Daily Archives: September 11, 2013

James Blitz

Why did the Russian government launch its sudden initiative on Monday asking Syria to bring its chemical weapons under international control? According to most commentators, the overwhelming motivation will have been to stop the Obama administration carrying out a missile strike on Syria. By making this move, Russia has stopped the march to war.

But some western diplomats say there may have been another factor weighing on the Kremlin’s mind ahead of this move. This is the expectation in some capitals that next week’s UN inspectors’ report into the chemical attack on eastern Damascus will be more embarrassing for the Assad regime than we have been led to believe. 

By David Gallerano
♦ “We cannot rebuild this economy on this same pile of sand”, President Obama said in April 2009. Robin Harding analyses the rebalancing process of the American economy and draws an alarming conclusion: the United States is building again on the same foundations of sand.
♦ The notorious gang rape of December 2012 in New Delhi is changing the way Indian women react to sexual abuses and violence.
♦ Triton Foundation gets $24m in insurance while a farcical trial goes on in Romania: the brand new episodes of the incredible saga of the paintings stolen from the Kunstahl Museum in Rotterdam.
♦ The New York Times illustrates in detail the long process that led Vladimir Putin to make his proposal on Assad’s chemical weapons.
♦ Meanwhile, satirical news site the Onion reports on how the US arms industry reacted to John Kerry’s declaration: “our Secretary of State had to run his big fat mouth about options for averting war, and now we’re out hundreds of billions of dollars”. But Lockheed’s CEO Marilyn Hewson is reassuring: “He will probably say something idiotic in the near future that would lead to another lucrative international conflict”.