John Kerry: Nothing is off the table in Iraq, but working with Iran is off the table

posted at 11:21 am on June 19, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Mediaite, I’m honestly surprised. Partly because … he himself implied it was very much on the table a few days ago:

Prodded on whether the United States would consider cooperating militarily with Iran, Kerry replied: “Let’s see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements.”

But “I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together — the integrity of the country — and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart,” the top U.S. diplomat told Couric.

“I wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability, a respect for the (Iraqi) constitution, a respect for the election process, and a respect for the ability of the Iraqi people to form a government that represents all of the interests of Iraq — not one sectarian group over another,” he said.

Today he’s claiming he meant we should be open to talking to Iran about Iraq but not outright cooperation. If we’re not talking about cooperation, er, what are we talking about?

I’m surprised because I thought O and Kerry would be eager to use the ISIS threat as a new reason to make nice with Iran, which would in theory give them extra political cover to sell a lame nuclear deal with Tehran to American voters later. “See? We can trust them! Sort of. On a few things.” Could be that they wanted to go that route but simply caught too much flak for it behind the scenes from congressional Dems who support Israel. Having David Petraeus warning audiences that we can’t be the air force for Shia militias isn’t helping either. Or, it could be that the White House tried to make nice with Iran but were rebuffed. Rouhani, the country’s new “moderate” president, made some noises about working with the U.S. the other day but the military seems to have kiboshed that idea, calling the U.S. “sponsors and supporters of terrorists in the region.” More likely, I think, is that Iran is deliberately playing good cop/bad cop with Rouhani and the military to build leverage with the White House in nuclear negotiations. Sure, they’ll coordinate with the U.S. against ISIS — if we play ball on nukes first. Obama and Kerry aren’t going for it. Not sure why.

Another possibility: The U.S. has decided that Iran’s proxy, Maliki, absolutely must go, and Iran will never go along with that. Which means cooperation is DOA.

The Obama administration is signaling that it wants a new government in Iraq without Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, convinced the Shiite leader is unable to reconcile with the nation’s Sunni minority and stabilize a volatile political landscape.

The U.S. administration is indicating it wants Iraq’s political parties to form a new government without Mr. Maliki as he tries to assemble a ruling coalition following elections this past April, U.S. officials say.

Such a new government, U.S., officials say, would include the country’s Sunni and Kurdish communities and could help to stem Sunni support for the al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, that has seized control of Iraqi cities over the past two weeks. That, the officials argue, would help to unify the country and reverse its slide into sectarian division.

Right, but Iran doesn’t want that. They’re winning, sort of, in Syria and they’re convinced they can win in Iraq too, especially if Iraqi Shiites end up being radicalized by the war with ISIS and decide to start “cleansing” Anbar province. They’ve got the numbers in Iraq, so why would Iran agree to dump Maliki in favor of someone who’d play nicer with the Sunnis and Kurds? Maliki’s already ruled out quitting as a condition of U.S. help, knowing that Iran will back him up even if the U.S. doesn’t. And besides, even if he agreed to quit, the new prime minister would probably end up facing an insurgent threat from the Shiites instigated by Iran to try to destabilize the government and force him from power. “Cooperating” with Iran means bringing about total Shiite dominance of the country, which means total victory for the mullahs. Maybe even Obama and Kerry think that’s a bridge too far. Or, more likely, that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey do, and Obama realizes he can’t afford to lose their cooperation in other regional matters.

Exit question: See how Kerry sneers about Dick Cheney having led the U.S. into Iraq? Didn’t Senator Kerry, foreign-policy genius, vote for that invasion?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Oh Lord. Change your mind did you?

sandee on June 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

And Obama said no troops on the ground and we have 275 there now. They cannot get a clue.

Sven on June 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Sounds like he’s ducking under the table.

de rigueur on June 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Exit question: See how Kerry sneers about Dick Cheney having led the U.S. into Iraq? Didn’t Senator Kerry, foreign-policy genius, vote for that invasion?

That was before he was against it.

RickB on June 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I’m honestly surprised. Partly because … he himself implied it was very much on the table a few days ago:

You’re surprised that lefties are incoherent and opportunistic liars?

Fenris on June 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

On the table:

Dithering
Golf
Dithering
lots of fundraisers
Dithering
Golf
Golf
And lots more Dithering.

ConstantineXI on June 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

The focus groups must have tested poorly.

Bishop on June 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

John Kerry is off his rocker.

Marxism is for dummies on June 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Right, but Iran doesn’t want that. They’re winning, sort of, in Syria and they’re convinced they can win in Iraq too

Winning? I think not if you put things in perspective…
Before the Syria war, Assad was in total control of Syria and hence Iran was in total control of Syria, now Assad barely controls half of Syria and Syria is in ashes, so Iran has now control of half of Syria, barely… The same goes to Iraq… Since we left in 2011 and Maliki turned into a full Iranian slave, Iran was effectively in total control of Iraq but it is no longer the case now, they and their Iraqi allies barely control half of Iraq…

mnjg on June 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The nickname “Flipper” still applies!!

Deano1952 on June 19, 2014 at 11:34 AM

In other news, the Iraqi maritime office reports being perplexed about why the US Sec State would inquire about private yacht registration costs and requirements, particularly the taxes.

BobMbx on June 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Oh, look- It’s John Frankenface Kerry, and he’s reporting for doody!

Yes, he voted to authorize force against Iraq, as did Zombie Ben Franklin (a.k.a. hill clinton).

Shouldn’t this guy, as the new breed of super special sec of state, be out hugging dolphins and fighting for ecological justice? Well that, and luxuriating in big piles of money he got from a dead Republican named Heinz.

It’s a swiftboat of fools, it is.

GrassMudHorsey on June 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I expect that John F’n Kerry is finding out that Valerie Jarrett is really running the administration and what an unpleasant creature she is to deal with.

slickwillie2001 on June 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I was for the table before I was against the the table. In fact, I’m so against the table that I threw the table over the White House fence.

Left Coast Right Mind on June 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Obama to speak about Iraq in 45 minutes. And when I say 45 minutes, I mean 1 hour and 15 minutes.

faraway on June 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Why such a problem working with Iran, they’re a little country on the other side of the world that can’t possibly hurt the U.S.

Bishop on June 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM

I was for working with Iran before I was against it.

Immolate on June 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

The Team Choom inner circle is using Kerry the exact same way they used Hillary. They allow him to float his own ideas and, when those don’t play well with the fanbase, announce a different policy altogether. I love to watch it. For Kerry, who probably hasn’t caught on yet, it must be pure hell.

ROCnPhilly on June 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I’m convinced that the reason his face is so long is the result from a chronic case of constant whiplash. The g-force from the apogee of the flip is forcing his face into a linear direction.

Once again he was for it before he was against it…

HotAirian on June 19, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Shorter Kerry: We won’t do anything.

MarkT on June 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

We’re talking about people who couldn’t even manage a successful balloon drop.

(And who blasts Van Hagar? It’s Diamond Dave or nothing.

Christien on June 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Shorter Kerry: We won’t do anything.

MarkT on June 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

More like: “Nobody tells me nothin’.”

ROCnPhilly on June 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM

And besides, even if he agreed to quit, the new prime minister would probably end up facing an insurgent threat from the Shiites instigated by Iran to try to destabilize the government and force him from power.

This whole section is based in fantasy. A stable Iraq is as much in Iran’s interest as America’s. Not every country on earth think like they are governed by the CIA. This is projecting at it’s finest.

coolrepublica on June 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

“Everything is on the table” is just one of those untrue throw away lines that focus group well. It’s right up there with “I take full responsibility” and adding “period!” to the end of a lie. Sounds good at first. Means nothing.

forest on June 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Remember when the Democrats put this loser up for the presidency and tried to make the case that he would be a decisive, intelligent, capable leader?

LOL

Good Lt on June 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

On the table:

Dithering
Golf
Dithering
lots of fundraisers
Dithering
Golf
Golf
And lots more Dithering.

ConstantineXI on June 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

You forgot

lying

VegasRick on June 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

And besides, even if he agreed to quit, the new prime minister would probably end up facing an insurgent threat from the Shiites instigated by Iran to try to destabilize the government and force him from power.

This whole section is based in fantasy. A stable Iraq is as much in Iran’s interest as America’s. Not every country on earth think like they are governed by the CIA. This is projecting at it’s finest.

coolrepublica on June 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

You are aware there’s this whole sunni vs. shiite thing going on, right?

Fenris on June 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM

John Kerry inspires the same confidence and force of will as Prince Charles.

Wallythedog on June 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Exit question: See how Kerry sneers about Dick Cheney having led the U.S. into Iraq? Didn’t Senator Kerry, foreign-policy genius, vote for that invasion?

As did:

Harry Reid
Hillary Clinton
Joe Biden

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM

John Kerry: Nothing is off the table in Iraq, but working with Iran is off the table

Imagine your doctor saying everything is on the table to help fight your bronchitis except anti-biotics.

I guess Kerry won’t be having a word with Saudi Arabia and Qatar so they can stop giving those isis crazies weapons and money. We all know those weapons were not falling from the sky when they attacked Iraq.

So he won’t talk to Iran. He most likely won’t call the Saudis on their BS. So what is the goal here? It sure doesn’t look like helping Iraq.

When are we going to get adults to help with this mess?

coolrepublica on June 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Didn’t Senator Kerry, foreign-policy genius, vote for that invasion?

Facts are such inconvenient things. However, he was probably against it before he was for it…or for it before he was against it…or you’re terrible because…

SWIFTBOATING!

xNavigator on June 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Remember when the Democrats put this loser up for the presidency and tried to make the case that he would be a decisive, intelligent, capable leader?

LOL

Good Lt on June 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

This a Hillary thread? I thought we were talking about ketchup.

Tsar of Earth on June 19, 2014 at 12:07 PM

OT- Iraq’s Maliki: I won’t quit as condition of US strikes against Isis militants.

Now call me a Crazy lil’ Kitten, but didn’t our leader once have a problem with a former President calling for Regime Change as we had no right?

Innercat on June 19, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Think about it…Both Lurch and ALGORE both could have been POTUS.

I know the current Failure is bad…but just think of what could have proceeded him…

GAH!!!

BigWyo on June 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

bronchitis.

When are we going to get adults to help with this mess?

coolrepublica on June 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Ain’t nobody got time for dat!

Christien on June 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Someone needs to send this idiot kerry home before we have to give him another purple heart for something like a papercut, or straining his empty cranium trying not to do or say the right thing regarding any foreign policy.

Clearly if obama was thinking straight (obama/thinking = contradiction of terms) he would have appointed kerry to mop duty at the antarctic ice monitoring station.

Diluculo on June 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM

I hope everyone knows John Kerry served in Vietnam.

Wade on June 19, 2014 at 12:23 PM

The Won and Kerry were all for working with Iran, which hates and seeks to destroy the US, until Iran pretty much told LBJbama and Kerry to keep the hell out of Iraq.
I’m pretty sure that swift kick in the foreign policy ‘nads gave the Won and Kerry a long face.
Time for another reset!

bobthm3 on June 19, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Bumbling, meaningless words. No use trying to understand something that isn’t meant to be understood.

MT on June 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM

You all need to see Drudge.

I hope that it spreads onto all politicians.

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

SMART Power sure does bring some disastrous results and no good ones. Why it is almost like these people that keep telling they are so smart are pretty damn stupid.

My father was a used car salesman and a study of people. He had two sayings that I have yet to see proven wrong.

1. People that think they are smart are the easiest to fool.
2. People that keep telling you how smart they are aren’t.

Defines the progressive fascist democrat leadership to a tee.

jukin3 on June 19, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Think about it…Both Lurch and ALGORE both could have been POTUS.

I know the current Failure is bad…but just think of what could have proceeded him…

GAH!!!

BigWyo on June 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Compared to Barry, they would have all been fine presidents, including Mitt and Johnny Mac.

slickwillie2001 on June 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

300 advisors is just enough to get the word out to the Iraqi Army to pack up all their crap and run like hell . . . because it’s obvious they aren’t going to fight. This whole Obama episode is a complete farce,

rplat on June 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM