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February 03, 2014

Report: John Kerry Says Obama's Syria Policy Is Failing

Senators briefed by Secretary of State John Kerry say his private remarks are at odds with the administration's public statements about the status of the US' policy on Syria.

The most surprising thing about this is we apparently have a policy on Syria. That whatever it is isn't working is not a surprise.

“[Kerry] acknowledged that the chemical weapons [plan] is being slow rolled, the Russians continue to supply arms, we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended Kerry's briefing with lawmakers on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. “He openly talked about supporting arming the rebels. He openly talked about forming a coalition against al Qaeda because it’s a direct threat.”

Kerry’s private remarks were a stark departure from the public message he and other top Obama administration officials repeatedly have given in public. Shortly after the meeting ended, Sens. Graham and John McCain described the meeting to The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg View. Given newly-released intelligence on the growing al Qaeda presence in Syria, as well as shocking new evidence of Syrian human rights atrocities, the senators said they agreed with Kerry that the time had come for the United States to drastically alter its approach to the Syrian civil war.

Let's be honest, the US lost any leverage it might have had when it failed to follow through on retaliatory attacks against the Assad regime following the use of chemical weapons.

And you know what? That's ok.

Had the US attacked Syria last summer we wouldn't have leverage as much as a giant mess that would have involved either attacking and not removing Assad or the attacks would have been the start of an ever more robust effort to remove Assad.

Either way, it would have been a bigger mess only with US finger prints all over it.

Yes, the humanitarian toll of the Syrian civil war is immense. The toll of every war is beyond what people should have to endure. The fact is, some wars have to be fought to the bitter end. The question before us is should the US be involved in that fighting? To me, the answer is clearly no. We should do whatever we cant to help Assad and al Qaeda groups continue to bleed each other dry. Then you can call me when they are both dead or too exhausted to continue. Once that's been accomplished we can talk about helping the Syrian people get back on their feet. Until that time, it's their fight to win or lose.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:40 PM

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