Andrew Sullivan seems as taken aback by this new development as I am, but it appears that John Kerry’s apparent gaffe may actually have opened the door for a new, potentially better outcome in Syria – Assad turning over Syrian weapons to the international community in order to prevent a strike. It is both sad that no one seemed to think of this idea before John Kerry misspoke at the podium, but encouraging that a properly international resolution to the chemical weapons issue (though obviously not the Syrian confict) could be reached without the need for anyone to start lobbing Tomahawk cruise missiles. Assuming that the US State Department doesn’t go too far in walking back Kerry’s off-the-cuff words, this could be just the framework that everyone needs in order to fix the problem while saving face at the same time.
In his latest stream of unpersuasive self-righteousness, John Kerry today threw out an idea. Instead of threatening an imminent military strike, Kerry actually got creative:
Asked if there were steps the Syrian president could take to avert an American-led attack, Mr. Kerry said, “Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week — turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow the full and total accounting.”
He was, apparently, just being hypothetical. The State Department had to walk him back:
“Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to reporters after Mr. Kerry’s comments. “His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with…
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