John Kerry Issues a Brief for War in Syria


credit: cliff1066™ / Foter / CC BY

The American public doesn't support it. Our closest international ally just voted against it. The United States military is skeptical about its potential effectiveness. And some 140 members of the U.S. Congress, including members of both parties, have urged the administration to get authorization from the legislature before proceeding with it.

Yet despite such cautionary pressure, it appears clear that the Obama administration is determined to take military action against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime.

No official decision to strike has been announced yet, but it's virtually impossible to see any other message in the remarks made by Secretary of State John Kerry today. Kerry's speech was nothing if not a call to war. He said that the U.S. had "compelling" evidence that Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people, and declared that those weapons "must never again be used against the world's most vulnerable people."

Kerry specifically dismissed concerns from both the American public and the international community. "We know that the American people are tired of war," he said. "Believe me I am too. But fatigue does not absolve us of responsibility."

As for the rest of the world, he said, "Let me emphasize: we believe in the United Nations." But not enough to stay an attack. Because of "guaranteed Russian obstructionism" through the U.N. security council, he said, "U.S. cannot galvanize the world to act." And so, it seems all but certain, the U.S. will.

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  1. That’s fine, Mr. Secretary. If you can convince Congress to issue a declaration of war, then you go right ahead.




  2. Shit. Great brown dripping gobs of shit. I was hoping Kerry would find a way to back down the rhetoric.

    1. “Back down”? It’s as if you think he has some sort of diplomatic function.

    2. He can’t. The NSA has copies of his torrid emails to McCain’s wife.

      1. I thought they were to McCain.

        Doesn’t Kerry have a Dependency fetish?

        1. Or is that a “Depends” fetish?

  3. Republican obstructionists. Russian obstructionists. Those dang Rs.

  4. Maybe Obama should make a speech before Congress or in the oval office to make the case for this to the country. Maybe if he hadn’t spent the last five years droning on and on until everyone tuned him out, that might be effective. Maybe if Obama had the ability to do something, anything, beyond conning stupid white people into voting for him, he could lead in this situation and get the country or at least a good part of it to support him.

    1. Presidents used to go to Congress to make a case for military action.

      If the fuck goes ahead without congressional authorization, I really think it’s time to impeach him. Fuck this. Even fucking Bush went to Congress.

      1. Indeed. However, the House (and Senate) are perfectly free to come back into session and hold a vote. Invite the President to speak.

        Boehner is carrying water for Obama by not doing so. Perhaps the chaos of the Libya votes dissuade him.

        1. No, I agree that Congress is complicit, but their failure to act isn’t quite as unconstitutional as the president’s sin of acting without legal authority. He can and should be removed from office if he does this. . .again.

          1. He should have been removed from office a dozen times over, and then tried and executed for the treasonous acts he has committed in the time he’s spent as President.

            There really is no justice for slavemakers like him.

            1. No doubt by any reasonable standard this president and, really, the last few before him should’ve been removed for one reason or another. But he’s flagrantly violating the Constitution, without even a cover story.

              1. That’s because there aren’t enough Americans left who give a fuck, it seems.

              2. 100 years old
                hard to read
                white slaveowners…

            2. The folks in congress, who are just itching to commit the same treason as Obama, are never ever ever going to call him on it.

              1. Yes. The Clinton impeachment was a massive clusterfuck where no one won. Clinton got merely censured, tons of money and time were spent, and all the other politicians realized that the same could happen to them over a blowjob or anything else.

                It will most likely never happen again, because they’d rather just not use it than risk it being used against them some day.

        2. Fuck Boehner. Here we have the president poised to do something blatantly illegal under the Constitution and separation of powers and where 80% of Americans want Congress to authorize any military action,
          and that orange-skinned pussy is too afraid and unwilling to organize resistance.

          1. I know, how much more do they need? Should we storm the capital or something? Does the military need to refuse to obey? What the heck does it take for these weak people to do anything?

            1. Being voted out of office. Which isn’t happening. Why would they change their behavior?

              1. It’s stupid all the way down.

                I begin to understand why lefties are so out of touch with reality. Reality sucks. Maybe full-immersion VR with haptic interfaces is the only solution. I’ll commission an anarchic paradise with Jewish girls named Alison and New York-style pizza for you. As a Socialist Day present.

                1. That sounds way better than reality. I’ll take it. Throw in Jessica Biel as well and it’s a deal.

                  1. No problem. Naked or nude?

                    1. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of that myself. And don’t forget the Alison Brie part. Don’t get distracted from what’s really important.

                    2. She’s going to be your mom and your sister.

                    3. Only you could make it even more exciting, ProL. Thank you.

                    4. I knew you’d be pleased! And Warty is only included as something that happens to other people.

                  2. She’s a package deal with Justin Timberlake. NTTAWT.

                    1. What? Go program your own simulation.

                    2. What God has made Epi’s perversion shall not rend asunder.

                    3. I’m fine with that, seeing as he’s bringing sexy back…YEAH.

        3. I said that and was accused of trying to change the subject.

          1. There’s a difference between admitting that congress is equally guilty and claiming that Obama is innocent because congress is guilty.

            You have an unbelievable tendency to do the second.

          2. I said that and was accused of trying to change the subject.

            That’s because you are a cunt.

        4. Doesn’t let Obama off the hook for not going to Congress. It is his war. It is not up to Boehner to save him.

          1. Yes and no. Like I said above, Obama is actively preparing to violate the Constitution. For the second time, leaving aside all the droning. That’s a crime of commission.

            Congress is standing aside and letting the president violate the Constitution (as usual). That’s a crime of omission.

            Both are very bad.

            1. Congress doesn’t owe him a vote. If he does it without asking, then they should kill him. but they don’t owe him a vote before hand.

              1. I don’t mean they should all get together and vote for an AUMF or declaration of war. I mean they should issue some dire threats if Obama circumvents them. Funding cuts, impeachment, the works.

        5. Indeed. However, the House (and Senate) are perfectly free to come back into session and hold a vote. Invite the President to speak.

          Bite your tongue, peasant! By what right do petty lords and officials issue summon King Barry to answer their charges? The King isn’t like common men! He wields the divine mandate of hope and change!

      2. Only Nixon Bush could go to China Congress…

      3. He needs to go. Biden wouldn’t be any worse. His sorry ass needs to be out on the street.

        1. “Biden wouldn’t be any worse”

          I think you are being wildly optimistic there.

          Just because everyone ignores Biden doesn’t mean Biden can’t be even dumber.

          1. But Biden isn’t as dangerously arrogant and he would be chastened by seeing Obama get thrown out. Biden would be an improvement.

            1. I think the Office itself tends to make people arrogant. Ford came closest to escaping that, but it seems to be a hazard of the job.

              1. Ford followed a guy who had been thrown out of office.

                1. Ford has always struck me as kind of a reluctant President.

                  Nothing about Biden says “reluctance.”

                2. Actually, Ford followed a guy who had the decency to resign.

                  1. Two guys. Agnew first, then Nixon.

          2. Talk about Biden is irrelevant. If a president is going to blatantly violate the Constitution, he needs to go. Period. If Biden is the consequence, so be it, but I’m not at all up for letting Obama slide because Biden is an idiot. Besides, Biden would be worse? I’m finding it hard to see how.

            1. Face it. Obama is not going to be impeached, either now or after November 4, 2014.

              The GOP doesn’t have the stomach for it and the Dems would howl about “Racist Republicans Lynching the First Black President” for the next 40 years.

              1. Of course he won’t be. But he should be. He should be impeached and a good part of his cabinet should go to prison.

              2. The GOP doesn’t have the stomach for it and the Dems would howl about “Racist Republicans Lynching the First Black President” for the next 40 years.

                My wife who, bless her heart, is an otherwise very intelligent, rational person voted for Obama twice because, as she puts it, she felt like it was important that this country elect someone who wasn’t an “old, rich, white guy.” Last week, she actually asked me after reading the latest hijinks, “Is Obama a bad person?” Yet, at the same time, she felt like the worst thing that could happen to this country would be that its first black president was impeached or otherwise besmirched, because of racism.

                We’re trapped by the fear of bigotry. If Obama was one of those horrible, rich, old white guys he’d be ridden out of DC on a rail. But, god help us, because of our new “post-racial society”, he could shoot an orphan in the face on prime-time television and no one would make a peep.

                1. Ray, when someone asks you if Obama’s a bad person, you say “YES”!

                  1. He sends his kids to private school so, yes, he is a bad person.

            2. Biden would be a vast improvement, as his blunders are so obvious that no one can hand-wave them away. Having President Clown Shoes would actually rock, because he’d be mocked by just about everyone, which is exactly how it should be with authority figures.

              1. No doubt, the fun would be immense.

              2. Biden would be a vast improvement

                Right up until he has the xkcd people executed and nukes Switzerland.

      4. hell, I can even remember the days when even a minor military excursion would get you a special “From the Whitehouse office” television speech. Cue somber looking president looking unhappy to deliver the news. And this was just for bombing Libya (among many others).

        1. do they still have those? (not that I watch broadcast or even cable television these days).

        2. Eventually, wars will be announced by the 20 year-old unpaid intern at the State Dept.

          1. At 4:30 PM on a Friday before a long weekend.

            Oh, wait. That’s less than 30 minutes away, Washington time.

    2. Remember that quote from Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s chief adviser?

      “It is important that President-elect Obama is prepared to really take power and be ready to rule day one.”

      Leaders make a case to the people. Rulers don’t.

      1. Well, he’s got that “taking power” thing down pat.

    3. Maybe if Obama had the ability to do something, anything, beyond conning stupid white people into voting for him, he could lead in this situation and get the country or at least a good part of it to support him.

      Now now. He conned a shit load of stupid black people into voting for him too. And stupid young people. And stupid Hispanics. And stupid Asians. And stupid union members.

      The stupid people he conned into voting for him are bound by no color or creed.

  5. Maybe if he hadn’t spent the last five years droning on and on until everyone tuned him out

    I see what you did there.

  6. “Read for yourselves the evidence from thousands of sources,” Mr. Kerry said in aggressively laying out the administration’s case for strikes on Syria.

    A four-page intelligence summary released by the White House said the government had concluded that the Assad government had “carried out a chemical weapons attack” outside Damascus, based on human sources as well as communications intercepts. The suggestion that the opposition might have been responsible “is highly unlikely,” the assessment said.

    And the NYT doesn’t even bother to link to this incredibly important four page intelligence summary in which the government has apparently distilled the wisdom of ‘thousands of sources’.

    1. Were the four pages double spaced? Extra large title and an unnecessarily lengthy header?

      1. Deeply indented paragraphs, very readable page numbering.

      2. There was also a list of the 10 hottest heartthrobs on the back 2 pages.

    2. See it for yourself at…..302013.pdf

      It expresses “high confidence that the Syrian governments carried out a chemical weapons attack”.

      The veracity of this conclusion should be judged fairly with full consideration of the Obama Administration’s demonstrated commitment to tell the truth.

  7. This is just fucking delicious watching these people now go to war without the Congress or the UN’s approval. STOP THIS ILLEGAL WAR!!

    1. It’s not even like Congress has historically been a check on war-making, as “rubber stamp” would be about as good a description as any, but at least it’s something.

      Seriously, it’s supposed to be sophisticated and enlightened to let one man decide on his own whether to unleash the force of the most powerful military on Earth, several times over, without the slightest limit on his authority? That’s fucking primitive and idiotic and dangerous.

      1. It is all politics. He doesn’t want Dems in Congress to have to pay a price for supporting him. It is all about the midterms.

        1. Which is all the more reason why Congress should force the issue.

          1. Totally OT, but I just saw that Tampa had 6 blackouts last year. What the fuck?

            1. We did? We hardly ever lose power at my house. Or at work for that matter.

              1. I’m not sure if you are serious or not…

                I meant NFL blackouts.

                1. Tampa has an NFL team?

                  1. Yes, they’re called the Dolphins.

                    1. Call me when your little team actually wins a Super Bowl.

                2. Oh, that. Yeah, well, we’re too busy going to strip clubs, the beach, and Disney World to watch games.

                  1. And listening to death metal.

                  2. None of those really sounds appealing, especially when you compare it to an NFL game. Why aren’t you scooping up all these cheap last minute tickets?

                    1. You really know nothing of this area, do you?

                      In other local news, two launches scheduled for September–a Falcon 9 and an Atlas V. Which should we go see?

                    2. Atlas V. It’s bigger.

            2. Too many neon signs on the strip clubs.

            3. And email traffic from CENTCOM generals to local socialites.

      2. Voting either for or against commits them – if they let someone else decide for them, they can have their pollsters tell them what position to take in hopes noone will call them on it.

    2. It’s only illegal when a Republican does it with the approval of Congress and the international community.

      1. Yes, it’s really hard to even pretend to understand this line of, well, emoting.

  8. “We know that the American people are tired of war… But fatigue does not absolve us of responsibility.”

    How is this our responsibility, Mr. Secretary? Unless we put the weapons into the hands of the Assad regime (this wouldn’t surprise me), we have no culpability for this horrible situation.

    1. No, see, that’s actually just a sort of idiomatic pattern of speech that the Progs use. You open by acknowledging facts which demonstrate one thing, and then negate those with feelings to make the opposite point. Just like the editorial which said that there was absolutely no rational justification or national interest involved in attacking Syria, but it would nevertheless be a worthwhile endeavor.

      I’m going to try this at home tonight. “Honey, you’re absolutely correct that it would be a waste of time and money for me to spend Labor Day weekend in a drunken stupor. However, some things are simply too important to be left undone.”

    2. One non-MSM claims the Saudis put the weapons in the hands of the rebels, so your caveat may not be too far off.…..ns/168135/

      I rather doubt the veracity of this report, but who knows? It’s not like any of the parties in this matter are trustworthy. Obama, Putin, Assad, Abdullah are pretty much equally untrustworthy.

  9. “””Because of “guaranteed Russian obstructionism” through the U.N. security council”””

    It might be because the US/Britain/France etc outright lied to the Russians and everyone else when they got a resolution to “protect civilians” and instead acted as the rebels air force. They did not even try to pretend that they were even handed and turned a blind eye to the rebels bombarding civilians.

    The problem with lying is that once you start everyone thinks that you are still lying.

    1. Funny, I didn’t a lot about Russian obstructionism in the spring of 2003.

      1. You mean when the Russians were telling the truth and saying that Iraq did not have WMD’s?

        The truth is not obstruction, its the truth.

        1. So it is different when your team does it. Okay.

          1. So it is different when your team does it. Okay.

            That’s not what he said.

            1. Yes it is. Is it exactly the same thing. The WMDs were not the only reason for going to war in Iraq. And back when Russia objected to that, for basically the same reasons they are objecting to this (it wasn’t in their interests to support it) they were guardians of truth. Now they are just obstructionists.

        2. You mean when the Russians were telling the truth and saying that Iraq did not have WMD’s?

          Actually the Russians were saying Iraq had WMD in the spring of 2003.

  10. Maybe it’s some of our chemical weapons that found their way out of Iraq. That would make “we” kind of responsible, but not in the way I think Kerry means.

  11. Full text of Kerry’s statement.

    Let’s see….

    – Reference to WMD’s? check.
    – UN inspectors? check.
    – A clear “verdict” reached by the “intelligence community”? check.
    – We can’t share all the information because secrets? check.
    – “What is the risk of doing nothing?” check.

    Waiting excitedly to hear my Democrat friends explain how this is completely different from Colin Powell and Iraq!

    1. “””””- A clear “verdict” reached by the “intelligence community”? check”””

      Hey, the intelligence community has totally upgraded their system with the billions they have been given.

      They no longer use the dartboard method, they have upgraded to a Weegie board.

    2. And ultimately, ultimately we are committed – we remain committed

      So it sounds like they are committed.

    3. Don’t forget, “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a gas attack on American children”.

    4. – Approval of Congress?

      1. No longer necessary. A progressive now rules America.

    5. It is totally different. We are going to be tolerating their bullshit while lobbing the occasional cruise missile their way; it’s just do-somethingism translated to foreign policy. IOW, more like Clinton and Iraq.

    6. It is completely different Hammy-this time the French support us!

  12. circa 2008: Endless this war!

    today: Endthisless war!

    yeah! endless war!

    /progtard bootlicker

    me: Why are we doing this and how does it make sense? FMTW?
    progtard bootlicker: *nodding* FYTW.

  13. Didn’t someone, sometime, claim he was going to restore our standing among the countries of the world? And now, even our closest ally doesn’t back us, but he’s gonna do it anyway?

    Coalition of the wil…

    Oh, fuck it! FIRE!

    1. Remember all of our allies hated us because of that cowboy Bush. You know, those allies who went to war with us in Afghanistan and Iraq but won’t do so now. Good thing Obama is out there making sure we are loved.

    2. Our closest ally who pushed us to support the Arab Spring I might add.

    3. Didn’t he diss the Brits and their royalty a while back?

      – Churchill bust
      – Non-functioning DVDs as present to PM exchanged for some carving
      – Referring to the Falklands as the Maldives (sic, should have been Malvenas)
      – Referring to France as US’ closest ally and saying “nothing special about Britain”
      – Ignoring royal protocol
      – etc

      Obama’s Top 10 Insults Against Britain

  14. Seriously. Where’s the antiwar crowd, now?

    Years ago I was in France where I saw a lot of ‘No Bush’ stickers because of his foreign policy.

    Fast forward to today and we have France itching to go into Syria alongside Obama. The hypocrisy is not only laughable at the moment, but sad and pathetic.

    1. They were never really anti-war, just anti-Republican.

      1. I can see why the commie French would be anti-Republican, but why would they be pro-Democrat? US Democrats are to the right of French conservatives in a lot of ways.

        1. The need to belong. Many in France actually like America, so they have to like somebody in the US politics too.

  15. He’ll paint Justice for Trayvon on the cruise missiles and support for the war will increase 60%.

  16. Endless thisless war!

    “I can’t wait to write the article justifying this military action! Oh wait my colleague beat me to it!”

    Bomb Syria! Bomb bomb bomb Syria!

    1. In fairness, an awful lot of news agencies were super gung ho about going into Iraq too, they just changed their minds once they saw where public opinion as going.

      You can always expect the U.S. media to cheerlead in favor of state power, whether it comes through regulations or it comes through bombs.

      1. That’s a valid point. It provided a hell of a lot of entertainment, watching the BFVs and M1s rolling the desert at night. Can’t beat 24/7 reality war TV. It must have been a fucking wet dream for cyto.

        1. The first Iraq war made CNN. Of course the media scum love, love, love war.

          1. No kidding. I sat and watched it myself, with the most striking memory being the bombardment of Baghdad. It was like something out of Star Wars.

            1. I would watch in the rare moments that I wasn’t in class, stoned, drunk, or all three. It was incredibly banal. War is always banal.

              1. Remember that reporter with the gas mask?

                1. How ’bout “The Scud Stud”?

              2. “War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.”

      2. They wouldn’t have been so gung ho had Bush never bothered to ask Congress.

        1. Mr. President, this war, you didn’t start that. Oh wait, you did, you definitely did.

      3. What’s that uber-socialist, left-wing, twit Melissa Harris-Perry (or any sauce on MSNBC) thinking about Syria? Lemme guess…Obama sez it’s good, then it’s good enough for me and shame on you for not listening to us…racists!

  17. Son of a bitch is trying to Clintonesque his way into wagging the dog. How many people will this piss ant kill for his vanity?

    Have to make it personal, otherwise it starts to sound like some whack a doodle conspiracy ranting about the execution of a full press Cloward Piven strategy to explode the credibility and standing of the United States from the inside.

    Impeach this bastard. Now. Get him and his fellow travelers as far from the levers of power as possible. Ensure they never regain control of them.

    He can never repair the damage he has caused.

    1. Yeah, they have to know we can’t possibly do any good in Syria. This can only be about providing a diversion.

    2. This is what fundamental transformation looks like.

      I don’t think it was the change the Obamatons were hoping for.

  18. Remember that Biden speech where he said the day would come where Obama would be “tested” internationally?

    Hooo boy he ain’t doing so good so far. The depths at which he could sink with the wrong decision is just bottomless, so based on previous examples I have zero doubt he will disappoint me.

  19. Is this what the Founders meant by tyrannical dictator? Where is my constitutionally guaranteed check/balance Mr President?

    The man is off the reservation.

  20. have urged the administration to get authorization from the legislature before proceeding with it.


    So, we’re now reduced to hoping that the President gives the Congress the chance to rubberstamp his unilateral, unconstitutional warmaking?

    Fuck the federal government. Seriously.

    1. An elected military dictator is exactly what the founders envisioned.

  21. Another writer at The Atlantic goes over to the dark side.

    1. Before discussing American constitutional law, we should admit that the world situation is terrifying

      Am I the only one who loathes the overuse of the word “terrifying”? Grow a spine, you fucking wimps. A small gas attack, akin to an artillery bombardment, in a country thousands of miles away, is not “terrifying”. It’s a big world. At any time, shit will be happening somewhere. By historical standards, we live in a peaceful time. Stop being “terrified” by a civil war in a third-world country on the other side of the world, you useless, simpering cowards.

      1. Terrifying? When I was in high school, the topic of a total nuclear war came up with a decent amount of regularity. “Hey, what would we do if we got nuked? Oh, we’re all dead, MacDill and all.” Not to mention that Tampa gets wiped out in Alas, Babylon, which was required reading in school.

        1. Not only did the topic of mutually assured destruction come up with regularity, it was a distinct possibility in my day.

          The whippersnappers writing for The Atlantic don’t know what “terrifying” is.

          However, I’ve got to admit that random anthrax attacks (later determined to have been conducted by a rogue agent or agents of the US government) following immediately after 9/11 were a bit terrifying. But they were happening in the US, not Syria.

      2. Terrifying is all they have. They put the chains around their own necks because the idea of making one’s own decisions and forging one’s own path in the big, awful, scary world induces dribbling fear. Protect us, protect our children, protect our planet, amen.

        1. It’s like FDRs ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” was meant to be used as a political strategy or something.

  22. Reason can you please look into the legitmacy of reports by AP/NPR/BBC reporter Dave Dale Gavlak made yesterday about Saudis providing the chemical weapons for Syrian Rebels?…..ns/168135/

    1. Didn’t see an edit button, hate autocorrect….reporter Dale Gavlak*

  23. Those Syrians that were gassed could have been Obama’s son. I think this might finally be the thing that kills him. I don’t believe that the country is going to put up with anything other than a one or two bombing campaign. And I don’t believe for a moment it will just be that. Just when he thought he might get amnesty and have a shot at the midterms, he does this. What a fucking bonehead.

    1. I think this might finally be the thing that kills him.

      Nope. His supporters will contort themselves every which way to continue supporting him no matter what he does.

  24. Of course, Obama just issued a statement that he hasn’t made a decision yet. So score another convincing debate win for John Forbes Kerry.

  25. Where countries stand on Syria.…..t-23849587

    So far, UK and Germany are out and looks like Canada too. In the sky is blue section, Russia and China don’t support it. Dunno ’bout Japan, Italy and Australia.

    France and Turkey are in. As is Israel – not surprisingly.

    So if Obama doesn’t build a substantial coalition along without Congressional approval and public support, when does he become Bush’s Mini-Me once and for all?

    1. He became Bush’s mini me about 5 years ago. Lefties are a little slow on the uptake though, and easily distracted by emotional speeches.

  26. So John Kerry opposed the Vietnam War despite North Vietnamese atrocities… (5,000 civilians rounded up and executed during the Battle of Hue City alone – millions dead when the South finally collapsed).

    But! But! A chemical attack that killed approximately 1,000 possibly launched by Assad – definitely a case for war.

    1. for war

      It’s not war silly. It’s kinetic military action! see the dif?

      1. Hmmm…. nope.

    2. Kerry? Oh, you mean Thurston Howell III, right?

  27. I’ve got two questions.

    1) How can something be an international norm is most countries are unwilling to do anything about it? What’s the phrase “Talk is Cheap”?

    2) International norms are violated all over the world every day. What give the U.S. the right to decided which ones are worth defending?

  28. The last time the US was involved in a civil war, John Kerry was vehement in his opposition to that conflict in Vietnam.


    When he is in power suddenly his position has changed.
    The question is WHY?!

  29. More of that pesky obstructionism. Remember when it was called democracy? What quaint times those were.

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