A year ago, Obama boxed himself with his stupid, amateurish talk about “a red line” in Syria. Assad’s now called his bluff : Obama has to act or be exposed as the weakling that he is, but how to do that without offending his base or being asked by Norway to send back his Nobel Peace Prize?
Enter John Kerry, the bicycle riding Francophile who looks so silly in lycra tighty-shorts, who’s desperate to prove he can be every bit as butch as Hillary Clinton. If the country is lucky, he and Obama will order a few missiles fired across Assad’s palace and call it a day – certainly their Democrat allies in Congress seem unwilling to agree to more than that – but what the Europeans worry about is that these two buffoons, after blustering and failing, will keep ratcheting it up until the Middle East explodes. Kerry really, really wants to be president. If Assad doesn’t fold after the first salvo of missiles, will Kerry accept defeat and watch his dream die, or will he commit us to full-on war? Before you answer that, remember: this man still thinks he won the election of 2000.
For Kerry, the Syria crisis is an opportunity to step out of the shadows of both Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and establish himself anew in front of the American people. Kerry has long shuddered at the thought that he’s dovish or too soft, and his aides have privately argued that he’s been more forward leaning on a Syria strike than some other administration officials.
Obama, aware that the American people are weary of war, has thus far remained comfortably seated in the second chair on the prosecution’s side.
That dynamic suits the designs of both men, according to one former senior State Department official.
“Having Kerry out front gives Kerry what he wants, a visible public profile on the burning issue of the day, and gives the White House what they want, a measure of remove from a no-win conflict,” the former official said. “If things go surprisingly well, the president can always swoop back into public view.”
But while Kerry has pounded out the case against Assad, he has yet to recommend a sentence. On the Thursday night conference call, Kerry pushed back on lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who urged the administration to retaliate without offering a specific plan that they would support.