Hillary Clinton on Syria: “Immediately Surrendered Stockpiles” Would be “An Important Step”

Photo: Hillary Clinton on Syria: The promise of military strikes has produced the Russian overture.

“It is very important to note that this discussion that has taken hold today about potential international control over Syria’s stockpiles only could take place in the context of a credible military threat by the United States to keep pressure on the Syrian government, as well as those supporting Syria, like Russia.” – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

SPEAKING AT an event on illegal wildlife trafficking, Hillary Clinton began her remarks by stating she’d just come from an meeting with President Obama “where they discussed the latest developments” in Syria. She went on to delineate three points “at the heart” of the decision facing the U.S., including Congress.

Below is a rough transcript of what Clinton said.

“First, as the President has said, the Assad regime’s inhuman use of weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children violates a universal norm at the heart or our global order, and therefore it demands a strong response from the international community lead by the United States.

“Second, the international community cannot ignore the ongoing threat from the Assad regime’s stockpiles of chemical weapons. Whether they are used again against Syrian civilians or transferred to Hezbollah or stolen by other terrorists, this is about both protecting the Syrian people and our friends in the region. The world will have to deal with this threat as swiftly and comprehensively as possible.

“Now if the regime immediately surrendered its stockpiles to international control, as was suggested by Secretary Kerry and the Russians, that would be an important step. But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction, and Russia has to support the international community’s efforts sincerely or be held to account.”

Clinton then made the statement I highlighted at the top of this report, emphasizing that the accommodation being offered through Russia for Assad to immediately surrender stockpiles of his chemical weapons would not have come about without President Obama’s threat of military force.

“Third, as has been emphasized many times, and I did so as secretary of state, the broader conflict in Syria is a threat to regional stability and security of our allies and partners, as well as a humanitarian catastrophe for the Syrian people and those neighboring countries attempting to absorb hundreds of thousands, now over two million, refugees.

“Achieving a political solution that ends the conflict is in the interest of the United States. It will require an intense diplomatic effort guided by the road map that was agreed to by the international community in Geneva last year, in June of 2012. There was an agreement that we hammered out that pointed the way forward. We need to get to the opportunity to begin such negotiations to move toward a resolution.

“The President and I discussed these challenges today. I will continue to support his efforts and I hope the Congress will as well.”

Clinton stood unflinchingly beside President Obama, as the highlight of an impressive campaign that unfolded today flawlessly, beginning with national security director Susan Rice at the New America Foundation, continuing with Tony Blinken in the White House briefing, culminating with Hillary’s strong, substantive and cohesive remarks.

The entire Administration impressively moved the case for strikes on Syria on to a completely different level today, but was handed a gift. Overwhelmingly making the case for strikes, Vladimir Putin unknowingly handed President Obama the trump card by picking up on Secretary Kerry’s purposefully made off-the-cuff remark and suggesting a way out of a military action that no one wants, but was forced on Obama when the use of chemical weapons and the slaughter of civilians escalated an already untenable situation.

President Obama will continue the case across the airwaves tonight, with Hillary Clinton as a companion news story as the Administration pushes towards strikes against Syria unless Bashar al Assad immediately responds to his last chance to forego what’s coming.

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone



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