Belligerent Rhetoric Didn’t Help in Syria

John KerryOver at The Guardian, Mark Weisbrot reminds us of something important, If There’s a Syria Diplomatic Deal, Thank Congressional Resistance to a New War. The article is mostly about all of the uncertainties in the case for war that liberals and conservatives in Congress have been pushing. The point is well worth making because the administration—especially Kerry and his minions—are arguing that the negotiated settlement regarding Syrian chemical weapons is only happening because they’ve been so belligerent.

This is amazing when you consider that if it had been up to Kerry, we would have attacked Syria a week and a half ago. They are also claiming that Syria’s acceptance of the deal proves what we didn’t know before, namely, that Syria definitely has chemical weapons. Just hold the phone! The one thing the administration has claimed throughout this whole thing is that Syria’s chemical weapons were not open to debate. We absolutely, positively knew that they had them. This wasn’t like Iraq where intelligence sources simply believed there were WMDs. But it turns out that in addition to everything else they’ve been lying about, they’ve been lying about this too.

So we get it coming and going. We knew Syria had chemical weapons before a negotiation was under way so we were right to threaten an attack. And once the negotiation is under way, we were right to threaten an attack because it proves Syria had chemical weapons all along. By this logic, there is no conclusion other than that Kerry was right about all his chest pounding and foot stomping.

What it really all means is that if a country has a very big military, other countries will try to appease it when it starts talking war. So if the United States starts talking about nuking Venezuela, other countries really will step in and see if they can calm the situation—even providing America with goodies that it wants. But that doesn’t mean that America is right to go around threatening countries that it doesn’t like. What’s more, if an equal amount of effort had been applied to negotiation, the Syrian civil war might be over by now.

At this point, the Obama administration appears to be taking the Russian deal very seriously. This leads credence to my opinion that Obama simply blew it and found himself in a situation where he felt he had to do something because of his careless talk of “red lines.” But I still don’t know what to think of Kerry who sounds as belligerent as John McCain. I don’t think it’s fake. I no longer think he is just being the “good soldier” in the administration. And I certainly don’t think this Russian deal was planned. I think he just wants to be on the front political lines of a “blood good war.” How the mighty have fallen.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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