Kerry: The UN can’t do anything, so we’ll go it alone

posted at 2:01 pm on August 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Old and busted, John Kerry edition: Protecting America against terrorism requires us to pass a “global test” to prove that the threat really exists:

No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you’re doing what you’re doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGnbsolh6Js

New hotness, John Kerry edition: The UN and the global community are totally dysfunctional, so the US should just act on its own:

So now that we know what we know, the question we must all be asking is: What will we do? Let me emphasize, President Obama, we in the United States, we believe in the United Nations. And we have great respect for the brave inspectors who endured regime gunfire and obstructions to their investigation.

But as Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general, has said again and again, the U.N. investigation will not affirm who used these chemical weapons. That is not the mandate of the U.N. investigation. They will only affirm whether such weapons were used. By the definition of their own mandate, the U.N. can’t tell us anything that we haven’t shared with you this afternoon or that we don’t already know.

And because of the guaranteed Russian obstructionism of any action through the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. cannot galvanize the world to act as it should. So let me be clear. We will continue talking to the Congress, talking to our allies, and most importantly, talking to the American people.

President Obama will ensure that the United States of America makes our own decisions on our own timelines, based on our values and our interests.

Golly, that sounds a lot like … what George W. Bush said in 2002-3, too.  And when Bush said it, he put together a coalition comprised of dozens of nations for the invasion of Iraq, including large numbers of British troops and no small amount from other European nations, even with Russia, China, and France balking.  Barack Obama can’t even get the British to come along on long-range air strikes, and the only other partner we seem to have now is France.  And unlike Barack Obama and Kerry, Bush did go to the UN to at least force a vote on ending Saddam Hussein’s depredations, which included using chemical weapons to massacre his own people.

As it happens, I agree with John Kerry, and have for a very long time.  While the UN Security Council is a useful platform for multilateral diplomacy, it’s not a global government, nor should we treat it as such.  The US should always act in its own interests, and do its best to get our allies on board for that action.  The UN General Assembly is just plain useless.  Glad to see the nation’s leading liberals (and internationalists) finally acknowledging that fact — along with the other fact implicitly acknowledged in this speech, which is that the 2009 “reset” with Russia was an embarrassing farce and that the issues with Russia wasn’t the fault of the Bush administration.

Otherwise, Kerry delivered a very forceful speech on behalf of intervention in Syria. Why didn’t Barack Obama make this speech?  Why doesn’t the President make this case himself to the American people, and especially to Congress? Since this entire exercise seems designed to rescue his own credibility, it’s more than just a little strange to have Kerry out disdaining the global test he once espoused while Obama sits quietly in the White House.

Update: Count House Armed Services Committee chair Buck McKeon among the unimpressed:

Reuters’ David Rohde also wonders why Obama didn’t give this speech himself:

Obama will apparently “remark briefly” on Syria during the White House press spray (photo op) shortly.

Update: Obama refused to allow live coverage of those remarks:

Leadership!


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Uh huh.

The Star-Chamber presidency…

JohnGalt23 on August 30, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Uh huh.

The Star-Chamber presidency…

JohnGalt23 on August 30, 2013 at 5:51 PM

That scared me, as I just got a visual of Oprah, Jayzee, Weinstein, and Jarret making all of the decisions.

uncommon sense on August 30, 2013 at 5:55 PM

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Sad side note to the Rwanda thing…and a bit of irony
vis-a-vis Bayam.

…btw the Canadian involvement there, yes…I didn’t want to sound cynical in any way, I actually know and heard first hand accounts and rather painful stories about the monstrousity that the Rwandan genocide was… I did an internship in Canada, when I was a student there, about 10 years ago, with the Canadian Pearson Peacekeeping Center in Nova Scotia…they were organizing UN-sanctioned and funded training courses for civilians and military, and were aimed at both intl and Canadian military folks, as well as UN and intl NGO staff who were participating in peace keeping operations around the world…the idea was to enhance military-civilian cooperation in peace keeping and post-conflict reconstruction missions. One of the course directors I worked directly with, a a tired Canadian Mayor, used to serve under Romeo Dallaire in Rwanda, and the man was shaken and visibly marked by the attrocities he saw there, beyond belief…everybody at the center knew that, he was keeping a lot to himself and often times you could see him (and his brain, interactions, etc) literally ‘freezing’ when he was attempting to talk about some if the massacre scenes he witnessed in Rwanda …the guilt he felt was incdible, especially that he mentioned often times how they stood by, watched and did absolutely nothing, because those were the ROEs, the UN mandate of the mission was not to intervene, but to ‘monitor’, not even ‘buffer’ like in Bosnia…..Only to find out a few years ago that he ended up taking his life, to his lovely family’s shock…..Dallaire himself, as you probably know suffered long bouts of depression as a result of his Rwanda mission, and had attempted suicide a few times…

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Uh huh.

The Star-Chamber presidency…

JohnGalt23 on August 30, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Finally. The president the American electorate deserves.

DFCtomm on August 30, 2013 at 6:18 PM

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 6:05 PM

PTSD…not just depression…fullblown PTSD.

Still a damn fine man and officer in my book.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 6:23 PM

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 6:05 PM

PTSD…not just depression…fullblown PTSD.

Still a damn fine man and officer in my book.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 6:23 PM

And among the few with a conscience, for sure…

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Yes, Romeo Dallaire, but he was left hanging, by the Peace Keeping division, headed by Kofi Annan, ‘ no good deed’ left unpunished.

narciso on August 30, 2013 at 6:49 PM

And among the few with a conscience, for sure…

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 6:29 PM

jimver…in the business, mine and in Dallaire’s, any, no, many, who have been up on the tip, the pointy end, it is that conscience that often is more deadly to us than mere bullets. If you understand my meaning. I still have dreams…and wake up often for no reason other than fear.

I can easily empathize with General Dallaire…easily.

There are many who cannot or refuse to even try.

For them, this is all a game…Power, Jarrett, Hillary, Barry…and a number on the conservative side as well…too many altogether…and it is frightening…to not be able to empathize…just send out another task force, or send in some bombers or land some Marines…call in the SEALs…got ‘em, might as well use them…

Ugly concept…”use them.”

All just a game to too many…

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Can anyone translate this into something bordering on cogency?

“Our concern with the cause of the defenseless people of Syria is about choices that will directly affect our role in the world and our interests in the world,” [Kerry] said during a speech at the State Department.

Barnestormer on August 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Barnestormer on August 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Statedepartmentese…a very very difficult language to crack…but in this context…”we are using the plight of these defenseless people to make sure our own goals are met first.”

But in Statedepartmentese, it sounds more noble, more erudite, doesn’t it?

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Are they cutting off ears and killing cattle for fun in the manner of Genghis Khan?

claudius on August 30, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Otherwise, Kerry delivered a very forceful speech on behalf of intervention in Syria. Why didn’t Barack Obama make this speech?

He can’t because he is busy playing strip poker with Reggie Love in the back room.

Sticky Wicket on August 30, 2013 at 7:20 PM

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Thanks. A continued search for literal meaning would have been a really frustrating time-waster. The superficial resemblance to English is deceptive.

Barnestormer on August 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM

When do those idiots in congress come back from recess?

Is it asking too much for Boehner to call them back for a special
session and vote “NO”?

Amjean on August 30, 2013 at 7:38 PM

We may indeed be spread too thin.

Pentagon needs additional funding to carry out the Syrian mission.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 7:50 PM

When do those idiots in congress come back from recess?

Is it asking too much for Boehner to call them back for a special
session and vote “NO”?

Boehner is taking his time because he knows Kerry will flip flop.

Sticky Wicket on August 30, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Senator Obama is going to be sooooooo pissed at this president. You just wait until he hears about this!

ButterflyDragon on August 30, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Feels good going to bed each night knowing we are being lead by the likes of Obama, Biden, Kerry, Jarrett & Powers doesn’t it. I haven’t slept this good in Evah!

I picked a bad week to quit. . . . . . .insert your favorite Airplane line here.

D-fusit on August 30, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Just when you thought you had a handle on this Syrian “thing” along comes …

The U.S. military, struggling after defense cuts of tens of billions of dollars, will be unable to pay for attacks on Syria from current operating funds and must seek additional money from Congress, according to congressional aides.

J_Crater on August 30, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Why Syria now, in time for budget/ceiling fiasco in DC…coming up.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Meet the new boss…same as the old boss….

The only difference; Jean Kerry and Teh SCOAMT can’t even claim they’re putting teeth into old UN resolutions.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Worth repeating. George Bush went to war over UN resolutions. This really will be our first unilateral war. Care to comment libfreeoedied?

smoothsailing on August 30, 2013 at 8:33 PM

New Steyn…

An Accidental War

Resist We Much on August 30, 2013 at 8:37 PM

I just got in and reviewed what Kerry said. This is from Wash times:

In the assessment, U.S. officials said they detected rocket launches from territory controlled by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and a review of video of the attack suggests that the wounds were consistent with chemical weapons use.

“We know where the rockets were launched from, and at what time,” Mr. Kerry said. “We know where they landed, and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas, and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.”

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/30/john-kerry-syrian-regime-killed-1429-people-chemic/#ixzz2dVD4LrJs
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

These translates to: We have no real proof Assad did this. The four pages they released are conclusions, not the evidence.

They “detected” launches. Did they detect who actually did the launching? How did they detect the launches? Did anyone else detect them? Where is the HD video of the launches?

Sorry live shot, you’re a liar.

If your proof is good take it to congress.

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Kerry bases his appeal for blowing up some empty buildings with cruise missiles on dead children. We must do something for those dead children, apparently.

Hey Lurch, what about all of the other dead children killed by the hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands in military conflicts around the world year after year?

And you do remember that the UN sanctions on Iraq were alleged to have caused the deaths of a million Iraqi children due to a lack of proper medical care and nutrition, right? Toppling Saddam put and end to that. Why was that wrong and this is right, “for the children”?

Oh and BTW, Lurch, do you remember why we went into Cambodia? What was coming in via Cambodia from North Vietnam wasn’t killing only US and South Vietnamese military personnel. The end result was a lot of dead civilians, including children.

farsighted on August 30, 2013 at 9:11 PM

These translates to: We have no real proof Assad did this.

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Dogsoldier…you are on target…fully engaged.

Wish a lot more were, especially our Congress critters.

Based on the “report” released…and the language used in that report…and Kerry’s own statements…I assess with a high degree of accuracy that there is NO American initiated and controlled information (other that overhead) that was used to arrive at the conclusions in the published “unclassified” assessment on Syria.

There is a plethora of allusions to open source or third country derived product, or liaison reporting passed to the United States from even from other foreign intelligence services, even news organizations’ reporting and videos…and that is not “conclusive” intel.

Not for a go-to-war pronouncement.

AND…and this is important…why most if not all members of the various intel oversight committees at home, doing the Labor Day thing, on recess…and not being briefed in detail, to include by operations officers from the various HUMINT offices?

If we are going to go to war…and even firing a few cruise missiles at a target who knows we are coming and has a capability to retaliate…that is war…if we are going to walk down that road…the intel and the procedures are pretty damn flimsy.

I, too, am several degrees beyond “skeptical” still.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Didn’t Clinton also leave the explanation for Kosovo to someone else (in his case, Tony Blair)?

Count to 10 on August 30, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Remember that the Assad regime is in an artillery battle against the rebels: it hasn’t used aircraft or SCUDs, but plain old artillery shells.

AQ got trained in CW by Saddam, the CIA found an AQ CW testing facility in Afghanistan.

A CW attack is easy to fake if you have explosives and the means to generate your own chemical agents. Some mixed agents in a bucket, a few pounds of C-4 and you have an instant ‘enemy attack’.

ajacksonian on August 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

I, too, am several degrees beyond “skeptical” still.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

As well you should be and so should we all. This report is four pages of lies.

Bring whatever proof you have to congress, Zero. If you don’t then we will all know you’re just lying again. (no surprise there)

ajacksonian on August 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Correct, and the rebels have artillery. They got into Assad’s WMDs a months ago.

Why didn’t we have our orbital surveillance gear watching Syria?

Why didn’t we have any other real surveillance going on in Syria?

All together now!

Yippee Kai Ayyyyyy Clown Posse!

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Go wind-surfing, John . . . . . . . . . . . . . you were doing less harm to us, engaging in that activity.

listens2glenn on August 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Syrian action alternatives, there are always alternatives. Until all alternatives have been examined there can be no reason for the consideration of war. No matter how this administration tries to sell the idea it is still one country going into another country and killing people.

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”
― John Steinbeck

Alternative:
1.Counting Coup ——Fly in and drop a few hundred lbs of flowers over head just to show we could do it.

2.Establish a joint storage and security commission for the security of all chemical weapons to be stored out side of the country of conflict administered jointly by The US, Russia, Great Briton and France. Ownership to be returned after the conflict at the direction of the United Nations.

jpcpt03 on August 30, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Cowboy Bush’s rush to war came after ten years of failed inspections and sanctions. Obama’s careful and nuanced deliberation comes after, what, a month?

xuyee on August 31, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Feels good going to bed each night knowing we are being lead by the likes of Obama, Biden, Kerry, Jarrett & Powers doesn’t it. I haven’t slept this good in Evah!

I picked a bad week to quit. . . . . . .insert your favorite Airplane line here.

D-fusit on August 30, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I’m in Baghdad…how do you think we’re sleeping over here?

JetBlast on August 31, 2013 at 5:33 AM

Given Kerry’s lies during his testimony in Congress as part of the Winter Soldier campaign, why would one believe a word that he says? Was the evidence here “seared, seared” into his memory? Were the actions of Assad similar to those of Genghis Khan? Heck, were they even as bad as he claims our soldiers did in Vietnam?

When you hire liars to be your spokesman, don’t be surprised if you’re not believed.

More importantly, other than pounding his fist, Kerry didn’t actually back up anything he said.

FiveG on August 31, 2013 at 5:34 AM

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 9:40 PM

And the best part… I mean if Assad is a sneaky and ruthless sort… is that when the US gathers its might under Obama… the regime will then release photos and video of a CW attack on one of their strongholds and point out that the ‘rebels’ are no better than the regime.

Then you are back to the Libyan debacle where the western forces ‘helping’ to remove Gaddafi couldn’t figure out who was fighting whom as they all had on the same type of everyday clothes. The regime military reverted to that form of dress to attack better, the jihadists dressed like that, the civilians dressed like that, so when someone saw someone firing at someone else what was the western result? KTA doctrine. Kill Them All.

And Obama faced with his rhetoric pushed into his face like a clown pie will do exactly that and bring back the KTA doctrine.

President Obama uniting everyone. Against himself.

He did it in Egypt. He did it in Libya. Heck, in a few more weeks he may even start to achieve that in the US of A… stranger and more stupid things have happened under this President.

ajacksonian on August 31, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Does this mean we can/should ignore the UN re: climate change & Agenda 21?

ontheright on August 31, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Weakest case for war ever!!…

Pest on August 31, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Leggo my Ego!

Is not a valid Casus belli…unless one is King.

coldwarrior on August 31, 2013 at 10:48 AM

He did it in Egypt. He did it in Libya. Heck, in a few more weeks he may even start to achieve that in the US of A… stranger and more stupid things have happened under this President.

ajacksonian on August 31, 2013 at 7:27 AM

He has successfully managed to unite everyone else in the world against us, except the French. There is no telling when they will drop out though.

Weakest case for war ever!!…

Pest on August 31, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Yes and I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that stories are still circulating that Zero has made no decision yet on the attack.

He has no authority to make any attack. Syria is no immediate threat to the United States, he has no statutory approval from congress and no declaration of war.

I posted the other day from the War Powers Act the actual page that lists the three conditions he can point to. As in Libya, none of those conditions exist.

Obama is already a criminal, guilty of an impeachable offense against the people of the United States.

Congress must not allow him to continue his lawless behavior.

dogsoldier on August 31, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The newsflash here isn’t that the UN is as useful as teats on a boar hog. The newsflash is liberals saying so.

WestTexasBirdDog on August 31, 2013 at 12:03 PM

It’s not going to be a war-war.

Kenosha Kid on August 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

I agree w/ Ed that at least today’s Democrats are willing to throw the UN under the bus but frankly, as much as I would like to help Syria, we better have a specific objective or not get involved. We simply do not understand tribal warfare. We’ve been fortunate enough to cross-polinate tribes over the last few centuries. America is a different way of thinking, period.

This democrat administration has broken so many laws, but hey, MSM gives them a pass b/c it’s “their guy” and they’ll do anything to support him including total about-faces on their reaction if a Republican tried the same think. Democrats can do what they want, the heck w/ the law.

Disgusting. Maybe Kerry got stuck giving the speech b/c Dem. O doesn’t want to be held accountable. Gee, who wudda thunk?

MN J on August 31, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Fox News
President Obama will address the situation in Syria from the White House at 1:15 p.m. ET

pambi on August 31, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Breaking – USA Today & NY Times both reporting that President Obama will seek Congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria….

Athos on August 31, 2013 at 2:04 PM

And the award for Biggest Hypocrite on the International Stage goes to John Kerry for his title role in “Warhorse“.

virgo on August 31, 2013 at 3:15 PM

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