Bob Schieffer on scoring the Syria weapons contest

Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speak during a press conference at the Hotel Intercontinental on September 12, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. The leaders met to discuss chemical weapons in Syria in working towards assisting a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

(CBS News) Depending on who you ask, there are many roads to heaven. But what we've been seeing this weekend underlines there may be even more routes to getting rid of Syria's chemical weapons -- and the path we're on is more like a wilderness trail than a superhighway.

Think about it: The President draws a red line and tells Syria not to use chemical weapons or we'll unleash our military might.

Our most loyal ally, Great Britain, then pulls the rug out from under the president by saying, 'Sorry, but you're on your own on this one."

Hoping to show that the American people are at least behind him, he then asks Congress to endorse his idea, but the smoke signals from Capitol Hill say, "Sorry, no way!"

Even so, the Secretary of State says the only thing Syria can do to avoid an attack is to turn their chemical weapons over to the U.N., but that is hardly out of his mouth when the State Department says he really doesn't mean it.

Apparently, the Russian foreign minister didn't hear that part because he seized on Kerry's words. Suddenly Russia is back in the game, Assad agreed to Kerry's words -- and, the Russians say they were actually their idea in the first place. But in any case they become the framework for Syria to give up those weapons.

Critics may say, "Better to be lucky than skilled," but as we say on the golf course, there are no pictures of how you did it on the scorecard. The only thing you put on the scorecard is the score.

If this works (and we have to hope it does), that will be the only thing that matters.

Complete coverage: Syria crisis

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.