Kerry Couldn’t Sell a Used Car

After Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that President Bashar al-Assad avoid a war by handing over any chemical weapons his government possesses, Russia quickly seconded the motion, and Assad agreed to it.  Just as quickly, aparently panicked by the possible delay or prevention of missile strikes, Kerry’s staff put out this 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.”

Could Assad be lying?  Could he hope to stash away a hidden weapons stockpile? Yes, and then at least a U.S. attack would have been delayed and more time gained to work on preventing it.  But that’s not likely.  Inspectors are very good.  That’s why Prsident George W. Bush wanted them pulled out of Iraq, where they had done a stellar job and the weaponry been eliminated.  That could conceivably also be why President Barack Obama wanted them kept away from the site of the August 21st attack and wanted to send missiles into Syria before the inspectors reached any results.

So, to all appearances, Assad has immediately done what Kerry just declared impossible.  How reliable, then, are other assertions of which Kerry professes to be certain?

Is it really an important international norm that one nation should bomb another in support of fanatical terrorists and on the stated basis that people had been killed with the wrong variety of weapon?

Is it really true that this war will be both unbelievably small and a significant blow to the Syrian government?

Kerry is trying to sell the same used car to people who want an ambulance and other people who want a tank.

Nobody’s buying.

It’s not entirely Kerry’s fault that he had to come on stage after Colin Powell’s performance, but it is his fault that he’s flubbed all of his lines.

If Obama withdraws his demand for Congressional authorization of war, it will not be because he and John Kerry played 12-dimensional chess and secretly hope to bring peace to the earth.  It will be because they played duck-duck-goose with such incompetence that they managed to knock each other unconscious in the process.

If a war is prevented here — and it’s way too early to say that — it will be the result of public opinion in the United States and the world, the courage of Parliament in Britain, and the glimmerings of actual representation beginning to sparkle through the muck and slime on Capitol Hill.

If celebrating Obama and Kerry’s super brave and strong heroism in stumbling into a Russian barrier to their madness gives them the “credibility” to put their guns back in their pants, then by all means celebrate that fiction.

But if we get this crisis behind us, we should understand that Parliament acted against war for the first time in centuries, and the public stopped Congress for the first time ever.  If President Obama doesn’t ask for an authorization, it will be because it is not going to pass.  Even if he didn’t expect to use it right away, he would want it passed if possible.

Congress’ apparent willingness to say no is the result of many factors, including the perversity of partisanship.  But the primary factor is public pressure.  That public pressure needs to intensify now that victory is in sight, not diminish.

And if it succeeds, Syria will still be in desperate need of a cease-fire, disarmament, a peace settlement, and actual aid (as opposed to humanitarian bombs).  Let’s not allow those needs to be forgotten if they depart from our television screens.  Those same television screens have tried to move us into support for war and failed dramatically.  We’re in charge now.  We run this country. They fill fluff that no one listens to into the spaces between advertisements for crap no one buys.  Fill the government in on the new arrangement.

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  • Tonto

    Ah, yes… John Kerry, Vietnam War soldier who came home and immediately was called before Congress to make a name for himself waving the flag at the TV cameras. How fucking fortuitous.

    You see, kids, some people figure out real early on, the only thing that really matters in this world is who you know. Others live the delusional altruist life, trying to ameliorate the obvious. And the latter usually end up paupers buying all their cloths at the thrift store, all their food at the discount grocer, and unable to send their own kids to college because of the high cost, which is also contrived to fix the outcome of the game.

    America, love it, or leave it. And don’t let the crowd trying to get in, knock you over when the exit door hits you in the ass. John Kerry is going to run for President, folks. He’ll likely end up Hillary’s dupe-VP.

    Ain’t life grand? The first woman President of the United States will likely the most doped-up lunatic you have ever run into. We came. We saw. He died. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Ain’t she a riot?

    Megalomania is far too kind of a word for our Presidents, one right after the other.

    • jadan

      John Kerry is finished. You just don’t make a fool of yourself before you run for the top slot. You wait until you’re in office before you show your ass. These guys were outclassed by the macho Russian who has shown himself to be a man of peace and a proud vertebrate, too. A peaceful solution never entered Obama’s mind until he saw a Constitutional crisis looming and his own impeachment. When you’re an invertebrate, it’s hard to spin yourself as a man of principle. He’s a Fool, as Paul Craig Roberts says. He’s steppin & fetchin for his masters and that’s all he knows how to do. The Company never taught him another way.

      • Tonto

        John Kerry has the limelight. He will be a hero again, when the rabbit of some Assad atrocity is blasted over the main stream media airways, and the cruise missiles fly. “They threw the babies out of the incubators onto the floor.” “He has a swimming pool filled full of acid into which he pushes people. There’s nothing left at all, not even any bones.” “We found a laptop…”

        Equating your own perceptions and sentiments with those of the voting populace is a fault easily overcome. Simply sit and watch the people coming and going on the next voting day.

        You won’t even have to talk to them. And I wouldn’t advise doing so either. These people, the voting populace, just a handful of generations back are descended from the ghouls who poured burning oil over the castle walls onto invaders. They relate to, and understand the “enemy” mentality very well. It’s an “us” and “them” mentality world out there. Be careful.

        You don’t want to risk riling them against your favor. Why do you suppose so many people here post anonymously?

  • Carl_Herman

    David: you nailed it. Thank you.

  • gozounlimited
  • H. Rider Haggard

    “It’s not entirely Kerry’s fault that he had to come on stage after Colin
    Powell’s performance, but it is his fault that he’s flubbed all of his

    The thing is, Powell was bamboozled, and believed what he was saying, so he was convincing. In contrast, Kerry knows that he is lying, and we can all see the lies in his delivery.

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