Remember those Syrian chemical weapons our Dear Leader so deftly got rid of? The ones with the vanishing red lines and the midnight deals with Moscow which made us effective guarantors of the odious Assad Regime? Yes, those chemical weapons. They’re back:
Inspectors from an international watchdog reportedly discovered traces of deadly nerve agents at a military research site in Syria, potentially bolstering evidence that contradicts President Bashar al-Assad’s denials that the country still possesses and is using chemical weapons during its ongoing civil war.
Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found chemical precursors used to make the nerve agents sarin and VX in samples taken from Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre in December and January, anonymous diplomatic sources told Reuters on Friday.
Did I say they’re back? Heck, it’s like they never left!
Enough of the snark. Let’s juxtapose that Vice story with a little something from PJ’s own Richard Fernandez:
The Obama administration, presented by the regional parties with a choice of evils, ought to have retained a freedom of action in order to avoid the disaster on either hand. But having adopted the policy of “leading from behind” it limited itself to the choices on offer. Now it only has a choice of catastrophes. Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar, argued that the nuclear negotiations illustrated how Obama was deluding himself. He described how Obama forgot that conflict was often a zero-sum game.
That same delusion is dooming the administration to the role of an impotent bystander reduced to watching events unfold in Syria and Iraq. Instead of the “win-win” he confidently expected, Obama is now compelled to accept a “lose-lose” situation. Either the evil Assad regime prevails or the evil of al-Qaeda triumphs. Now all courses run ill. No one can say where this tragedy will end, but one possible outcome is the implosion of Syria and even Lebanon.
Nature may abhor a vacuum, but groups like ISIL and al Qaeda thrive there.
So it’s a good thing Assad cleared out all the chemical weapons for us, right?