By VICTOR GILINSKY and HENRY D. SOKOLSKI in NYT
After reaching agreement with Russia on Chemical Weapons in Geneva, Mr. Kerry directly flew to Tel Aviv to reassure Israelis. I think our government‘s main concern was Israel and not the moral outrage being displayed. Unfortunately people of Syria are the main losers in this whole saga; betrayed both by their own leaders and world powers who could not agree to stop the killing by conventional weapons-a major killer. Mr. Assad will have a free hand now. ( F. Sheikh).
Excerpts from article;
“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria insists that the purpose of his chemical arsenal was always to deter Israel’s nuclear weapons. If Syria actually disarms, what about Egypt and Israel? Egypt (about whose chemical weapons the United States has been strangely silent) points to Israel. And Israel of course has its own chemical weapons to deter Syria’s and Egypt’s, and it is not about to give them up. A headline in the Israeli daily Haaretz a few days ago stated: “Israel adamant it won’t ratify chemical arms treaty before hostile neighbors.”
“In April, the American assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, Thomas M. Countryman, expressed hope that the conference would be held by this fall. And earlier this month, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, urged all parties to set a conference date “as quickly as possible.” He also argued that it should include Israel and Iran. Russia attempted to include the conference in last week’s agreement, but Secretary of State John Kerry resisted. It is not going to go away.
If Washington wants negotiations over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East to work — or even just to avoid making America appear ridiculous — Mr. Obama should begin by being candid. He cannot expect the countries participating in a conference to take America seriously if the White House continues to pretend that we don’t know whether Israel has nuclear weapons, or for that matter whether Egypt and Israel have chemical or biological ones.
And if Israel’s policy on the subject is so frozen that it is unable to come clean, Mr. Obama must let the United States government be honest about Israel’s arsenal and act on those facts, for both America’s good and Israel’s.”