Comments on Monday by Secretary of State John Kerry crediting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad with initial cooperation with international chemical weapons monitors leave no doubt that the United States now has a stake in shoring up the Assad regime’s legitimacy–even as it arms its increasingly radical opposition.
“I think it’s extremely significant that yesterday, Sunday, within a week of the [UN] resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were being destroyed,” Kerry said, according to the Times of Israel, adding:
As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry had been one of the Assad regime’s foremost defenders in Washington. In August, he helped lead the charge for military strikes against the regime, calling it a “Munich moment,” implying that Assad was like Hitler, Now, however, he has reversed himself again.
As predicted, the structure of the deal that the Obama administration accepted implicitly required it to accept Assad’s continued rule in Syria, even as it armed the rebels. Kerry’s “credit” gaffe has now made that support explicit–just as another Kerry gaffe helped lead to the retreat on Syria in the first place.