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article imageOp-Ed: Kerry's mistake forces Obama administration to consider diplomacy

By David Delmar     Sep 10, 2013 in Politics
As has been pointed out repeatedly, recent events seem fatalistic in their orientation toward demonstrating the hypocrisy of the Obama administration.
The newest developments today prove—if there was any doubt left—that Secretary of State John Kerry is hell-bent on a military “solution” to the alleged use by Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad of chemical weapons. US military withdrawals are too great to go any longer without a “hit” (or, more accurately, “strike”).
The latest deception in the push for war is so transparent it is difficult to believe. At a recent press conference, Kerry was asked “is there anything at this point that [Assad’s] government could do or offer that would stop an attack?” Wasting little time in repose, Kerry offered this in response:
Uhh, sure. 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 for that. Uh, but he isn’t about to do it and it can’t be done, obviously.
Two things are particularly curious about the Secretary’s answer. First, it began with the word “sure”—that is to say, Kerry answered in the affirmative the question whether something could be done to avoid war.
Second, and more importantly, Kerry’s answer did something apparently unintentional: it opened the door for a possible diplomatic solution to the allegations of chemical weapons use by Assad.
As if foreseeing the unthinkable possibility that diplomacy might prevent the US from bombing Syria, the State Department quickly issued what the Guardian accurately called a “retraction" of Kerry’s statement:
Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used.
His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That's why the world faces this moment.
To the contrary, it is as clear as anything could be that Kerry did not make these remarks as a “rhetorical argument,” but as a matter-of-fact response to a serious and legitimate question (The video of Kerry’s remarks can be seen here). The State Department’s preferred interpretation of Kerry’s answer is utterly unsubstantiated.
Still, in the world of politics, where no sentence can’t be spun and twisted to alter its import, no matter how clear it is (we’ve had quite a clinic of this behavior of late, what with Obama’s “red line” prevarication) the State Department feels safe in condescending to the American people—and the international community—with the nonsensical statement that Secretary Kerry’s clear offer wasn’t an offer at all! Apparently, even the possibility that Kerry’s remarks might be considered an offer for diplomatic resolution terrified the State Department into issuing this swift “clarification.”
Thankfully, the Russians interpreted Kerry’s remarks exactly the way any intelligent entity would have: as a diplomatic offer. They brought the offer to the Syrian regime and, in another turn of fortune, the offer was reportedly “welcomed.”
It hasn’t taken long for the Obama administration war-hawks to cast aspersions on this new possibility of diplomatic resolution. National Security Adviser Susan Rice called the offer “baloney." Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken called it a Russian “stalling tactic” and stressed, as many others have done, that “failure to act” (meaning “bomb”) will weaken the “international norm” against the use of chemical weapons. Strangely, Blinken doesn't seem to think that allowing Israel to use white phosphorous as a weapon in the Gaza Strip, or tolerating the use of the same substance by the US military in Fallujah, weakened this “norm.”
For his part, President Obama described the Syrian government’s enthusiastic acceptance of Kerry’s accidental offer as a “potentially positive development,” begging the following question: in what morally defunct universe is the emergence of a diplomatic solution to a conflict merely “potentially” positive, as opposed to an unmitigated cause for celebration?
That this “development” is extremely positive is underscored by the fact that the German press today reported, based on high level German intelligence that Assad did not order the chemical weapons strike in question, though it appears his forces did perpetrate it. If this new intelligence is to be believed, Obama’s case for a military strike against Assad’s regime is a nullity, and a diplomatic solution is morally imperative.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about john kerry secretary of state, Obama, President obama, Syria, chemical weapons use in Syria
 
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