May 12, 2011
NYC Letter: John Kerry Is A Mook
Day 842 of CHOPE
Q: I wanted to ask you what you think could be done to encourage democracy in Syria and Iran?
Well, I personally believe that -- I mean, this is my belief, okay? But President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had. And when I last went to -- the last several trips to Syria -- I asked President Assad to do certain things to build the relationship with the United States and sort of show the good faith that would help us to move the process forward.
... So I put about five or six requests – one was the purchase of land for the American embassy in Damascus. The other was the opening of an American cultural center. The other was the border assistance with respect to Iraq. The fourth was a visit to Iraq by the foreign minister. The fifth was patching up with Bahrain. And the sixth was sending an ambassador to Lebanon in order to send a message before the elections of their independence and to guarantee they’d stay out of the election process. Guess what? All six were done, delivered.
... So my judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it.
...before he was against Syria.
May 10, 2011 (The Cable) - Now that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has proven that he has no problem killing peaceful protesters in the streets, some of the most prominent advocates of engaging with the Assad regime are rethinking their views. That list now includes Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA), who told The Cable today that he no longer believed the Syrian regime was willing to reform.
... Kerry said he no longer saw the Syrian government as willing to reform. "He obviously is not a reformer now," he said, while also defending his previous stance. "I've always said the top goal of Assad is to perpetuate his own regime."
When pressed...about his earlier, rosier view of Assad, Kerry denied he had expected the Syrian regime would come around. Mr. Kerry:I said there was a chance he could be a reformer if certain things were done. I wasn't wrong about if those things were done. They weren't done. I didn't hold out hope. I said there were a series of things that if he engaged in them, there was a chance he would be able to produce a different paradigm. But he didn't.
I said we have to put him to the test. I've always said it's a series of tests. The chance was lost and that's the end of it.
Mr. Kerry's position seems to be that parsed in hindsight in a particular way, he cannot be held to the clear intent of his earlier statements. But how to get around the specificity of the "five or six requests" Mr. Kerry pronounced "all done, delivered" that now he pronounces NOT done? [We carefully reread the senator's remarks. We re-reread the remarks. We re-re-reread them.] Classic Kerry dialectic, how to synthesize two different opinions about the same thing without being wrong about either? The solution? Deny any contradiction. It is just that easy.
We imagine in his quiet moments, Mr. Kerry continues to baffle himself -- "I can't believe I'm losing to this idiot." The heroic burden in Mr. Kerry's life is that he cannot be wrong. About anything. From John "Breck Girl" Edwards to the end of ice to underpants to Syria, never wrong. It is a crushing burden.
Never right before he is never wrong.Posted by Damian at May 12, 2011 08:00 AM