Monday morning in London, Secretary of State John Kerry apparently went off script with the hypothetical suggestion that the Syrian government could avoid American air strikes if Bashir Assad would turn over all of his chemical weapons within a week. CNN reports that a U.S official called Kerry’s unsanctioned red line a “major goof:”
A U.S. official called Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks in Britain on Monday a “major goof,” saying Kerry “clearly went off script here.” The official was referring to Kerry’s assertion that President Bashar al-Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons” to avoid potential U.S. military action.
Unfortunately for the Obama administration, Russian president Vladmir Putin has already taken advantage of Kerry’s “major goof” by proposing to his Syrian friends that they accept Kerry’s offer. Syria has already said they are open to the idea. The idea here is obviously to complicate things for America and stall for time through diplomacy and inspections in the same way Iran has with its nuclear program. Just for starters, the idea that we can place weapons inspectors in a country currently engaged in a civil war sounds absurd.
To clean up its own mess, the administration is obviously trying to put as good of a face on this fiasco as possible. Earlier today, the State Department said they would take a “hard look” at the Putin/Kerry proposal. And in her first public comments about Syria, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Kerry’s “major goof” an “important step.”
As of right now, it looks as though Kerry’s blunders are driving American foreign policy in the same way Obama’s off-teleprompter remark about a “red line” kicked this whole thing off.
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