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Kerry: UK Derailed Obama’s Plan for Syria Intervention

Secretary of State John Kerry, keeping it classy on the way out:

Barack Obama’s plan for military intervention in Syria was abruptly derailed by David Cameron and British members of parliament, US secretary of state John Kerry claimed on Thursday.

The American president said he would bomb the Syrian regime if it used chemical weapons but he did not follow through on his promise. The failure to enforce his stated “red line” after President Bashar al-Assad used sarin gas in a Damascus suburb in August 2013 is seen by some as the worst stain on Obama’s legacy.

The British parliament’s vote against airstrikes has long been cited by Obama and others as a causal factor but Kerry made the link explicit just a week after a diplomatic spat with the UK’s prime minister, Theresa May, over a United Nations resolution that condemned Israel.

Leave aside for now the spectacle of Team Obama feuding with an ever-expanding group of U.S. allies as the Administration’s days wind down. There is still the broader question of legacy, and there are still those trying to defend the epic “red line” failure as some kind of brilliant foreign policy success. But when the Secretary of State tries to pass the buck to Britain, that defense starts to look even weaker than it already does.

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  • Gene

    Oh, so our wonderful President surely would have done something but those all-powerful Brits just wouldn’t LET HIM.

    Thanks, John Kerry, for clearing that up for us.

  • Beauceron

    “The failure to enforce his stated “red line” after President Bashar al-Assad used sarin gas in a Damascus suburb in August 2013 is seen by some as the worst stain on Obama’s legacy.”

    Even excluding all the many domestic failures, I find that statement jawdroppingly kind to Obama. Heck even limiting it to only middle-east/arab failures, that is incredibly kind to Obama. Surely the worst foreign policy stain in the Mideast/arab world would be invading Libya and then standing aside as it descended into chaos– funny how the media has let Obama completely off the hook on that. Or maybe it was leaving an American ambassador to die in Benghazi, and then outright lying to the American people about its causes and then arresting and jailing some hack filmmaker as the culprit. Or maybe it was abandoning Iraq’s sunnis to the sectarian cruelties of Shia leader Maliki and ignoring when hundreds were being murdered in the streets by the government we were paying for. Or maybe it was when he ignored the Kurds, the one decent ally in Iraq and Syria, as the Islamic State took over Mosul and attacked Kobani. Even just keeping Obama’s failures to Syria-only, surely the biggest stain was his disastrous policy where we spend $500 million dollars to train “4 or 5” rebel fighters. Although for my money, I’d place my bet on Obama midwifing a nuclear middle east, which is exactly what his Iran agreement, long term, will do as the biggest stain. In a decade or so, millions of people around the world will curse his name for that.

    Funny thing is, I keep seeing articles on how completely and remarkably free of scandal Obama’s two terms were. Fake news, indeed.

    • ljgude

      Yes, I agree the Iran deal is a much more serious risk and has the potential to kill millions.

    • AaronL

      I’ve got to agree with you. Midwifing a nuclear middle east , which could bring about the end of the middle east and perhaps the world will indeed be recognized as “the biggest stain” if anyone except cockroaches survive in order to write history.

  • Disappeared4x

    Sounds like TeamObama is relying on the Free Throw Legacy Theory*: “an unhindered shot in basketball made from behind a set line and awarded because of a foul by an opponent”; as if the Legacy is in legal overtime, just need a few more free throws to win, 15 days to score.

    *my theory, what came to mind by reading the entire Guardian link,

  • Andrew Allison

    Laughable, and so typical of the outgoing administration!

  • FriendlyGoat

    Why was there any diplomatic spat over the UN resolution on Israel? The UK could have vetoed any resolution, no?

    • f1b0nacc1

      The UK voted in favor of the resolution, though given the almost openly anti-Semitic character of the British Foreign Office, this is hardly much of a surprise.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Yes, I heard the resolution passed 14-0 with the USA simply not voting. It’s certainly true that this article did not go into detail on the nature of the “spat” between Kerry and May—-but we do know that Britain could have done what its prime minister presumably was criticizing us (in a “spat”) for not doing, no?

        • JR1123581321

          May’s point is that Kerry’s speech was too focused on the settlements.
          Having said that, everyone knew that Obama would totally stab Israel in the back, so the Resolution was advanced with that in mind.
          So tell me, what am I to do. How am I supposed to react? Am I suppose to call for physical violence against these people? Certainly not. We don’t endorse that kind of behavior here. But if it doesn’t offend you, can I at least hope that some some greater authority will judge those I feel have wronged me? Isn’t that the whole point of organized religion? I’m just so afraid now. What if I quote the Good Book and offend you? This time I will use Johnny Cash instead. Hope The Man in Black doesn’t cause you to need a fainting couch.

          • FriendlyGoat

            One thing you could do, instead of attacking FriendlyGoat (or Obama), is find ways to promote information campaigns around the world so that 14 nations are not out casting votes for resolutions you don’t approve. You gotta understand, JR, I didn’t have anything to do with the present political policy of either Israel or its Islamic neighbors. I didn’t have anything to do with why only (ONLY) the USA is supposed to be providing a veto to a UN resolution.

            As for Johnny Cash, the lyrics are here:

            I don’t think they are exactly carrying your message as intended. (But, a guy who doesn’t do country music might not know.)

          • JR1123581321

            As long as you are not triggered. I just want to make sure my appeals to God and his Judgement don’t offend you. Heaven forbid a nobody like me will ever appeal to God to right the wrongness of the world.
            The reason all 14 nations voted yes is because it always plays well to a certain public to f*ck over the Jews. That is as it has always been. Israel spends a ton of resources fighting a losing PR battle. No amount of information campaigns will make feral Muslims any less feral. Obama chose to side with the terrorists and their supporters. I sincerely hope that God Judges him harshly for that. I also have faith that it will happen. You know why?
            !!!!!!!!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!! A Cis Hetero White Male concept of a Higher Being will be discussed.
            Genesis 12:3. What is that, you ask?
            You know that I like the King James version (it adds a certain gravitas to the proceedings)
            “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” If this UN vote is done as a favor to Jews and Israel as FriendlyGoat or Obama claim it is, then all I’m wishing is blessings and good tidings. That’s the beauty of the Bible, everyone can read it any way they like. I can imagine what humorless puritanical twit would want to ban someone from an anonymous Internet board for quoting Scripture. How intolerant would that person be? thankfully we don’t know anybody so petty and aswholish do we?
            I think this UN move will lead to a lot of good things like UN defunding and in general a lot more skepticism over UN in general. Since that global body is a bunch of scumbags, everything that weakens it is a good thing. I already see positive movement out of Congress.
            !!!!!!!!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!! A Cis Hetero White Male concept of a Higher Being will be discussed.
            It’s like these things that are supposed to harm us do the opposite.
            Once again, I will stick with King James version.
            No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
            surely you won’t begrudge me hope that a Higher Being will protect me against my numerically superior foes. I really hope that doesn’t offend you. You are so easily triggered I have to make sure I walk you through my motivations step by step. You have to admit that I’m doing my best to give you as much safe space as you want.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Good grief, JR, I don’t need safe space. But if someone from Islam came onto this forum quoting stuff from Koran or Hadith into your face to the effect that Allah is going to curse you or vanquish you because Islam (in their view) is supreme, it would be appropriate for a moderator to get rid of it. When you do something similar to another participant who might have views different from yours, it is likewise appropriate for any decent forum to say “Nope. Not going there. Don’t wish to facilitate it”. You can be assured that whatever TAI has removed was for the sake of its own site—-not for me.

            It is quite possible for people of many nations (at least 14 we know of, apparently) and discussion participants on ANY forum to expect Israel’s actions, policy and public rhetoric on the international stage to be justified and supported by something besides just King James Version scripture. Having that expectation does not amount to a curse on you personally or on Israel or on Netanyahu. It’s just real life.

          • JR1123581321

            You obviously do need a safe space. And I provided it to you. I will continue to do so. And to answer your question, if somebody here started to claim anything i would engage with them. Never in a million years would I ever report them and ask them to be silenced. Only a coward and a scumbag like you does that. That is a difference between you and I. I’m willing to have opposing points of view exist, while you need them to be silenced. I’m sure whatever justification for using force to silence the opposition sounds really good in your head. In reality, it just affirms my opinion of you as a POS Statist and Totalitarian.
            As for Israel, I very patiently explained it to you. I will do it again. The idea of screwing the Jew plays well to a certain segment of population. Nobody ever doubted how the other 14 nations would vote. They have condemned Israel since 1947, so it would be a little bit silly to expect them to change in 2016. As Jews, we are used to being constantly opposed by those with numbers and resources that greatly outnumber ours.
            !!!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!!!! Opinion different from yours will be presented.
            Now Barack Obama, being a scumbag and a piece of shlt that he is, decided to join with those who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. He is your Messiah (damn, I’m doing it again, aren’t I). The Lightbringer, he was called. He gave people tingles up their legs. It is true. Google it. I’m making none of this up. Perhaps you should choose your Lightbringers a little bit more carefully. Just a thought…
            Also, the whole point of Jewish faith is that you ultimately don’t need anything but Scripture. Don’t worry so much, Friendly Goat. Israel will be just fine. When the UN is seriously damaged by Trump, we will look back at this and praise God for his wisdom.
            !!!!!! TRIGGER WARNING!!!!! White Hetero Cis Male version of Higher Being may be discussed

            I will go with the King James version again.
            Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

            Suck it fruitcake. You will never win. It’s just real life.

          • JR299792458

            Hey bud, looking forward to discussing all the ways your Personal Lord and Savior Abu Hussein has failed. Although I thought the whole point of organized religions was to prevent fools from following charismatic morons. I guess they failed with you. I understand your need to try to ban me. If I followed who i thought was a Messiah and it turned out he was just a vain insipid narcissist, I’d be mad too. And now to see a person rise to power with the explicit promise to do the opposite of your Messiah. That’s the fate of all Golden Calves BTW. They get smashed.
            And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

          • Disappeared4x
          • f1b0nacc1

            Almost corgi-like (grin)….

          • Disappeared4x

            Canaan is a long-legged cousin of Corgi, in the Spitz group. How the indigenous Canaan dog, traced back 4,000 years, came to share Spitz features with so many Viking-era 800-1000 CE breeds, and so many north Asian breeds, would be an interesting story…

            It’s cool that WestminsterKC recognizes Israel’s National Dog.
            And this Canaan puppy looked upset over UNSC Res2334…

          • Disappeared4x

            This comment, (or Soros?) got me blocked from any access to TAI today.
            My reply is from disqus. Hope you saw my NNT update in a different thread here. about Queen Rania meet with Ivanka.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually I didn’t….

            How could that rather innocent comment get you blocked?

          • Disappeared4x

            Here is what got posted five hours after the TeamTrump meet at 1 WTC with Conde Nast:
            which I take as a step towards normalcy.
            Check the ‘comment deleted’ above, am I guilt by association?
            Am blocked again. Very sad.

          • Disappeared4x

            f1: My magic wand transporter worked! This comment is for you. My NNT comments are in the Putin-Clinton post thread, but now I am following the Conde Nast saga on my own. Fast Company’s post-meet news report confirmed NNT emerged from Remnick (DR).
            Stopped reading him in 2012, when he hijacked The New Yorker’s ‘Talk of the Town’ for his editorials on Israel. Mostly I could no longer read such hate/ Also thought he should have created an editorial page, separate from ToftT. Cancelled my 35-year sub in 2014 when DR abused the opening of the Sochi Olympics to rant about Putin. Wrong venue. So, I missed his Nov 9 post that apparently was the clarion cry to NNT. Still can not force myself to read his, these words, link is in the news report from FastCompany.
            Have yet to read a political-pundit or geo-strategist who even faintly comprehends the power of Conde Nast, but TeamTrump knows. And, Anna Wintour just jumped to the top of my most admired women of all time list.

            01.07.17 | 12:17 am “What happened when Trump met Conde Nast’s top editors on Friday”

            “Tension was thick this morning in downtown New York—outside the Freedom Tower, dozens of police cars and gun-toting Port Authority officers blocked off the entrance to the building; inside a conference room on the
            skyscraper’s 42nd floor, President-elect Donald Trump faced some of his chief nemeses in the media. There sat Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who has tangled with Trump since infamously dubbing him a “short-fingered
            vulgarian” in the pages of Spy magazine in the late 1980s; New Yorker editor David Remnick, who dubbed Trump’s victory a “tragedy for the American republic” [ ] and called him a “hollow man” of “dismal qualities—greedy, mendacious, and bigoted.” And Vogue editor Anna Wintour told a friend in December that Trump would use his presidency to “profit personally for himself and his family.”

            The editors in chief of every magazine in Conde Nast’s stable—among them GQ’s Jim Nelson, Glamour’s Cindi Leive—were required to attend and to ask a question of Trump, sources tell Fast Company. Trump was
            accompanied by aide Kellyanne Conway, spokeswoman Hope Hicks, and national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn. It was an off-the-record discussion but sources later told the New York Times that Trump talked about health care, climate change, relations with Russia, women’s issues, and abortion rights. Asked about the future of Obamacare, Trump reportedly told the editors he wouldn’t repeal it until he had a replacement ready. —MB”


        • f1b0nacc1

          As I have pointed out before, the British Foreign Office is as close to overtly anti-Semitic as you are likely to find in Western Europe. Their primary argument with the resolution in question was the structure of it, not the message, hence no…they were not going to vote against it.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sounds to me like May should be in a spat with her own Foreign Office, if she disagrees with it.

          • f1b0nacc1

            The problem isn’t with the political appointees (they are easily neutered, and May is not stupid enough to appoint someone like that, only the Left gets away with that sort of thing…), it is with the civil service, the bureaucracy that is largely outside of such considerations. This is hardly new to Britain, just look at their behavior prior to WWII…

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, there was always France or Trump’s new BFF, Russia. The fact of the matter is that if the resolution was no good, their were 14 who could have voted against it and four besides us who could have vetoed it.

          • JR1123581321

            Obama decide to change long standing US policy because he is a scumbag and a terrorist sympathizer. I know he is your Personal Lord and Savior, but others have different opinions. Nobody but US ever vetoed such a resolution. Why on Earth would that change. The vote of the other 14 members was pre-determined. I understand that you have to defend your Savior. I admire that about you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I wrote you a nice civil reply on the other post above, but flagged this one. TAI can decide for itself whether it makes any sense to spend lots of time writing yule blogs on the meaning of Christmas while allowing crazies to pollute their site in the comment section with mockery, by reference, of the whole Christian concept.

          • JR1123581321

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You flagged an opinion with which you disagree. You seem to be unaware of the 1st Amendment and what kinds of speech it protects. One can write about yule blog and still support freedom of others. You are a fruitcake.

          • f1b0nacc1

            France’s record on anti-semitism is shameful in the extreme, and while Russia has been better following the rise of Putin (hey, a stopped clock and all that), it is nothing to emulate. Interestingly enough, Russia has been surprisingly friendly to Israel of late, likely hoping to capitalize on Obama’s numerous flubs. Neither of those countries are likely to buck their Arab clients, however, and the Chinese certainly aren’t going to help.

            Pointing to other states is all well and good, but none of them claim to be friends of Israel, and none of them have longstanding interests in the region supported by Israel. What is our excuse?

    • Disappeared4x

      Save time, read Downing St.’s actual statement, triggered by Kerry’s speech days AFTER UNSC Res 2334. Kerry violated diplomatic norms in attacking “the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally”.
      Here is the second half (assume you know Daily Telegraph is conservative, as in Tory conservative):

      “…Downing Street has made clear that Mrs May was still opposed to Israel’s “illegal” construction of settlements in the West Bank.

      It said her criticism was directed at Mr Kerry’s decision to attack the make-up of the Israeli government.

      “We do not… believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex,” Mrs May’s spokesman said.

      “And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally. The Government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community.”

      The spokesman added: “The British Government continues to believe that the only way to a lasting peace in the Middle East is through a two-state solution. We continue to believe that the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is illegal.”

      The spokesman added: “The British Government continues to believe that the only way to a lasting peace in the Middle East is through a two-state solution. We continue to believe that the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is illegal.”

      Mr Kerry’s speech drew a furious reaction from Mr Netanyahu, who said the US diplomat focused “obsessively” on Jewish settlements and “barely touched” on Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any form.

      A US State Department spokesperson told the Telegraph: “We are surprised by the UK Prime Minister’s statement given that
      Secretary Kerry’s remarks – which covered the full range of threats to a two state solution, including terrorism, violence, incitement and settlements – were in-line with the UK’s own longstanding policy and its vote at the United Nations last week.”

      [PLEASE do not reply – still recovering from your last assault, but this thread failed to note Kerry’s diplomatic sin. Besides, your question was bait, unless you really have no idea how to do an internet search of “Theresa May Kerry quote”]

      • FriendlyGoat

        Which does not explain the inconsistency of Britain’s vote and May’s apparent dissatisfaction with her country’s own position in making the vote.

        • Disappeared4x
          • JR299792458

            I’m glad I’m not the only one engaging Comrade Friendly Goat. Good luck, hope he doesn’t ban you. 🙂

          • Disappeared4x

            Above image was my disengagement surrender. If a human can not read the actual Downing Street statement made after Kerry’s speech made after the UNSC vote, and comprehend the nuance of it all, there is no point in engagement.

            Really helped me to read Agelo Codevilla on “The Rise of Political Correctness” to better understand my rules of engagement!:

            “…But continued efforts to force people to celebrate the party’s ersatz reality, to affirm things that they know are not true and to deny others they know to be true—to live by lies—requires breaking them, reducing them to a sense of fearful isolation, destroying their self-esteem and their capacity to trust others. …”

            Which is why I respond with dog images when speechless.
            I was banned from the TAI website yesterday, not sure by who, or if the website was down for everyone. Decided to stop using the S palindrome name.

          • JR299792458

            It was down for everyone. I got banned for the 2nd time by Comrade Friendly Goat. It ultimately lead for me teaching my son his new favorite phrase “Old bugger”. He calls the family cat an old bugger now. The cat (my wife’s) has a philosophical outlook on all of this. That and the numbers behind my initials. It’s not a random sequence. 🙂 This just lends further credence to my theory that everything is better with kids. Even Internet trolling is better if some aspect of it involves teaching your kids. I really believe that.
            P.S. Comrade Friendly Goat cannot comprehend that something done by Obama is not awesome. His behavior follows a very rigid pattern. Which is why if you have a somewhat impish nature, and I most certainly do, it is very easy and enjoyable to trigger him.

          • Genesis123

            I’m still here bud. Being a resourceful type, I created a bunch of these accounts to save time.

          • Disappeared4x

            Ciao! was just catching f1b up, after the Canaan Dog in this thread.
            The important thing is Codevilla on PC’ness. Brilliant.

          • Genesis123

            You would think somebody would realize the futility of trying to censor a medium like free anonymous Internet message boards. Thankfully Comrade FriendlyGoat is not that somebody. I look forward to triggering him again soon. Until that time…

          • Disappeared4x

            Effective moderation is civil; does not have to be a star chamber.
            More fun to get a headache thinking through the organization charts of DoState and DoD…impossible spans of control…

  • CaliforniaStark

    Recently read the British Navy, which once claimed to rule the waves, is now down to only 29 warships. Yet it has 38 Admirals. And Kerry thinks British support was essential in Syria. After Obama’s Syria fiasco, the world realized Obama was a paper tiger, and turned their back on him — other world leaders seemed to enjoy bullying him.

    • Gary Hemminger

      The sad part is that the Obama administration was so weak that they couldn’t attack syria because of the UK parliament vote upset them so much. What a total joke. then Obama actually has the nerve to say that he was proud of not enforcing his red line. The guy is delusional. Thanks to Obama, we now have Trump. Just like thanks to Bush we got Obama. Will we ever have a competent POTUS again? Obama had the foreign policy chops of Carter and the domestic paranoia of Nixon. Worse president in my lifetime that is for sure. And I voted for him. What an idiot I am.

  • AaronL

    There was a time when an American President would be ashamed to blame someone else for his mistakes. He would own up to it.
    That’s what “The Buck stops here” was all about. No longer. Is there not one mistake of the innumerable ones made by this administration that they will take responsibility for?

    In his book , Cat’s Cradle , Kurt Vonnegut Jr. paraphrased Teddy Roosevelt by writing “I could carve a better man out of a banana”

    That is Obama’s legacy, that is the epitaph of his time in office.

  • gmat

    I thought it was the US Congress that killed that idea. That was the most useful thing they accomplished, by far, in the last 6 years or so.

  • jburack

    12 days to go. Please, Lord, get us through it.

  • Thank God no such military intervention actually took place, the results could have been unimaginable.

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