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John Kerry Cannot Tell a Lie

John Kerry
Well, maybe we should say he can’t tell one very well.

When Secretary of State Kerry testified at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on President Obama’s proposed Syria adventure he said he didn’t want to rule out the need for the U.S. to deploy troops to the ground in Syria, then the former Senator from Massachusetts – and Democratic presidential nominee – backtracked and said if it means winning the vote for war, the Obama administration would have “no problem” with Congress writing a resolution prohibiting Obama from sending troops to fight on the ground in the Syrian civil war.

This was reminiscent of the remark Kerry famously made during a debate with President George W. Bush that first he was for Bush’s war in Iraq – before he was against it.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Secretary Kerry said there no longer can be any doubt that on August 21 Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad’s troops used chemical weapons against civilians and that the only question now is whether the U.S. will enforce Mr. Obama’s and the world’s “red line.”

However, if enforcing “the world’s red line” and deterring others from using chemical weapons is the Obama administration’s goal that was news to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.

At the same hearing where Kerry was for boots on the ground before he was against them, General Dempsey couldn’t answer what exactly the U.S. was seeking in Syria during questioning from Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) about a resolution authorizing military action there – and Corker favors intervention. (Here’s the astonishing interchange courtesy of The Washington Free Beacon.)

No doubt that Assad’s troops used chemical weapons?

The Russians, who of course have their own interests in Syria, seem to have their doubts. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin told The Associated Press, “From our viewpoint, it seems absolutely absurd that the armed forces, the regular armed forces, which are on the offensive today and in some areas have encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that in these conditions they would start using forbidden chemical weapons while realizing quite well that it could serve as a pretext for applying sanctions against them, including the use of force.”

Putin went on to tell the AP that while Russia “doesn’t exclude” the backing of force in Syria if the United Nations determines chemical weapons were used by Mr. Assad — beyond a shadow of doubt — he also warned that the United States should not act alone and doing so would be tantamount to an act of aggression.

The United Nations also seems to have its doubts about who used chemical weapons and whether using military force against Assad will deter others from using chemical weapons in the future.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Reuters on Tuesday that the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with Security Council authorization, remarks that appear to question the legality of U.S. plans to strike Syria without U.N. backing.

Ban also questioned whether the use of force to deter Syria or other countries from deploying chemical arms in the future could cause more harm than good.

"I take note of the argument for action to prevent future uses of chemical weapons," he said. "At the same time, we must consider the impact of any punitive measure on efforts to prevent further bloodshed and facilitate a political resolution of the conflict."

We don’t think the United States should contract out its national security decisions to the United Nations or anyone else – we should make our own decisions and always act to protect our own national security – and as Pat Buchanan said in a recent column for Human Events, “The United States does not have any national security interest in Syria’s war.” 

If our “regional allies” in the Middle East want to get rid of Assad because he is a threat to their national security it is time for them to man up and do it. 

Secretary of State John Kerry’s inability to lie about whether or not American ground troops will be sent to Syria shows that Obama’s adventure into the Middle East is unlikely to be "limited." 

Instead, as Buchanan and others have observed, what is likely to happen is after America is dragooned into the Syrian civil war the neo con’s long-sought U.S. war with Iran will begin, and our “regional allies,” as usual, will be sitting in their box seats, cheering us on.

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