Streetwise Professor

February 3, 2014

Kerry: We Totally Screwed Up on Syria, But Plan B Will So Work

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:24 pm

Apropos last night’s post on how American fecklessness in Syria should lead the Ukrainian opposition to be very skeptical about any promises of American support, according to several reports out today Kerry delivered a damning assessment of the state of administration policy-his policy, Obama’s policy-in the tormented Arab country:

Two prominent Republican senators say that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told them — along with 13 other members of a bipartisan congressional delegation — that President Barack Obama’s administration is in need of a new, more assertive, Syria policy; that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria pose a direct terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland; that Russia is arming the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and is generally subverting chances for a peaceful settlement; that Assad is violating his promise to expeditiously part with his massive stores of chemical weapons; and that, in Kerry’s view, it may be time to consider more dramatic arming of moderate Syrian rebel factions.

Maybe Kerry has gone to a 12 Step Program, Foreign Policy Incompetents Anonymous, and has moved beyond the denial stage.  For this assessment is all true.  And it is all the predictable result of Obama’s-and Kerry’s-fecklessness.  So of course we should have every confidence in the administration’s ability to formulate and implement a non-feckless policy based on reality, rather than on fantasy and an extreme reluctance to get involved any more deeply in Syria.

Kerry supposedly asked the senators whether there would be support in Congress for a more robust policy.

There’s an easy answer to that: NO!  Even those senators and representatives who in principle would support such a policy will never do so given Obama’s behavior in August and September.  Remember how Kerry built the case for US intervention, going so far as to compare Assad to the Nazis,  but then Obama seized at the first opportunity to bug out.  After that performance, no member of Congress is going to put his or her neck on the line for Obama, especially given that (a) they have to know Obama is not committed to robust action, and will be looking for a way out, and (b) the Gates memoir makes it plain how Obama will engage in half-hearted military efforts for cynical political reasons.  Oh, and (c): the administration has acted so incompetently (and not just in Syria) that any sentient being would conclude that it cannot be relied on to do any better in the future.  Once burned, twice shy.

No.  No sane member of Congress will take risks for a feckless, cynical, and incompetent administration.  Ukrainian patriots shouldn’t do so either.

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7 Comments »

  1. Would Robert Gates take Kerry over Biden? Or has Kerry been on the wrong side of history for more than 20 years! http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jan/16/robert-gates/robert-gates-criticism-vice-president-joe-biden/

    Comment by scott — February 4, 2014 @ 9:43 am

  2. I’m not sure who my favourite failed Democratic presidential candidate is. John Kerry is a strong contender, with his dumbness, his palpable sense of entitlement, and that little heel-clicky salutey thing he used to do at rallies – “John Kerry reporting for duty….”

    But in the end I think he just misses it. With his paunch, his boozy red face, his dyed hair, his patrician sneer and the aura of fat yet self-righteous corruption oozing from every pore, Albert Gore wins the palm.

    Comment by Green as Grass — February 4, 2014 @ 11:46 am

  3. @Green as Grass,

    It is a close horse race, but don’t forget Joe Biden’s numerous failed campaigns. John and Al were good enough to slip by the promsry voters, Joe was so obviously nasty and slippery even the Democratic voters saw thru it.

    Comment by The Pilot — February 4, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

  4. @scott. Re Kerry vs. Biden. Is death an option? And @green adds Gore. Ach! Keep me away from sharp objects and 5th floor windows.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 4, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

  5. I recall years ago someone, if I am not mistaken, Jesse Watters, apprached a dude on street and showed Kerry’s photo and asked if hew knew who that was.

    The answer with hesitation was “Lurch?”

    Given his performance, I think that “face recognition” has never been more accureate.

    Comment by MJ — February 5, 2014 @ 12:35 am

  6. […] Streetwise Professor notes John Kerry’s admission of failure with Syrian policy. Now Kerry wonders if and when the administration grows some gonads, will congress go along? … Kerry supposedly asked the senators whether there would be support in Congress for a more robust policy. […]

    Pingback by February 6, 2014 « Pickerhead — February 5, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

  7. My favorite Kerry story involved Mr. Hyperthyroid van Inbred the IV, his wife “InheritedlotsaBucks” Heinz and the pugnacious Beantown Journalist Howie Carr: On seeing the dynamic Duo on the red carpet, he asked loudly what these two where doing here. Kerry, miffed, as only a gentleman’s C student can be portentously asked “Do You know who we are?

    Answer “Yeah, a gigolo and a gold-digger”

    Comment by Sotos — February 6, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

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