Geneva 2 and Nuclear Asia


Note: This post has been updated  and edited as breaking events occurred during its drafting.


As the Syrian diplomatic process unfolds, a useful lens for viewing it comes from Anna Neitsat at Human Rights Watch. She has a brief, but excellent rebuttal to Putin’s pitch at punditry:

Dispatches: What Putin didn’t  tell the American People

Some highlights:

The Russian president strategically emphasizes the role of Islamic extremists in the Syrian conflict. Yes, many rebel groups have committed abuses and atrocities. Yet Putin fails to mention that it is the Syrian government that is responsible for shooting peaceful protesters (before the conflict even started) and detaining and torturing their leaders – many of whom remain detained – and that the continued failure of the international community to respond to atrocities in Syria allows crimes on all sides to continue unaddressed.

Putin’s plea to use the United Nations Security Council to resolve the conflict sounds great, until you remember that, from the very start of this conflict, Russia has vetoed or blocked any Security Council action that may bring relief to Syria’s civilians or bring perpetrators of abuses in Syria to account.


During preliminary negotiations to set the framework for the Geneva 2 Summit, John Kerry maintained that as a precondition for establishment of the G2, chemical weapons talks designed to disarm Assad’s regime of its chemical weapons arsenal must succeed. Though tinged with those small moments of tension peculiar and sometimes pivotal in the diplomatic process, the preliminary negotiations appear to have been relatively successful.

Syria Talks Yield Plan to Discuss Peace Conference – New York Times

Syria Peace Talks Conference Depends on Chemical Talks – The Washington Post

Syria: US and Russia Revive Hopes for ‘Geneva 2; Peace Talks – Associated Press


Breaking News: Today Lavrov and Kerry Agreed to Syrian Disarmament.

The current framework for dismantling Assad’s arsenal, with the first stage set for 2014:

Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons –  Mission of the US, Geneva

Principles for Decision Document by OPCW Executive Council

1. The decision should be based on para 8. Art. IV and para. 10 of Art V of the CWC.

2. The decision should address the extraordinary character of the situation with the Syrian chemical weapons.

3. The decision should take into account the deposit by Syria of the instrument of accession to the CWC.

4. The decision should provide for the easy accessibility for States Parties of the information submitted by Syria.

5. The decision should specify which initial information Syria shall submit to the OPCW Technical Secretariat in accordance with a tightly fixed schedule and also specifies an early date for submission of the formal CWC declaration.

6. The decision should oblige Syria to cooperate fully on all aspects of its implementation.

7. The decision should address a schedule for the rapid destruction of Syrian chemical weapons capabilities. This schedule should take into account the following target dates:

A. Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections of declared sites by November.

B. Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment by November.

C. Complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014.

The shortest possible final deadline, as well as intermediate deadlines, for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons capabilities should be included into the schedule.

8. The decision should provide stringent special verification measures, beginning within a few days, including a mechanism to ensure the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites.

9. The decision should address the issue of duties of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in this situation and its need for supplementary resources to implement the decision, particularly technical and personnel resources, and call upon states with relevant capacities to contribute to this end.

10. The decision should refer to the provisions of the CWC obliging the Executive Council, in cases of non-compliance with the Convention, to bring the issues directly to the attention of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council.


Sergey Lavrov


Joint Framework on Destruction of Syrian CW

 The Russian Federation and the United States of America agree on the need to achieve rapid elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, thus reducing the threat posed to the people of Syria. They are each prepared to devote high-level attention and resources to support the monitoring and destruction mission of the OPCW, both directly and in cooperation with the United Nations and other States concerned. They agree to set an ambitious goal of eliminating the threat in a rapid and effective manner.

Both parties agree that a clear picture of the state of Syrian chemical weapons could help advance a cooperative development of destruction options, including possible removal of chemical weapons outside of the Syrian territory. We agree on the importance of rapid destruction of the following categories:

1. Production equipment

2. Mixing and filling equipment

3. Filled and unfilled weapons and delivery systems

4. Chemical agents (unweaponized) and precursor chemicals. For these materials, they will pursue a hybrid approach, i.e., a combination of removal from Syria and destruction within Syria, depending upon site-specific conditions. They will also consider the possibility of consolidation and destruction in the coastal area of Syria.

5. Material and equipment related to the research and development of chemical weapons

The two parties agree to utilize the “universal matrix”, developed in the course of consultations by our two National Security Councils, as the basis for an actionable plan.

They agree that the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria should be considered an urgent matter to be implemented within the shortest possible time period.

The parties agree to set the following target dates:

A. Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections by November.

B. Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment by November.

C. Complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014.

The Russian Federation and the United States will work together closely, including with the OPCW, the UN and Syrian parties to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission, noting the primary responsibility of the Syrian government in this regard.



As negotiations to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stores and negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities proceed, North Korea’s nuclear program inches forward quietly behind the scenes:

SEOUL — Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.

The North had said five months ago that it would restart key operations at its Yongbyon nuclear facility “without delay.” The report from the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies indicates that it is quietly going ahead with that pledge — and facing few apparent problems in firing up a reactor mothballed for six years.

Commercial satellite images from Aug. 31 show two plumes of white steam rising from a turbine building adjacent to the reactor. That steam is an essential byproduct of the reactor’s operation, and its venting suggests the “electrical generating system is about to come online,” the report said.

View of Waves of the Coast of Kanagawa”
Katsushika Hokusai, painter and print maker, Edo Period (1603-1867)

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18 thoughts on “Geneva 2 and Nuclear Asia

  1. An eminently important, historically inclusive, accurate and factual counterpoint to the MSM linked sources above is found in Noam Chomsky’s interview this past week at democracy now.

    Noam speaks of 70 years of US war crimes, how the present threat of force by Kerry and Obomba in a violation of international law, etc. If you only have a few minutes, Chomsky lays in out in the first 5 minutes or so. Makes MSM analysis pretty much nil in regard to truth telling, totally neglects analysis of USG official ME propaganda continuing daily. US “Mafia Doctrine,” to maintain its “credibility,” by force, explained in clear language.

    The topics covered here are deserving of separate posts.

  2. Our Windmill seems to enjoy churning out protests to President Obama’s efforts to reestablish U.S. credibility and end suffering of the oppressed populations in the middle east. He even posts Noam Chomsky’s U.S. vituperations seething since Socialist darling Fidel Castro was isolated in Cuba after deposing by force an elected government and imposing his own communist dictatorship. Chomsky faults the President for past U.S. actions Obama himself condemned publicly and hoped to eradicate– in the U.S., but also around the world in order to re-instill the idea that the U.S.A. championed democracy around the world.
    So what do we do now that works? How are we so sure that it is Assad and not al Qaeda who did the gassing? Here’s a report nobody seems to have heard:

    1. Excellent point, Catkin,

      Always should we be mindful of history – our genuine history that is, not historical revisionism. Knowing our history is essential to plan for our present and for our future. Thomas Jefferson was adamant on this point and what will foster that knowledge – education, education, education. A well educated populace.

      The tricky part is balancing that historical knowledge so it’s useful and not damaging to republican democracy. These days it seems we’ve been made prisoners of our past or prisoners to our past. When that trend occurs we’re not progressing. But who could possibly define that line? Not me. I can’t find the line, but I think we’ve crossed it. I do think we are in a time of abusive politicization of history and historical revisionism. Now more than ever in our history do we seem to be prisoners of our our own history.

      With that said, don’t be too hard on Chomsky. He’s a pretty astute guy. I don’t agree with him 100% of the time; he definitely has his bias as we all do. I haven’t watched any the videos yet (including your link) so i can’t speak to them, but I’m pretty familiar with Chomsky’s analysis. It’s good if kept in perspective. Same with Democracy Now. Good when kept in perspective, Isn’t good in isolation – definitely part of the newly emerging Propaganda-Left echo chamber that I’m not so happy to see. The mainstream media seems to intersect with it much in the same way the main stream media intersects with the right-wing echo chamber.

      Thanks for making that point about Obama. It speaks well to his seasoned integrity.

      1. So the tricky part is lying about historical fact and not getting caught. Brilliant, a freaking astounding path to a functioning democratic republic if we ever really had one to do any damage to. Let’s censor and disguise war crimes perpetrated in our names, perpetrated with our money, manipulate facts and pretend our democratic republic really exists. MSM kool-aid for certain.

        Shorter Chomsky: Corporate goals in Vietnam (destroying a burgeoning populist sentiment) to guarantee unfettered US access to the rich SE Asian natural resources, was accomplished by 1965, we could have declared victory and proceeded with extraction capitalism to our wallets content. Nine more years of young US boys slaughtered, dioxins, defoliating crops (food) and forests, relentless carpet bombing, napalm and US inflicted genocide on an indigenous region and people was not necessary.

        Obomba through threats and military intimidation, continues (in violation of world court established law) to promote death and destruction and is displacing millions from their homes in the same historical vein, for corporate profits at the cost of human flesh. Conflating, “democracy,” with a capitalist (fascist) economic system, you label lies as seasoned integrity. Down the rabbit hole from whence you came, because their is no way you can put an honest face on what you are claiming is something other than what it is. Class war and you’re complicite.

        1. NQ,

          Not at all. The trick is not to get shacked by our past with flawed reasoning. Our past must be taken into account, but rationally. Obama isn’t George W. H.W. or Reagan. Their mistakes aren’t necessarily Obama’s. Syria isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya. These aren’t useful parallels to address the needs of the current situation when evaluating how we should handle Syria. Historical revisionism is another very real, very destructive distortion that embeds itself deep into our very identity as a nation. David Barton is an example of an historical revisionist. Exactly the opposite, NQ. The trick is not simplifying and not denying our past. Does that help with your misunderstanding?

          Now you’re going on with a narrative. Tailor it to apply that narrative to our current situation in Syria. At the moment I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Are we dropping napalm in Syria or anywhere else in the world? If not is it rational for you to fear a napalm slippery slope? At the moment your comment is simply not making sense. Break up the narrative and selectively apply your parallels to Syria or Russia or wherever the parallel applies for cogency. If you can’t reiterate Chomsky’s narrative maybe just link to it instead. I haven’t looked at your links yet, but at the moment I’d be hard pressed to identify Chomsky in your anti-obama/anti-government narrative. If your point is “the government did bad things in the past, therefore is doing bad things now” specify the past and the present.

          1. Another dose of your sanctimonious pendantic, PJ, color me surprised. NOT. Kindly glance at the this particular interview with Chomsky, the whole interview was in direct response to zero’s Sept 10, war mongering BS, with audio clips from zero’s speech inter-mixed.

            You agree in these comments the MSM is wholly a corporate propaganda tool, yet when I offer one interview as a counterpoint to several MSM stories, to broaden the discussion and for readers to expand their intellectual comprehension of the issue (which you repeatedly claim you desire) the only thing you have offered so far is to repeatedly cast doubt on the highly informed and knowledgeable source I pointed to (Chomsky), then you imply that I have bought into something lock stock and barrel because I attempted to summarize one part of Chomsky’s interview, and then you cast doubt on Democracy Now by framing it as a left-wing propaganda echo chamber and anyone who listens to it needs your help with their own obvious misunderstandings and their inability (according to you) to see things as the really are.

            Then, with your unfailingly malevolent, passive aggressive presumptions you claim I’m getting riled, “cool it, dude,” that I’m going on a narrative (WTF do you call your 24/7 Obomba apologetics?) that I am missing the point, that everyone needs to beware of historical revisionism (as if you are the only one who ever heard the term before), that, “if I can’t reiterate the narrative maybe just link to it instead,” (are you freaking brain-dead, what did I do in my first two comments?) everything you can muster to excuse zero’s war criminality, not only implied but confirmed in the Chomsky interview. But you never actually bring one fact to your argument, which after a decent and informative diary (thank you), you switched inflexibly and reflexively to defending Obomba’s infallibility in all things and his purported innocence in being party to anything opposite of your fact-free beliefs.

            Disparage a source, disparage the commenter, appeal to beliefs (Obomba would never lie, seasoned integrity and all that rot), appeal to ridicule, attribute group-think to opposing or wider thought when it doesn’t fit your liking or is beyond your knowledge base or comprehension of alternate possibility. Your commenting in a nut shell, PJ. No pun intended.

            1. Actually, NQ. I’m no longer interested in your links or your opinion. So, I’ve not even read through your comment. I’ll not be addressing it. You are a baby troll and your commentary is corrosive. Consider yourself persona non grata.

    2. Nice to see you at least may have attempted to followed the links.

      I doubt Obomba’s real intentions are to end the suffering in the ME, otherwise the CIA would be stopped immediately from funneling any more small arms, vehicles and ammunition to a faction of the Syrian rebels (chosen by Obomba as the least repulsive of the Syrian terrorists on the scene) which resumed in earnest this past week. That should all work out great for ending the conflict, examples of such, “success,” provided by Chomsky.

      I offered a counterpoint to the plutocratic owned MSM. Take it or leave it, you petty attempt to disparage the messenger is irrelevant to anyone deciding for themselves the validity of anything an MIT professor presents during his thorough critique of Obomba’s latest speech, but illustrates a sophomoric tactic frequently used influence opinion, a cheap shot. Hope you got your jollies.

      I appears you’ve bought into the MSM meme that the only two possibilities for who did the gassing are either Assad or the Rebels. There are between 3 and 6 possible culprits with motives, including CIA operatives as one of those, should you decide to sincerely care.

      1. NQ,

        I happen to be an admirer of Chomsky’s. That I don’t agree with him 100% all the time on all issues or that I recognize he has bias (as we all do) wasn’t a disparagement. Chill out, dude. I haven’t even watched your links yet. You are quite right in pointing out that we’ve been sending arms to the rebels. (I denounced that on previous occasion; perhaps you don’t recall).

        As far as MSM – I’ll take some, leave some, fill it in here and there and try to find as many primary sources and alternative angles as I can. As far as responsibility for the attack I’ll wait for the UN assessment, but at the moment they’re strongly suggesting with a great deal of confidence that the attack was waged by Assad. At the moment it doesn’t matter, the military intervention gamble paid off. Do I think Obama would have initiated a strike unilaterally? I do. But, I also think it was never going to happen because Russia and China weren’t going to have squat to work with at the UN and they knew it. The contours of the current peace process are those that Obama advocated from day one. And now that process can move forward without as many obstacles.

        You are quite right about the plutocratic MSM – it’s useless and it’s gotten worse. I’ve got some thoughts on that for a post too. Chill, chill out. Like I said I haven’t even checked out your links yet. Admittedly, I haven’t paid as much attention to Chomsky as of late mostly because I haven’t been impressed with his recent op-ed headlines. It’ll be a good thing to pay attention to him again. So thank you for the links. Peace, NQ.

  3. Thank you for the links. It’s important to keep the dialog going on Syria so the facts may be ferreted out. The devastation unleashed by Fukushima is truly horrifying. The downplaying by TEPCO of the releases of contamination have been downright criminal. It is also poisoning the groundwater. The world community must absolutely get involved on a massive scale to control the damage.

    1. You’re very welcome, Mikey. Agreed. It is important to keep the conversation going on Syria.

      Fukushima is truly horrifying and that the Japanese government even contemplated allowing TEPCO to handle that disaster on its own is truly horrifying. Thanks for bringing up that point. All the more reason for we here in the US to not only resist deregulation, but to push for federalization of strict regulatory measures and also to push for public control of all energy facilities and energy resources. Energy production is too critical to be left in the hands of the private sector.

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