Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have - rightly - criticized the deal struck by the US and Russia regarding the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. The deal is "meaningless" according to the senators:
"It requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything other than the start of a diplomatic blind alley, and the Obama administration is being led into it by Bashar Assad and [Russian president] Vladimir Putin."
"What concerns us most is that our friends and enemies will take the same lessons from this agreement – they see it as an act of provocative weakness on America's part. We cannot imagine a worse signal to send to Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon."
"Assad will use the months and months afforded to him to delay and deceive the world using every trick in Saddam Hussein's playbook."
"The only way this underlying conflict can be brought to a decent end is by significantly increasing our support to moderate opposition forces in Syria. We must strengthen their ability to degrade Assad's military advantage, change the momentum on the battlefield, and thereby create real conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict."
Syndicated columnist Mark Steyn describes the deal even more realistically:
In the Obama era, to modify Teddy Roosevelt, America chatters unceasingly and carries an unbelievably small stick. In this, the wily Putin saw an opening, and offered a “plan” so absurd that even Obama's court eunuchs in the media had difficulty swallowing it. A month ago, Assad was a reviled war criminal and Putin his arms dealer. Now, Putin is the honest broker and Obama's partner for peace, and the war criminal is at the negotiating table with his chances of survival better than they've looked in a year. On the same day the U.S. announced it would supply the Syrian rebels with light arms and advanced medical kits, Russia announced it would give Assad's buddies in Iran the S-300 ground-to-air weapons system and another nuclear reactor.