Secretary of State John Kerry was at a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan yesterday, tasked with the thankless job of being berated for his boss’s decision-making. The Secretary discovered that average Syrians pretty much agree with what WRM wrote in the WSJ last week: that this administration has a habit of substituting rhetoric for action. The WSJ reports:
“We are not satisfied with the Americans’ actions,” said Jamalat Abdulraoof al-Hariri, a 43-year-old refugee who met Washington’s top diplomat here for 40 minutes on Thursday. “We are only hearing words. We need active steps!”
Others who met Mr. Kerry voiced exasperation for what they said amounted to the U.S. standing on the sidelines as Iran, Russia and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah helped Mr. Assad’s forces notch battlefield victories.
“Where is the international community? What are you waiting for?” a female refugee, who didn’t give her name, asked Mr. Kerry at a United Nations compound inside the 115,000-person Zaatri camp in north Jordan. “At least impose a no-fly zone or an embargo.”
The Obama administration’s feckless Syria policy predates Secretary Kerry’s tenure. And even if the Secretary were able to do more to help the rebels, thanks and praise from the civil war’s victims likely wouldn’t be forthcoming. But even in the midst of this difficult meeting with the conflict’s refugees, the Secretary wasn’t able to avoid the rhetorical precedent set for him by this White House:
“You are absolutely correct. I am very concerned about Hezbollah and Iran,” Mr. Kerry told the refugees. “We are talking about that now. We are not happy with it.”
Mark this down as another US “concern” that no one will take seriously—not the refugees, not the rebels, not Hezbollah nor Iran.
[Image of US Secretary of State John Kerry with Syrian Opposition Council Chairman Moaz al-Khatib courtesy of Wikimedia]