Kerry: We’re shocked, shocked that Russia is enabling Assad to stay in power

posted at 10:01 am on February 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Talks in Geneva between the combatants in Syria’s civil war broke down earlier today. US Secretary of State John Kerry marched to a podium to express his dismay over the situation, and put the blame on three forces that are enabling Bashar al-Assad to remain in power and “double down” on a military solution to the conflict. To the surprise of exactly no one, those forces are Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia:

“Right now, Bashar Assad has not engaged in the discussions along the promised and required standard that both Russia spoke up for and the regime spoke up for,” Kerry said during a press conference in Jakarta.

He said the Syrian leader’s team “refused to open up one moment of discussion” of a transitional government to replace Assad’s regime. “It is very clear that Bashar Assad is trying to win this on the battlefield instead of coming to the negotiating table in good faith,” Kerry added.

Kerry also had harsh words for Assad’s allies in Moscow, saying Russia needs to be a part of the solution, rather than contributing aid and weapons to him which, “are in fact enabling Assad to double down.”

Russia has told the U.S. it was committed to helping create a transitional government, Kerry said, but has not delivered “the kind of effort to create the kind of dynamic by which that could be achieved.”

And this surprises … whom, exactly? Let’s start with Iran. We’re currently negotiating with Tehran on an end to their nuclear-weapons program, while Hezbollah is intervening on behalf of Assad in Syria, whom we oppose. In what world, diplomatic or otherwise, does this make any sense at all? Iran and Hezbollah need Assad in their camp in order to leverage Syria against the West and Israel. The only reason we’re not sold on an outright intervention to blow Assad out of Syria is because the alternative is worse, with al-Qaeda controlling ground in Iraq and Syria now thanks to American retreats in the former country.

Russia, meanwhile, wants to keep up its arms sales, prevent the West from creating another failed state on the Mediterranean, and to stick his thumb in the eye of NATO. One of those three is actually a good idea, and perhaps we should be asking ourselves how we got to this point in the first place. But the other two make it very clear that Russia is no ally, and that the Obama administration’s “reset button” to Moscow sent a very clear signal that the White House has no idea what it’s doing in the Middle East any longer. No one, and I mean no one, who has read any history at all could possibly be shocked, shocked that a Russian autocrat is ready and willing to exploit a Western failure in this part of the world.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier beat me to the punch in awarding John Kerry the Captain Louis Renault Award for today, which shows just how well-deserved it is.

By the way, here’s the alternative in Syria (NSFW):

ISIS arrived in Addana about a year ago, initially welcomed in the conservative town by Islamist fighters. But within a few months, ISIS had entrenched itself and begun exerting its harsh order through what one fighter calls “terrorism and punishment.”

“ISIS came in and took over one area and announced it was an Islamic state and did whatever they wanted,” Abu Sa’ed says.

In the passenger’s seat, fellow fighter Abu Jaafar sighs, his AK-47 trained out the window.

“They used to leave the bodies of people they executed at the checkpoint for days,” he says. “The corpses would rot. No one could avoid looking at them.”

Amid the civil war in Syria, another war is taking place — one that pits moderate and Islamist rebels against radicals from ISIS, a group so radical that even al Qaeda has reportedly distanced itself from it. Both groups of fighters are opposed to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


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Remember how Kerry and Biden were supposed to lend “gravitas” to Obama’s foreign policy team. The man’s a complete dumbs hit.

RobertE on February 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

dumbshit.

RobertE on February 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

And I suppose Kerry is doubly shocked that he and Obama are keeping him in power.

G. Charles on February 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

This bum was proven to be a lying nitwit when he made his presidential run some years ago. only the intellectually and morally impaired left would continue to subscribe to his mindless crap.

rplat on February 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Russia is backing the non-terrorist side and that pissed off this administration.

Putin is making these guys look like asses every single day. The only down side is Juan McCain makes himself the face of rebel support for the GOP and all the idiots on other sites blame the GOP for the US intervention in Syria.

Can we just concede McCain is a useful idiot for obamma?

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

This bum was proven to be a lying nitwit when he made his presidential run some years ago. only the intellectually and morally impaired left would continue to subscribe to his mindless crap.

rplat on February 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

libfree will probably be along in a few minutes to prove your point.

Flora Duh on February 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Obama and Kerry.

Dumb and Dumber.

AZCoyote on February 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Just when you think this administration cannot be anymore stunningly incompetent.

battalion on February 17, 2014 at 10:18 AM

SSOD – same sheet, different day.

If this is the best and brightest we got, then we got Trouble, my friend. Trouble right here in River City.

CPRforAmerica on February 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Need a new red line…

albill on February 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

sorry, fat thumbs, meant SSDD.

CPRforAmerica on February 17, 2014 at 10:27 AM

How hard to you really need to work to make JFKerry and Dog Eater look like fools, a man as cunning and ruthless as Pootie could do while sleeping. Dog Eater is only concerned about his reflection in the mirror and Cambodia John gets flustered by the tie-wrap on a loaf of bread.

Bishop on February 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Yes but Kerry tried, and that’s what counts.

/lib tool

Mark Boabaca on February 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM

For all his poor political skills, Romney called some things correctly and the media-derided description of Russia as our greatest geo-political foe is probably now generally accepted as true.

Somebody should tell O’Bumbles not to be so flexible in dealing with Vladimir.

MTF on February 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Smart Diplomacy!

GarandFan on February 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Hey John, you got snookered by Assad and the Russians? Blame it on Global Warming.

Doc Zero at Human Events:

Fresh from his diplomatic triumph in handing the Middle East over to Russia, America’s buffoonish Secretary of State, John Kerry, took his sad-clown act to Indonesia, where he somehow contrived to link a volcanic eruption to man-made global warming. But that’s not even the dumbest gesture an Obama Administration official has made toward the official government religion of the United States recently.

No, the winning act of devotion to the Church of Global Warming is President Obama blaming drought in California on the Angry Sky Gods

petefrt on February 17, 2014 at 10:38 AM

And this gentleman actually was nominated by the Democrat Party to be our President. Fortunately his campaign exhibited all the expertise that he would have shown as chief executive.

This politician showed barely a hint of having a clue…and that exhibited his own welfare. It would be laughable, except his actions and words are simply adding to the humor and disdain that the rest of the world increasingly hold for us.

And I cannot hold Mr. Kerry at fault for that. After all it is our current administration and current President that selected him as the best available person to fill his current position, once again proving that they are clueless and inept, knowing not how to either reach a goal or fix a developing problem. It makes me blush with shame for the American Voting public that we elected such a person; it is worse that my buying a lemon from a used care salesman, because that was my failure and what we have here is the downfall of America.

TKPedersen42 on February 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

So now what? The US used to command some sort of respect from foreign leaders, but guess what happens when we don’t have potent leaders of our own? We lose all respect and credibility and look like fools. Good luck gaining that back, next president.

scalleywag on February 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM

We’re shocked, shocked that Russia is enabling Assad to stay in power

Really?!?! You were the only one John.

Bmore on February 17, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Bishop on February 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Bread ties are hard if the butler is gone.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

In what world, diplomatic or otherwise, does this make any sense at all?

Alice in Wonderland, reflected in a mirror and turned upside down.

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Feckless, vapid, and incompetent doesn’t begin to describe the Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy.

I wonder if it will seared in his memory that other nations will act in their own best interests, particularly when faced with a feckless and incompetently led United States whose foreign policy is based on pissing off allies, tossing friends under the bus, and appeasing enemies.

Athos on February 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Shocked, shocked I say, uh sir, your stinger missiles, oh, thank you

jake49 on February 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM

What the hell business is Syria’s civil war ours? Especially Kerry. Guess we don’t have enough problems in the USA.

Quote from democratic Senator Zell Miller at 2004 Republican Convention:

And no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

Wade on February 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM

The saddest thing about this whole mess is that Obama’s domestic policy is even worse than his foreign policy.

myiq2xu on February 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

And this is why Hillary did absolutely nothing as SecState. She didn’t want any reminders of failures because of her active stupidity to follow her into the campaign.

NavyMustang on February 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM

So is Assad acting in the manner of gengis kahn now?

Tom McDonald on February 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM

…dumb@$$…

easyt65 on February 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Wade, Syria’s civil war is our business because Obama sought to replace Assad with Islamic Extremists like he did in Libya and Egypt.

Libya blew up in his face on 9/11/12 when the same terrorists he put into power slaughtered 4 Americans in Benghazi.

Egypt blew up in his face when Egypt’s right-leaning military refused to allow their country to be run by a world-recognized terrorist group – any more than Americans would tolerate it here – and booted them from office.

Syria blew up in his face when he embarrassed himself and the country with his ‘red line’ fiasco.

Much like Mubarak in Egypt, who was also a ‘dictator’ by our/almost any standard, Assad KEPT THE PEACE. He did not allow religious in-fighting and violence & protected/protects Christians. As soon as Mubarrak was out in Egypt it was ‘open season’ on Christians, & the very same extremists Obama is helping in Syria (continued CIA gun-running) are killing Christians.

Not every country has to have a government like ours, which today is a good thing. Egypt & Syria have proven sometimes dictatorships work, meaning violence in greatly reduced/eliminated Americans don’t get branded as ‘meddlers’ & are not hated even more, & we don’t get involved in civil wars.

easyt65 on February 17, 2014 at 1:03 PM

easyt65 on February 17, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Your post points out why it is none of our business, much the same as all the mess created by Obama and Bush medaling.

Wade on February 17, 2014 at 1:18 PM

I seem to recall some Presidential contender waaaaaaaay back in 2012 talking about the Russians as a big threat to U.S. interests, and the media telling us how out of touch Romney was.
Interesting, very interesting…

DublOh7 on February 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Can we just concede McCain is a useful idiot for obamma?

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Indeed, and he’s not the only one.

Schadenfreude on February 17, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Q) Why is John Kerry like Saint Paul?

A) They were both blinded on the way to Damascus.

Unfortunately, Kerry never got his vision back.

Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Does Kerry know that the butchers of China are propping up the butchers of N Korea?

itsnotaboutme on February 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Q) Why is John Kerry like (the apostle) Paul?

A) They were both blinded on the way to Damascus.

Unfortunately, Kerry never got his vision back.

Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

LOL!

itsnotaboutme on February 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

If I was a Christian (for example) in Syria, I would be rooting for Assad.

I would also be wondering why BO and his cronies are backing people who are killing “us”.

As a Christian in the US, I see Assad as better than the (likely) alternatives.

BTW: Compare the US Civil War with the Syrian “Civil War”, and you may be impressed.
I don’t recall hearing/reading too many people who opine that Lincoln killed “his own people”.

ha_tspc on February 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM

BTW: Compare the US Civil War with the Syrian “Civil War”, and you may be impressed.
I don’t recall hearing/reading too many people who opine that Lincoln killed “his own people”.
ha_tspc on February 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM

I consider myself a student of history, and yet your “BTW” really made me stop and think. Thank You.

AppraisHer on February 17, 2014 at 9:47 PM

For all his poor political skills, Romney called some things correctly and the media-derided description of Russia as our greatest geo-political foe is probably now generally accepted as true.

MTF on February 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

He got Mali right too.
In any sane universe, Romney would have won based simply on greater knowledge and intellectual superiority.

AesopFan on February 18, 2014 at 12:16 AM

BTW: Compare the US Civil War with the Syrian “Civil War”, and you may be impressed.
I don’t recall hearing/reading too many people who opine that Lincoln killed “his own people”.
ha_tspc on February 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM

(1) The head of any government is the leader of the people of the country: all of them, not just his own supporters.
(2) In any civil war, many of the people of the country are killed: some due to the actions of the head of the government; and some, to the actions of the opposition.
(3) Therefore, in any civil war, the head of the government has “killed his own people.”

History writers don’t say that about Lincoln for a number of reasons: mostly because it just doesn’t sound good, not being compatible with the meme of “savior of the Union”; and not least because, he won.

Here’s an interesting satirical piece, via a Google search on the topic.
http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2013/08/29/abraham-lincoln-is-killing-his-own-people/

This one is also entertaining; I am not enough of a Lincoln scholar to vouch for its veracity, and have no brief for some of its assertions.
http://www.trutv.com/conspiracy/government/lincoln/1.html

AesopFan on February 18, 2014 at 12:38 AM

People make mistakes.
But in the case of King Putt and his team’s selection of Cabinet Members, I have to consider the validity of the following:
Never blame failure on malevolence when it could be incompetence.

Missilengr on February 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM