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The Way Out?

5:00 PM, Sep 9, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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In the unlikely event that Bashar Assad were to give up the chemical weapons stockpiles he’s long denied having, it would indeed be “an important step,” as Secretary Clinton put it. But what then? More than 100,000 Syrians have died in the fighting caused by Assad’s decision to attack his own people – almost all of them from conventional weapons.

Would President Obama, having escaped from the box he put himself in on chemical weapons, allow the slaughter by conventional weapons to continue? Before the confirmed use of chemical weapons, the president seemed content to stand on the sidelines and call hopefully for Assad to go. What now?

Even if the Kerry/Russia plan gives the president a face-saving way to avoid military conflict in Syria, it does little to erase the damage of his dithering and unseriousness over the past month – and the past two years. And the timing of this proposal, coming as it does on the same day that Assad explicitly threatened the U.S. with “repercussions” from “different factions,” could well be seen in the region as yet another example of American weakness.

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