Two days after he stood in the ornate Treaty Room at the State Department to deliver a forceful address on the justification for an imminent U.S. military strike against Syria, Secretary of State John F. Kerry returned to the same venue Sunday to defend a different approach.Yes, hanging by ropes, twisting in the breeze. Kerry does look a little plastic these days.
If you've been wondering why the president hasn't come out and either extensively talked to the press or given a big Oval Office speech, right up to the moment he was going to make the gutsy call, then this explains it. Get Kerry to do the talking and the calling and the TV ranting so if the trial balloon pops in the choppy waters and plan B is called for, the damage is lessened to the big guy. Since August 21 the president has basically said he will do something narrow and punitive and quick but there won't be boots on the ground because we don't want to get stuck in Iraq like Bush, which is in no way comparable to Syria until it is.
So once again an administration official is sent out to five Sunday shows to hold the fort on a narrative, which was that delays are good and healthy and constitutional and this new plan is awesome and just the right thing to do when WMDs threaten the world and urgency is called for.
With Kerry tearing up the teleprompter with war wompums over several days it's likely that Obama's Brain was monitoring the polls and pundits, and told Jack Lew to take the Decider Guy out for a Friday evening walk. That led to his speech on Saturday, which was about 9 minutes too long, which gave nobody in the world warm fuzzies except Assad and his thugs, the Mullahs and Putey Poot. And there's Mr. Reporting for Duty, standing there holding the bag. He soon got the new orders.
Gawd, what to make of this mess? Sure, Obama took a safety. Even Fareed Zakaria can't defend this. And do read Tom Maguire's dispatches from the front piece relating a Times story on how the Syrians actually feel about everything.
While it's tempting to venture a guess on what happens next, other than another round of golf Monday or maybe a fundraiser, this entire thing is really too strange for fiction. It sure seems that the Strategist-in-Chief found a way to back himself out of the corner by trying to hang part of his Commander Guy decision on the Tea Party, but the whole thing is so shameless as to not even guarantee his own Obama-approved mainstream media will play along with it. Just look at some of the NY Times articles of late.
The bigger question is will the Republicans get penalized for not banging the war drums to take out a guy who really bears no comparison to the former Butcher to his east whose least most sinister plot was to kill an ex president.
Or is this just the biggest head fake in history?
But if it's a head fake the Congress would have to be in on it lest they end up under the Jeremiah Wright/Bill Ayers memorial tour bus. Saying he wants a vote then attacking anyway would be, well, unbelievable but still believable in a Imperial Presidency kind of way. So really not seeing a political windfall in getting the Congress on record because if it was such a windfall it would have been done in the first place a week or more ago. Yet he appears stuck with the idea now, yea or nay.
Feels more like a stall for time, hoping further events preclude further actions. Consider that we're still waiting for a resolution on the IRS and Benghazi scandals, the Rosen and AP snooping plots, the Yemen leak investigations, and for a determination on whether Egypt was a coup or not. Maybe this gets added to the list. Maybe something else comes along to grab away attention. That is, unless Assad ups the ante and attacks again.
By the way, those who've looked at the rather open-ended draft resolution may notice that it says "biological weapons" in the mix. Was that for show or have we not been talking about the most important threats here?
GOOD OLE DAYS 9/2/13
Harken back to presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, wrinkles and all, who made the following statement:
"No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."Emphasis to point out that only France and the Arab League have signed on to Kerry's Syria attack (sponsored in part by Obama). Oh well, there's always Bush to blame at some point.