Monday, September 09, 2013

At least we've got John Kerry on our side...

This sounds like it should be from The Onion, but it's actually from The Globe and Mail. (Obviously, that doesn't make it true, but...)
“We’re not going to war,” Mr. Kerry told reporters Monday after meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London. “We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing; an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”
Of course, an "unbelievably small, limited kind of effort" is almost certain to produce an "unbelievably small, limited kind of result." Any results that aren't "unbelievably small [and] limited" are almost certainly going to be unintended results, and probably negative.

There's also this classic:
“The end of the conflict requires a political solution,” he said. “There is no military solution and we have no illusions about that.”

We know that there's "no military solution," so the obvious next step is an "unbelievably small, limited" military action, because "unbelievably small" military gestures are how we always get to political solutions.

Obviously, if you're going to pick John Kerry to be Secretary of State, you aren't going to do a good job managing foreign affairs. The next time John Kerry is right about anything will be the first. But this seems spectacularly wrong-headed, even for Kerry. "Yeah, we're going to attack, because we said we would, but we aren't actually going to do any damage because it will be a small attack, so it's just empty symbolism to show Assad that we're capable of empty symbolism, because otherwise, the President who drew that red line in the sand will look like a feckless idiot, rather than a strong leader, because nothing says strong leadership like telling people beforehand that your attack won't do anything useful."

It's hard to believe that this isn't selling well in the heartland, or even on Capitol Hill...

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