Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kerry on Syria: "Transparently Futile ... Profoundly Wrong"

The WaPo editorial board rips into the hapless, hopeless Secretary of State.  The guys at the American Interest add a piquant comment of their own:
Future Presidents and Secretaries of State should take note: This is what happens when your foreign policy dies and goes to hell. Later, historians will rake your bones over the coals.


Eric said...

The fundamental piece that everyone - WaPo, Kerry, even AI - is avoiding, that would bring the Syria problem into clear focus, is the admission that Bush was right on Iraq.

Predictably, the consequence of punishing a normal response is the elicitation of an abnormal response in the future.

Bush followed the established law, policy, and procedure that he inherited from Clinton to resolve the Saddam problem. It was hard work but the prescription did work, and the Saddam problem was resolved.

In terms of international institutional response, the Syria problem is in the same category as the Iraq problem, which means Obama's approach to Syria should have followed Bush's approach to Iraq. Instead, Obama deviated from Bush with the explicit purpose of distinguishing himself from Bush. Predictably, wherever Obama has deviated from Bush has been a disaster.

It likely is already too late to set our foreign affairs back on the right course. But to restore a normal foreign policy from Obama's abnormal foreign policy, a necessary step is the admission by mainstream media and leading officials that Bush was right and Obama is wrong.

Mad Minerva said...

It's never going to happen, unfortunately. Meanwhile, Syrians are suffering horribly, and our feckless foreign policy is making it worse.

Eric said...

Yes, it is.

The willful cognitive dissonance of Democrats who describe the Syria problem in the same substantive terms as the Iraq problem while doubling down on their false narrative of the Iraq mission has shut off the viable solutions - the kind implemented for Iraq - needed for the Syria problem and also removed any last benefit of the doubt about the Democrats' inability to seriously lead on the world stage.

The Arab Spring shouldn't have come to this. Bush gave Obama a winning hand. By building upon our victory in Iraq - itself now under severe threat of reversal due to Obama's fecklessness - the Syria problem should have been solved, or better yet prevented, at an early stage, simply by staying the inherited course.

Obama's defenders fall back on the claim that staying out of the Syria problem is the right decision after Iraq. Except America has not stayed out of the Syria problem.

We've just interfered (as opposed to 'intervened') in ways that have overtly failed or, as you said, exacerbated the problem.

America would have been better off completely staying out of the Syria problem instead of the course Obama has taken of setting goals, then setting us up to fail in achieving them, with real and growing human costs for failure.