John Kerry: Oh, by the way, the U.S. is no longer asking for regime change in Syria

posted at 7:21 pm on December 15, 2015 by Allahpundit

After this story broke this afternoon, conservative Twitter spent an enjoyable half-hour swapping links to some of the many statements Obama’s made over the years insisting on regime change in Syria. How about this classic, from all the way back in 2011? Or how about this one from just three months ago? Better yet, how about this one from a mere four weeks ago? With the possible exception of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” no Obama lie has been told more often or better captures his failures as president.

Obama wants regime change. Putin doesn’t want regime change. Regime change canceled.

“The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change,” Kerry told reporters in the Russian capital after meeting President Vladimir Putin. A major international conference on Syria would take place later this week in New York, Kerry announced…

[A]fter a day of discussions with Assad’s key international backer, Kerry said the focus now is “not on our differences about what can or cannot be done immediately about Assad.” Rather, it is on facilitating a peace process in which “Syrians will be making decisions for the future of Syria.”…

Kerry said, “No one should be forced to choose between a dictator and being plagued by terrorists.” However, he described the Syrian opposition’s demand that Assad must leave as soon as peace talks begin as a “nonstarting position, obviously.”

We’re still insisting Assad must go, mind you, just … eventually:

Twitter pal David Shor made a nice catch this afternoon from this NYT story from a few days ago. Is there a difference between “regime change” and “Assad change”? Hmmmm:

The United States, for its part, wants Mr. Assad to leave power, but not necessarily to destroy his government, which would create further chaos and even more refugees and migrants — the issue that preoccupies most of the European members of NATO.

If you get rid of Assad and his cadre of Alawite cronies, there’s no one left with any experience at the top to manage post-war Syria. A coalition government of Sunnis and newly installed Alawites might not know what they’re doing — see, e.g., Libya — and could deteriorate into sectarian bickering, which will just start the war all over again. So, a compromise: Get rid of Assad, the head of the regime and the lightning rod for Sunni hatred, and see if Sunnis will tolerate (even if only temporarily) a caretaker government largely staffed by Assad veterans. Russia might be willing to accept that; they don’t care about Assad per se, just that the government in Damascus continues to make Syria hospitable to Russian bases. Iran may not be thrilled to see a reliable proxy like Assad go but keeping an Alawaite regime in place will reassure them. Iran may have less leverage than it used to, also, since Iranian troops are now reportedly leaving the battlefield. The Sunnis won’t like having Assad’s government still in charge, but having him out would be a major concession and the international powers brokering this peace deal would presumably try to further appease them by insisting on some sort of Sunni representation in the new regime or greater local control of Sunni-dominated areas.

One obvious question, though: Why make a concession now, after four years of insisting that Assad must go, if Iran’s grip on Syria is weakening and Putin is allegedly getting bogged down in the Syrian quagmire? If the Shiites and their allies are weakening, now’s the moment to double down and insist that Assad must go ASAP even if “the regime” writ large remains in place for awhile.


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John Kerry leaves Rubio twisting in the wind.

Pork-Chop on December 15, 2015 at 7:25 PM

So the “Clinton Doctrine” is a bust? Go figure.

Limerick on December 15, 2015 at 7:31 PM

One obvious question, though: Why make a concession now, after four years of insisting that Assad must go, if Iran’s grip on Syria is weakening and Putin is allegedly getting bogged down in the Syrian quagmire? If the Shiites and their allies are weakening, now’s the moment to double down and insist that Assad must go ASAP even if “the regime” writ large remains in place for awhile.

Because the Shiites and their allies aren’t weakening. Assad’s forces clearly have the momentum now. They just re captured another important airbase yesterday, and are steadily advancing in northern Lakatia along the Turkish border. It’s just a matter of time before the pro-government forces seal the border, and cut off the rebel resupply.

Jon0815 on December 15, 2015 at 7:33 PM

With the possible exception of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” no Obama lie has been told more often or better captures his failures as president.

…everything that blurts out of his pie-hole comes with an expiration date…

Pelosi Schmelosi on December 15, 2015 at 7:33 PM

What’s the Arabic word for Overcharge Reset?

ShainS on December 15, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Then stop arming the so-called “good rebels” that the Russians are attacking – you know – McCain’s good buddies who are on the same side as ISIS…..

Assad is no angel – but he’s better than giving ISIS another country.

dentarthurdent on December 15, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Heh.

Putin 1
Obama 0

Assad is fine, Putin was right all along. The Christians in Syria are happy with him and the anti-Assad “rebels” are AQ/ISIS linked.

Aslans Girl on December 15, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Surrender!

TheMadHessian on December 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM

What’s the Arabic word for Overcharge Reset?

ShainS on December 15, 2015 at 7:35 PM

I believe it’s – “Ajeetmadrors”.

dentarthurdent on December 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM

Multi dimensional chess going on here, you losers can’t possibly understand.

Me and tlaloc, we understand because we know that sometimes you need to launch a crapload of Hellfire missiles to make the world a happier place.

Bishop on December 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM

Assad is fine, Putin was right all along. The Christians in Syria are happy with him and the anti-Assad “rebels” are AQ/ISIS linked.

Aslans Girl on December 15, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Exactly.

dentarthurdent on December 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM

What’s the Arabic word for Overcharge Reset?

ShainS on December 15, 2015 at 7:35 PM

…which brings us to this…

According to aides, in her speech, the Democratic frontrunner will call for a “360-degree strategy” to combat domestic radicalization and foreign-inspired attacks here at home, such as the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

…don’t these morons realize that going in a circle gets you right back where you started..??

…or are people so freaking stupid they don’t know how to read a compass..??

Pelosi Schmelosi on December 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM

What’s the Arabic word for Overcharge Reset?

ShainS on December 15, 2015 at 7:35 PM

That would be ‘KABOOM’ – although, that is also the Arabic word for ‘peaceful’.

Pork-Chop on December 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM

Me and tlaloc, we understand because we know that sometimes you need to launch a crapload of Hellfire missiles to make the world a happier place.

Bishop on December 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM

If only we had something more than a small talent for war…..

dentarthurdent on December 15, 2015 at 7:43 PM

a freeper observed that Assad will still be in Syria long after Kerry is gone.

onlineanalyst on December 15, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Multi dimensional chess going on here, you losers can’t possibly understand.

Me and tlaloc, we understand because we know that sometimes you need to launch a crapload of Hellfire missiles to make the world a happier place.

Bishop on December 15, 2015 at 7:41 PM

…that’s not a very Kasich-like position…

(sorry couldn’t resist)

Pelosi Schmelosi on December 15, 2015 at 7:44 PM

If Kerry said it, take it with a large grain of salt. If Obama said it, it’s probably a lie.

grumpyank on December 15, 2015 at 7:44 PM

…or are people so freaking stupid they don’t know how to read a compass..??

Pelosi Schmelosi on December 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM

Yes.
Maths, especially geometry, is hard – or maybe that should be geography, or geodesy…..

dentarthurdent on December 15, 2015 at 7:45 PM

That would be ‘KABOOM’ – although, that is also the Arabic word for ‘peaceful’.

Pork-Chop on December 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM

You dam-near cost me a mouthful of margarita…..

dentarthurdent on December 15, 2015 at 7:46 PM

What, obama lies?
What, obama does not have a coherent foreign policy?
What, obama’s secretaries of state lie?
How can this be?

GaltBlvnAtty on December 15, 2015 at 7:50 PM

That would be ‘KABOOM’ – although, that is also the Arabic word for ‘peaceful’.

Pork-Chop on December 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM

LOL

a freeper observed that Assad will still be in Syria long after Kerry is gone.

onlineanalyst on December 15, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Heh. But Assad will never win the coveted Nobel Peace Prize and then throw it over the White House fence …

ShainS on December 15, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Bubble Boy: Assad must go! Er, Assad can go, but his regime can stay! Er, Assad and his regime can stay, I must go to Hawaii. Yeah, that’s it.

vnvet on December 15, 2015 at 7:55 PM

As one abashed U.S. official told me, “The meaning of ‘Assad has to go’ has evolved.”

Hard to believe there’d be any U.S. officials left who can feel ‘abashed’ about anything.

Marcola on December 15, 2015 at 8:06 PM

I’m gonna have a heart attack and die from my surprise.

Actually the only surprising thing is the total and complete absence of shame of any Democrats/Obama supporters/mainstream media.

Can you imagine a Republican this pathetic and how they would be publicly excoriated? But it’s Obama so crickets.

talkingpoints on December 15, 2015 at 8:12 PM

Obama pales in comparison to Putin. Quite sad actually. Obama isn’t smart enough to realize Putin is making him look the fool.

TulsAmerican on December 15, 2015 at 8:13 PM

Dr. Assad will die in office of old age.

Mason on December 15, 2015 at 8:16 PM

Funny how this article appears just above the one titled “Sellouts – Traitors”.

Having a little coding error on the HA website are we?

Obama, Kerry, Hillary, the majority of the administration and Democratic party are better suited by such a title.

Even with the free stuff army, I can’t understand how these people get elected. Or especially, reelected. Most of them should be in jail for treason.

Oxymoron on December 15, 2015 at 8:17 PM

Kerry said, “No one should be forced to choose between a dictator and being plagued by terrorists.” However, he described the Syrian opposition’s demand that Assad must leave as soon as peace talks begin as a “nonstarting position, obviously.

Has Harrumph-harrumph Kerry ever blathered a statement where he did not sprinkle gratuitous adverbs?

onlineanalyst on December 15, 2015 at 8:17 PM

I haven’t done a lot of photoshops lately – too busy – but this topic deserved one. I do like framing our progressive leaders in their subservient role to Putin. Here’s another.

BKeyser on December 15, 2015 at 8:18 PM

Muslims don’t make war on other Muslims

BobMbx on December 15, 2015 at 8:20 PM

Obama isn’t smart enough to realize Putin is making him look the fool.

Seems to me, more accurately, that Putin is exposing obama as a fool.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 15, 2015 at 8:21 PM

Obama wants regime change. Putin doesn’t want regime change. Regime change canceled.

That doesn’t follow.

Obama’s pattern is: he shakes your hand and he stabs you in the back.

If Assad makes a deal like Gaddafi did, he will die like Gaddafi, and his nation will be destroyed with him.

David Blue on December 15, 2015 at 8:28 PM

What an embarrassing joke this has been for 7 years. How about telling Bambi he does not deserve a vacation in HI

Goodie on December 15, 2015 at 8:30 PM

Red lines fade into pink knickers.

Bishbop on December 15, 2015 at 8:34 PM

Hillary called the Syrian ophthalmologist a “reformer” we can work with. Zero’s red line has faded by now. Why worry? Lurch will take care of things and save our world!

Krupnikas on December 15, 2015 at 9:27 PM

These guys are sooooo weak. Dude. People are beginning to laugh at you now.

jake49 on December 15, 2015 at 9:32 PM

King Barack: “I was for regime change before I was against it!”

GarandFan on December 15, 2015 at 9:33 PM

In other news, today the little dog said the big dog could keep the porch.

(stolen from “Charlie”)

johnnybgood on December 15, 2015 at 10:27 PM

A statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin made about U.S. President Obama “Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, sh!ts on the board and then struts around like it won the game.”

johnnybgood on December 15, 2015 at 10:30 PM

Oh……so this is what the Bamster meant when he said he would have more flexibility after his last election….
………………………………wait…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………for……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………it…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

SMART POWER!

johnnybgood on December 15, 2015 at 10:33 PM

There really isn’t a debate within the political scientist committee about the relationship between redeem change and violent instability, regime change leads to greater war and more violence, sounds like the Obama ministration has finally caught up why haven’t you AP?

libfreeordie on December 16, 2015 at 12:22 AM

Syria is going to become another Libya. The Sunnis don’t care, because they can count on the usual idiots in the U.S. willing to waste untold blood and treasure occupying Muslim countries.

moebius22 on December 16, 2015 at 12:37 AM

Jawn Effin Kerry should have been executed a long time ago as a traitor to this country. WTH ??

tbear44 on December 16, 2015 at 3:14 AM

I’m with Ted. Carpet bomb the whole place and see if it glows.

Kissmygrits on December 16, 2015 at 5:41 AM

Obama will read about it in the newspaper tomorrow.

PS to Obama: Putin beat your butt, again.

albill on December 16, 2015 at 7:10 AM

Vladimir Putin for President

evergreen on December 16, 2015 at 7:48 AM

Does anyone else feel as ashamed as I do that congressional Republicans are the ONLY people Obama can beat? That they’re the equivalent of the baseball team on the schedule every other team is glad to play, because they know they’ve got an easy win?

No wonder Trump is so popular. Not that I support him, but I understand the temptation.

pendell2 on December 16, 2015 at 8:59 AM

Waiting for the Voxsplanation about how “Assad has to go!” was just a commentary on his urinary urgency.

Madcap_Magician on December 16, 2015 at 9:21 AM

They were for regime change before they were against regime change.

Tommyhour on December 16, 2015 at 1:23 PM