It’s a must-see.
Paul completely dominates the Secretary of State in this exchange, because Kerry attempts to substitute haughtiness for logic. He can’t answer any of Paul’s questions with facts, and merely offers “because I said so” as a response.
That Kerry has no substantive answers is all you need to know about this Syria policy.
Notice something interesting here? Kerry attempts to say that bombing Syria is not the same as going to war.
Bombing somebody is going to war with them. If you don’t agree, ask the people you’re bombing whether they think that’s war.
We say this, and frankly we’re not all that averse to the idea of war when it’s in our interests. For example, if the choice is subjugation to communist dictatorship or Islamic sharia, we’re for perpetual war, and war of annihilation at that.
But let’s call things as they are. What Obama is asking for, with Kerry serving as shill in this video, is authorization to conduct acts of war against the Syrian regime. There may be a case made that this is a necessary thing, but Kerry won’t make such an honest case. Instead, he’s denying that acts of war constitute war.
And this is a disgrace.
It’s somewhat instructive that Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gets asked to jump in behind Kerry on the question of whether bombing somebody is going to war with them and Dempsey has zero interest in going there.
When the conversation turns to effects and results, Kerry fails miserably. Paul asks him whether he can say that bombing Assad will make Israel more or less safe, and posits that it’s just as likely the bombing will make things worse. Kerry’s response is that since Iran and Hezbollah are allies of the regime and big enemies of Israel, not bombing Assad makes them more likely to threaten Israel.
But that’s an argument for actually going to war – as in going in and rooting Hezbollah out of Syria and Lebanon so as to make Israel more safe. Just throwing out a pinprick bombing of Assad to punish him for using chemical weapons holds no particular promise for degrading the threat of Iran and Hezbollah, and quite obviously that serves to motivate them to stir things up more and escalate the conflict by bringing the Israelis in.
And when Paul mentions this, Kerry states that the Israelis can handle that.
We call that war. We call that escalating the conflict. When bombing Syria causes Iran or Hezbollah to attack Israel and the Israelis to retaliate as Kerry says they’re capable of doing, that is unmistakably the U.S. getting involved and broadening and escalating the conflict.
Perhaps that’s good policy. We’re not convinced, but perhaps there are arguments to be made along those lines.
But Kerry isn’t making them. He’s stupidly or dishonestly saying that bombing Syria has nothing to do with war with them, or escalation of the existing conflict, and refusing to acknowledge the real possibility – likelihood, in fact – that our involvement is inherent escalation. And because he denies that he doesn’t have to defend that escalation – he merely says it can be handled.
This is a man who questioned the thought processes which led to the Iraq war. How ironic is it that Kerry was a critic of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and today this is what he has on offer?