Now the Obama administration is busy taking credit for possible political solutions on Syria, after Russia made good use of Secretary Kerry's blunder, aka "hypothetical" remark, during a press briefing in London on Monday, and Syria, the UN, and a host of political leaders around the world (including UK's Cameron) warm up to the Russian proposal of putting Syria's chemical weapons under international supervision.
Even the GOP duo McCain and Graham, who have been staunch supporters of President Obama's policies and initiatives, say "the proposal should be given a chance".
Harry Reid has delayed the procedural vote in the US Senate due to this new development (aka he doesn't have enough vote to pass the resolution).
From Washington Post (9/9/2013; emphasis is mine):
(Original title of the article as seen on the browser bar: Syria says it 'welcomes' Russia proposal on chemical weapons)
(Current article title is all about Obama) Obama sees potential ‘breakthrough’ in Russia’s Syria proposal
Russia and Syria embraced Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s suggestion Monday that the Syrian government could avert a U.S. attack by placing its chemical weapons under international control, upending the Obama administration’s efforts to sharpen its case for military action.
The timing of the new proposal was awkward and its apparent genesis perhaps more so.
It began when Kerry was asked early Monday whether Assad could avoid a U.S. attack.
“Sure. He could turn over every bit of his weapons to the international community within the next week, without delay,” Kerry responded with a shrug. “But he isn’t about to.”
As Kerry flew back to Washington to help lobby lawmakers, he received a midair call from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said he had heard the secretary’s remarks and was about to make a public announcement.
The statement in Moscow came before Kerry landed.
“We are calling on the Syrian authorities [to] not only agree on putting chemical weapons storages under international control but also for its further destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Lavrov said, adding, “We have passed our offer to [Syrian Foreign Minister] Walid al-Moualem and hope to receive a fast and positive answer.”
Moualem, who was in Moscow meeting with Lavrov, followed with a statement that his government “welcomes Russia’s initiative, based on the Syrian government’s care about the lives of our people and security of our country.”
Although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denies having a stockpile of the widely banned weapons, the idea of international control also quickly gained traction among diplomats and at least some senior Democrats whose support Obama seeks for a show of force.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was the first senior lawmaker to voice support for the Russian proposal.
“I think if the U.N. would accept the responsibility of maintaining these facilities, seeing that they’re secure, and that Syria would announce that it is giving up any chemical weapons programs or delivery system vehicles that may have been armed, then I think we’ve got something,” Feinstein said.
The Russian announcement was met with approval by international backers and critics of a U.S. strike. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has said a U.S. attack on Syria would be illegal without U.N. approval, signaled support, as did British Prime Minister David Cameron.
French Foreign Minister Laurant Fabius, whose government had said it would join an American attack and who two days ago stood at Kerry’s side in Paris to pledge an all-out effort to build public support, said it was worth testing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been wary of a strike, welcomed the idea.
Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) said the proposal came only because Assad feels the threat of military force and that Congress should continue considering Obama’s request for legislative backing. But the two said the proposal should be given a chance — and a test of its sincerity — by being committed to writing in a U.N. Security Council resolution.
“We should not trust, and we must verify,” the pair said in a joint statement.
A senior State Department official said Kerry warned Lavrov that the United States was “not going to play games.”
Current and former Obama administration officials scrambled Monday to say the proposal should not derail plans for a punitive strike. They suggested it was a delaying tactic after more than two years of diplomatic efforts with Syria and its ally Russia, albeit one spurred by the prospect that a U.S. military attack is imminent.
“It’s very important to note that it’s clear that this proposal comes in the context of the threat of U.S. action and the pressure that the president is exerting,” deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said at the White House. “So it’s even more important that we don’t take the pressure off and that Congress give the president the authority he’s requested.”
(Full article at the link)
Senator John McCain's initial reaction to Secretary Kerry's own goal was, "unbelievably unhelpful".