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.