Jeffrey Goldberg makes several points similar to the points I made in my post last night, The Deal: In order to remove the threat of Bashar Assad, we have to save Bashar Assad.
Goldberg writes, New Syria Agreement Is a Big Victory. For Assad:
A couple of months ago, the Obama administration was — at least rhetorically — targeting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for removal. Today, the U.S. has in a perverse way made Assad its partner.
The U.S. and Syria will now be working together on an improbable, even fantastical project: ridding a brutal country at war with itself of chemical weapons.
The agreement, reached over the weekend, to begin disarming Syria represents an astonishing victory for the Assad regime. It is also a victory for Assad’s main weapons supplier and diplomatic protector, Russian President Vladimir Putin….
Which is not to say that this isn’t also a victory — a provisional, morally ambiguous victory — for President Barack Obama as well….
By partnering with Russia and the West on the disarmament process, a process that is meant to last into 2014 (and most likely won’t be finished for years, even if it is carried out in good faith, which is a big “if”), Assad has made himself indispensable.
Goldberg made another point at the end of his article:
Who are the real losers in this episode? That one is easy. The Syrian people. They will continue to be raped, tortured and slaughtered in their homes, in their markets, on their streets, in their hospitals and in their mosques. So long as they die in conventional ways, no one will pay their deaths much mind at all.
That point reminded me of a video I watched last night, particularly this part (at 12:55) where an FSA fighter wonders if Americans would care more about Assad’s slaughter if the victims were cats. In asking for help regardless of the reason, he states with macabre humor:
I hope they will help the cat … Don’t care about the woman, just care about the cat.
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