Taken together, Assad’s victory (in taking Yabroud, “the last major town held by Sunni Muslim rebels”) his continued slaughter of those who oppose him, his repeated human rights violations, his failure to live up to the terms of the deal, and his undermining of the peace talks amount to a stunning defeat of American diplomacy. Nearly 50,000 people have died since the United States confirmed the use of chemical weapons last summer, bringing the total number of casualties to more than 140,000.
Taken together, this also represents a clear victory for Bashar al Assad. He has accomplished every goal he had when the United States and its partners ignored the so-called “red line” and allowed the war to continue without intervention.
He has defeated the rebels, splitting them into warring factions. He still has the majority of his chemical weapons. He is still in power, and with negotiations stalled, it’s unlikely he’ll be removed.
In short, he’s won.
John Kerry is still maintaining that diplomacy can work.
The world is doing a collective “ROTFLMAO” at us.