Whithering war?

I'm sort of wondering what's going on in Syria, now.  Assad's regime is saying they'll hand over their chemical weapons, and the UN will destroy them, and somehow make sure he can't make any more.

It's that latter part that seems terribly ridiculous, to me.  I don't know a whole lot about chemical weapons, but I can't see how that's possible.  If it's even remotely feasible for the rebels to have chemical weapons, as Assad and the Russians have been asserting, then there's no way they could ever remove Assad's ability to make more.  So I think there's some smoke-blowing going on there.

I am glad to see that Iran is at the bargaining table, and some interesting things came out of that, I think.

For one thing, it shows that the sanctions are achieving their intended effect.  For another, we (or at least I) learned a bit more about Iran's backing of Assad.  Iran, apparently, didn't want chemical weapons used for two reasons.  One, they have a lot of memories of Saddam using chemical weapons on them in the Iran/Iraq war, and two, they didn't want the Americans to get involved in Syria.

It's that latter point, especially with Iran pushing them, that makes me think that maybe Assad's agreement on the chemical weapons isn't just a delaying tactic.  I'm not sure it isn't, but I think it's at least possible that he's geniune.  He certainly doesn't want America to enter the conflict openly.

Most likely, America getting involved would cause all hell to break loose, in all kinds of unpredictable ways, but the one thing that would be pretty predictable is that Assad would be gone.  So he certainly doesn't want that.

So, having said all that, I can't say as I have a good feel for what's coming, but I'm damned glad to see that we aren't going to war again in the near term.  And there are even reasons to be optimistic.  Maybe not wildly optimistic, but at least a little bit.

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