The Guardian reports that US Secretary of State Kerry has given Syrian President Assad one week to hand over his entire stock of chemical weapons to avoid a military attack, even though Kerry doesn’t expect to Assad to comply with his demand.
So much for waiting for Congress’s approval to use military force, right? However, the most bizarre aspect of the story is that Kerry apparently didn’t make a demand so much as he made – are you ready for this? – a rhetorical statement.
Thus spake the Guardian:
The US state department stressed that Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the one-week deadline and unlikelihood of Assad turning over Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. In a statement, the department added: “His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That’s why the world faces this moment.”
Oh yeah, that’ll work: make a statement that looks like he’s ready to unleash the dogs of war before he has the legal authority to do so, but he’s really didn’t mean it that way because, you know, he doesn’t have the legal authority to do so. He just wanted to make a point. (Where have I heard this type of reasoning before?)
And Assad is playing fast and loose with the facts??? If so many lives weren’t at stake, that would be funny. How about if we cue to the tape to figure out who we really need to worry about when it comes to laying this out.