Okay, imagine that the Middle East oil is a giant pie.
US does not have a slice of the pie. So it gains, through both the pen and the sword, a slice. So now it has a slice. Yummy yum yum. Oil is fun. But it wants more. Pie is super-expensive right now so the more it gets, the more profit it can make. So the US keeps grabbing more pie. Then a tinpot dictatorship comes and steals their pies by waving around WMDs and nukes and stuff. So the US beats up the dictatorship and gets its pie back. That’s fair enough.
But the US really, really loves its pie. So much that it doesn’t want the pie to be stolen in the first place. It needs to scare the tinpots so they won’t even think about going near the US slice. What does it do? It takes one country, claims that it has WMDs (falsely) and invades it. Everyone is scared as fuck, their pie is safe. BUT someone finds out that they’re using false pretenses. Giant shitstorm.
So now we have Syria. Tinpot again. Again, WMD right in their faces. They’ve already established that they’re strongly against WMDs and will take military action to oppose it. If they DON’T, the other tinpots will get cocky, think they’re scared and do what they like. They have to back up their “against WMD” statements(such as the invasion of Iran, the red line statement and so on, which was initially created to justify getting more pie) through force to show their seriousness.
Yet, they cannot afford to invade under false pretenses again. The likelihood of chemicals being thrown around in Syria is high enough that they’re obligated to take action but not high enough that they’ll rush out and risk another false WMD claims controversy. So they tell everyone they’re investigating the situation(they probably are, in actual fact. Want to make sure there’s actually nukes before attacking). They hope that one of two things will happen:
1)Syria turns out not to have chemical weapons, they can safely back off without appearing weak
2)Syria DOES have chemical weapons, it invades, makes an example of Syria, gets pie, gets power
But the situation is maddeningly inconclusive. Nobody can’t say with absolute certainty that Syria(or should I say the Assad regime specifically) actually has chemical weapons. Russia has a big ol’ safe slice and wants the war to end so their pie will be stabilized and they can start selling and buying it properly again without the wildly swinging prices. It proposes a peaceful solution; disarm and we do nothing. Assad agrees, and thus is the saving grace for the Americans.
1)America looks badass, like their threatened might has forced Syria into disarming
2)America does NOT look like a warmongering tyrant as no direct military action is actually taken
3)America makes an example of Syria, to show the rest that they can handle tinpots with chemical weapons easily
4)Syria is disarmed of weapons, good luck with stealing anybody’s pie now Assad
The only thing lacking is Syria’s small slice of the pie and maybe some political power by bringing Syria under their thumbs, but that’s reasonable enough. The above four points make agreeing to the Russian proposal very attractive now.