WaPo's Michael Gerson: 'Assad Used Chemical Weapons and Improved His Job Security'

September 15th, 2013 3:00 PM

The award for this week's best line concerning the American-Russian agreement regarding Syria goes to Washington Post columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson.

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, Gerson marvelously observed, "Assad used chemical weapons and improved his job security."

DAVID GERGEN, CNN: Foreign policy experts say in part Russia is concerned about chemical weapons getting in the wrong hands and being used against them and their own people back home. But the larger issue here, as they say, is that Russia's strongest interest is to keep Assad in power. That gives them a big voice in the Middle East. He is giving up not very much, his chemical weapons capacity, and in turn they're going to cut these side deals with him to arm him more fully. And now the international community, in order to enforce this deal, has to work through Assad. You know, they've -- they have legitimatized him as the place you go to get cooperation. And that's why it's going to be hard to arm the rebels. If we start arming the rebels and Assad says, well, if you're going to arm the other side, I'm not going to help you with the weapons. And you're bogged down in a group of arguments.

MICHAEL GERSON, WASHINGTON POST: Assad used chemical weapons and improved his job security. That's not a particularly good message to other dictators.

PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: That is the message that will be out there, too.

Indeed it is. If only more in the media would make Americans aware of it.

Bravo, Michael! Bravo!