While still ardent in her conviction to make her cold turkey retirement from blogging a permanent one, beloved ObWi ex-pat Hilzoy sends us this all-too brief dispatch (courtesy Donkeylicious) on why, if we can’t exactly trust Assad re: Russia’s opportune embrace of Kerry’s apparently off-the-cuff Syrian CW solution, we at least can count on the naked self-interest of Bashar’s key international patron to overshadow all other concerns:
Suppose that Syria does not turn over all its chemical weapons. Suppose that Russia knows this. Russia has still staked its credibility, such as it is, on this lie. If Syria uses CW afterwards, it is basically burning its major ally and arms supplier.
I do not think that Assad would do this. And my reasons for thinking this have nothing at all to do with trusting him.
Related: More from Brookings scholar Fiona Hill on Russia’s ongoing realpolitik maneuvers re: Syria and why Western media and analysts are fundamentally misreading Putin’s pro-status quo Mideast policy.