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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Washington Post Editorial, "On Syria, Obama administration is leading to failure": Kerry Should Not Manage Negotiations With Assad

Concerning ongoing atrocities perpetrated by the Assad regime in Syria, which is being propped up by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah fighters ordered into Syria by Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, a Washington Post editorial entitled "On Syria, Obama administration is leading to failure" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-syria-obama-administration-is-leading-to-failure/2014/01/22/90b040b2-8390-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html) today begins:

"THE OUTSIDE world seems to have grown numb to reports of atrocities from Syria — 'barrel bombs' dropped on schools, Scud missiles aimed at apartment houses, blockaded neighborhoods where children die of starvation. But a report released Monday by a panel of international jurists ought to prick some consciences. Based on 55,000 images smuggled out of the country, mostly by a defector from the military police, it reports the murder of some 11,000 men detained by the Syrian government between 2011 and last August. Many of the bodies in the photographs show signs of torture; some are missing eyes. More than 40 percent of the bodies show signs of emaciation, indicating that the prisoners were systematically starved.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry opened the Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria by referring to this 'horrific' account of 'systematic torture and execution of thousands of prisoners.'

. . . .

Yet the diplomatic initiative that Mr. Kerry launched offers no means to hold the regime of Bashar al-Assad accountable for these atrocities, or even to stop them. On the contrary: It may serve to prop up the Assad government by treating it as a legitimate party to negotiations about Syria’s future."

Let us not forget that this is the same hopelessly naive John Kerry who not too long ago referred to Assad as his "dear friend." For this reason alone, Kerry should resign as secretary of state. He certainly should not be managing negotiations with the Assad regime.

Looking ahead, let us also not forget former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's infamous March 27, 2011 declaration on "Face the Nation":

"There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer."

Today's Washington Post editorial concludes:

"President Obama demonstrated last year that the credible threat of force could change the regime’s behavior. His promise of airstrikes caused Mr. Assad to surrender an arsenal of chemical weapons. Yet the president seems not to have learned the lesson of that episode. Now he makes the defeatist argument that, as he put it to David Remnick of the New Yorker, 'It is very difficult to imagine a scenario in which our involvement in Syria would have led to a better outcome, short of us being willing to undertake an effort in size and scope similar to what we did in Iraq.'

In fact, Mr. Obama probably could force the measures Mr. Brahimi is seeking by presenting Mr. Assad with the choice of accepting them or enduring U.S. airstrikes. That he refuses to consider options between Mr. Kerry’s feckless diplomacy and an Iraq-style invasion only ensures that the Geneva 2 conference will fail and that the atrocities will continue."

"Mr. Kerry’s feckless diplomacy"? And what does this say about the deal struck by Obama and Kerry with Khamenei regarding Iran's nuclear weapons development program, whereby the US is dismantling sanctions against Iran in exchange for "concessions" from Tehran that can be reversed in one day (see: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/16/iran-top-nuke-negotiator-deal-reversible-in-one-day.html)?

In fact, we are now learning from Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was quoted sympathetically yesterday by the editorial board of The New York Times (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/01/new-york-times-editorial-another-syria.html), that in exchange for the decision of the P5+1 to dismantle sanctions against Iran, Iran "did not agree to dismantle anything."

Yes, Obama, who has refused to disclose the terms of his agreement with Khamenei, is engaged in the systemic destruction of American prestige and deterrent power across the globe.

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