One argument many of us, myself included, made when considering whether or not to bomb Syria was that of unintended consequences–that one can never predict the unintended consequences of any war. Remember Iraq? We were assured it was a “slam dunk” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (they didn’t), that the war would be over quickly (it wasn’t)and would be paid for from Iraqi revenue from oil (it wasn’t).
When it comes to any potential war in Syria, I don’t remember many thinking about the unintended prospects of averting war from an unusual supposed “enemy,” Russia.
Now it may be we need to “trust and verify” the Russian proposal approved by Syria that it turn over its chemical weapons to the international community, but this action certainly was not expected, at least on the public stage. To save face, the war advocates say Russia and Syria would not have agreed to this without the threat of war, but whatever the cause this is an opportunity to seize peace out of the potential jaw of war. We need to take time to take this proposal seriously and give it time to work out any details. Making peace is at least as important as preparing for war, hopefully more so if this works out.
Now even if Syria turns over its chemical weapons, the civil war will continue, with probably thousands of more killed or left for other countries But perhaps taking one step toward peace, it might be possible to be awake to other unintended consequences we had not envisioned–like a broadened Mideast settlement in Egypt and Lebanon and Israel and beyond.