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September 09, 2013

John Kerry: We Wouldn't Have to Bomb if Syria Put Its Chemical Weapons Under International Inspectors
Syria: Okay
Russia: Okay
John Kerry: I Meant That Hypothetically

Some are calling this a gaffe-- and I suppose Kerry wasn't directed to say it. American officials are generally directed to say things Which Aren't True.

And he accidentally said something true-- since the chemical weapons are the entire pretext for the bombing, were Syria to voluntarily cede control over them, it would blow up the rationale for the bombing.

America’s top diplomat suggested in a passing remark that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a U.S.-led strike if he handed over all his chemical weapons, but the State Department quickly dismissed the comment as more of a “rhetorical argument” than an offer.

In a London news conference this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to a question about whether Assad could do anything to avoid war by saying “he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting.”

Assad is playing the Saddam Hussein game now of welcoming foreign inspectors.

Did Obama sleep through this episode? Don't tell me; I don't want to know.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday said it welcomed a Russian proposal to avert U.S. military strikes by having Damascus turn over control of its chemical weapons to international monitors.

Whether this was a gaffe or not, is it such a terrible idea?

It's not even a bad idea from Obama's Domestic Policy Strength perspective, which is apparently the only one that really matters. After all, he can credibly say that Syria only agreed to this due to his Smart Power Diplomatic Skill in gathering a Coalition of Nobody At All.

No, seriously: Syria would only agree to this to avert an airstrike. Obama had threatened just that. Ergo Syria's agreement can be read as offering a concession to avoid the wrath of Obama.

That works out for Obama. It also may work out as far as limiting chemical weapons. It works out for "sending a message." It works out for not involving the US in a war that's apparently being made up as they go.

Gaffe, blunder, rhetorical snafu, whatever it is-- it's not a bad outcome.

Again, even for Obama's political position, the only thing that really matters.

This would be a great Festival of Face-Saving for virtually everybody.

For God's Sake, someone might even say something like "Maybe Chuck Hegel's not so dumb after all, hmmm?"

Is it possible that Obama's incompetence has actually worked in his favor? Consider the case of an incompetent setting out on a plan intended to fail.

His incompetence will often make him fail at this plan, and as he failed in his plan to fail, he now... succeeds.

God protects drunks, doesn't he?

This may be the most brilliantly stupid pratfall of all of the Obama Brain Trust's various stupidities.

Of course... This would tend to undermine the Left's idea that #SmartPower #SmartDiplomacy changes nation's behaviors, as this entire scheme would have been brought into existence by the threat of military airstrikes.

But somehow I think Obama and the Left can manage to overlook that as they award each other more Nobel Peace Prizes and Spoken Word Album Grammies.


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posted by Ace at 02:22 PM

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