John Kerry, just thinking out loud: I can't rule out boots on the ground if Syria implodes

By “implodes,” he means a situation where Assad loses control of his WMD and we need to go in and grab them before some fanatic native outfit grabs them first. Which is funny because, right offhand, I can’t think of anything that’s more likely to increase the risk of that happening than bombing the hell out of Syrian military units who are in charge of those weapons.

I think we’re about done here, guys.

The administration has “no desire” to do that, Kerry said.

But “In the event Syria imploded for instance or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of al-Nusra or someone else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies — all of us, the British, the French, and others,” Kerry said, “I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the President of the United States to secure our country.”

Or, to put it more bluntly:

When Bob Corker asked him to flesh out the scope of intervention he had in mind in the “implosion” scenario, Kerry retreated by saying — no joke — that he’d just been “thinking out loud” during his earlier answer. So that’s where we’re at in this first-as-tragedy-then-as-farce version of anti-Baathist intervention: With members of the cabinet confused as to whether to call the war a “war”; with the president deciding reluctantly to ask Congress for authority but making no promises to abide by their decision if they say no; with America’s most famously liberal cable network beating the drums for intervention; and with the guy who ran as the left’s anti-war champion in 2004 accusing intervention skeptics of “armchair isolationism” and, willingly or not, of enabling Iran. The fact that Waffles, of all people, has ended up in the Colin Powell role of war salesman here is so ironic that the whole thing seems a touch surreal to me, like a “Twilight Zone” twist to repay all the liberals who posed as anti-war circa 2004 but who were really just anti-Bush and anti-GOP. All we need now is Joe Wilson making the case for intervention on the Sunday shows and we’ll be set.

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David Strom 10:01 AM on January 30, 2023