, but there is still a lot to be done. The devil will be in the details of the UN Security Council resolution that is apparently being prepared by the French.

As a former diplomat, I am allergic to the phrase "Only time will tell," but in this case. it applies.

re the polling places and machines, it's LEHver and "in" line, not "on" line in the Midwest, and that should be definitive!

Sep. 10 2013 10:13 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

Here's hoping this latest response to the crisis happens: that the Syrians turn over their chemical stockpiles to an international body. Obama's thinking twice about not rushing into a war is sensible. Any attack would cause collateral damage (what an outrageous euphemism!) and make us bad guys.

Sep. 10 2013 10:12 AM
Ed from Larchmont

A reporter asks an off-hand question, John Kerry gives an off-hand reply ... Russia takes it up ... and the immediate crisis might be averted. This is thanks to Pope Francis' prayer vigil for peace last Saturday on the eve of the birthday of Mary, where everyone was asked to pray with him for peace during that time. God is good.

(Of course, in regard to the speech tonight, it kind of leaves the president out there all by himself.)

Sep. 10 2013 10:08 AM

Sorry, MC. There hasn't been another gas attack since 8/21. The Russians are on board with getting the Syrian government to put their chem weapons stockpiles under international control.

The press can call it whatever they like but Obama has achieved an extremely strong result WITHOUT deploying any troops...WITHOUT firing a single shot.
How is that anything less than a win?

Your weepy quoting of headlines that would have preferred another war to cover is small beer.

Go ahead. Spin it.

Sep. 10 2013 10:06 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Our President Is a Laughing Stock - USA Today
Obama hits new low on foreign policy in CNN polling - CNN
Can the Syria Debacle Get Any Worse? Yes, It Can – WSJ
President Obama Needs to Admit Mistakes - Washington Post

Barry sprints backward looking for a way out of his no-policy foreign policy. "Hey, get Valerie on the phone, quick!"
LOL ... you can’t hide MEDIOCRITY forever, even with the liberal media doing its darned best.

Sep. 10 2013 10:01 AM

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