- - Thursday, June 26, 2014

In what’s being hailed as a foreign-policy triumph of the Obama administration (which needs every morsel of good news it can get), the Syrian government gave up all its “declared” chemical weapons stockpile.

Or have they completely disarmed themselves of the world’s most dangerous weapons? Ahmet Uzumcu, chief of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said, “All declared chemical weapons have left Syria, [but] clearly we cannot say as the secretariat of the OPCW that Syria doesn’t possess any chemical weapons anymore.” Just to be clear, then, the mass-murdering, tyrannical Syrian government that has no accountability to its people has said something is so, yet the head of an international body isn’t exactly willing to bet the farm that it is so.

Now what’s odd about this? Why wouldn’t OPCW fully trust the word of a dictatorship that it would willingly disarm itself of its most potent weapons? If you recall, in the past decade a similar scenario played out just across the southern border in Iraq. Saddam Hussein said he didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, yet the most evil and guiltiest man in the world was doubted by the world community. Eventually, a war broke out over it. According to the revised official party line of the Democratic Party, we should have believed Saddam Hussein because it was President George W. Bush who “lied.”

Yet, after this hard lesson of history that cost countless lives and trillions of dollars, the OPCW just can’t go along with the Democratic Party precedent that it is OK to believe the word of a tyrannical dictatorship. The real question here is that given the character of these deceitful dictatorships and how they stick together, would anyone really be so shocked if it were one day discovered that Syria still had “undeclared” weapons of mass destruction stashed away in 55-gallon drums that read “Made in Iraq”?

My rule for dealing with dictatorships is this: They’re guilty, no matter what. Even if they’re perceived to be innocent like Saddam, that’s only temporary because they will eventually be found guilty. Some folks may say that’s not fair or the way of the American justice system, but in cases like these, to not have such a mindset only sets one up to be burned. At least the OPCW is showing signs that it “gets it.” Now we just have to worry about the Democratic Party, which will be itching to smear the next GOP president for taking decisive action in not believing a mass-murdering tyrant.

EUGENE DUNN

Medford, N.Y.