Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to claim that his “goof” on Syria handing over its chemical weapons to international monitors was part of the plan all along, a claim that Fox News finds somewhat dubious. It’s the old “I meant to do that!” gag, perfected by Pee Wee Herman in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
But President Barack Obama looks even worse if the claim is true. As even Julia Ioffe of the New Republic notes, the plan is unenforceable–which is why Israeli leaders are scornful of it. And as Chemi Shalev of Ha’aretz notes, it could invite dictator Bashar al-Assad to demand Israeli concessions in return for his gesture.
The notion that Obama was secretly in control the whole time, and that the Kerry slip was just a classic trial balloon, suits Obama’s fans in the press. But as Richard Grenell noted on Monday, while the political journalists are cheering Obama’s genuis, the national security journalists are aghast at what has just happened.