Kerry Slams Syria Deal, Pushes Idea of Attacking

Insists Syria's Pledge to Hand Over Arms Not Good Enough

Syria has ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and promised to move forward with a plan within 30 days on the destruction of its chemical arsenal, which will be placed under international control for the duration of its (likely long) process of dismantling them.

Instead of treating the deal as a movie-style happy ending, Secretary of State John Kerry is grousing about the war it has apparently foiled, lashing the deal as “not enough” while pushing the idea that the US might still attack Syria unilaterally in spite of the deal, seemingly just for the heck of it.

Kerry says President Assad’s agreement to the standard international process of dismantling chemical weapons is totally unacceptable because Syria “isn’t standard,” and insists that the US attack could still happen if Assad doesn’t agree to some totally unspecified, less realistic timetable.

The 30 days isn’t something Assad just made up, either, but actually an explicit part of the CWC, just one that annoys Kerry personally, since after several weeks of pushing for a war based on a putative violation of “international norms,” he insists the norms don’t apply to Syria anyhow.

Though some analysts are presenting this as Kerry “testing” the seriousness of the deal in talks with Russia, it is reading more as an attempt to sabotage it outright. With Kerry the primary proponent of the hugely unpopular war that now isn’t happening, the chip on his shoulder and his decision to spurn diplomacy just read like sour grapes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.