John Kerry Issues a Brief for War in Syria


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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.