We’re in full court press on Syria now.
The drums are beating.
The debate is ongoing and looking more and more as though action in Syria is on the way.
Again and again, some 24 times in all, he used the phrase “we know” to describe the intelligence that Syria’s government massacred more than 1,400 people with chemical weapons. And then, while saying no decision had been made, he left no doubt that the United States would respond with military power.
Anyone who thinks this issue isn’t weighing hard on Kerry and President Obama, really isn’t paying attention, because they’ve both made it crystal clear this is a difficult situation and decision.
“We know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war — believe me, I am, too,” said Mr. Kerry, who opposed the Iraq war in his failed presidential bid in 2004. “But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility. Just longing for peace does not necessarily bring it about. And history would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator’s wanton use of weapons of mass destruction against all warnings, against all common understanding of decency.”
That Kerry has spoken out so harshly against Syria is indicitive of everything Kerry has weathered through out his long career that has placed him in the role of Secretary of State. Those who know Kerry, get he wouldn’t advocate action in Syria lightly:
“The book is still open on John Kerry’s life, but before this, the most famous words he ever uttered were as a Vietnam veteran testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” said Jim Gomes, who served as Mr. Kerry’s chief of staff from 1982 to 1986. “His statement today was indicative of someone who believes it would be a mistake not to respond to the horrors in Syria.”
I don’t want to see us involved in yet more military action after the past years of wars. I don’t believe for one second that is the aim of either Secretary of State Kerry or President Obama:
President Obama today said he has “not made any decisions” on whether to launch a military strike on Syria, but sought to assure the American public and the international community that if he does, it will be a “limited, narrow act.”
“We’re not considering any open-ended commitment,” Obama said, adding, “In no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign.”
Watch Kerry here:
The full transcript of Kerry remarks today is available here.
Read the Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013 released by the White House today.