We all knew it was coming and now here it is. A quote from yesterday morning:
SECRETARY KERRY: Sure. He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that. But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.
Right. Assad isn’t about to do it, certainly “in the next week,” and logistically it really can’t be done. It’s a rhetorical statement emphasizing the futility of asking “the international community” to disarm him, especially in the middle of a raging civil war. Only a schmuck would propose such a thing.
Now, with President Schmuck having given a face-saving thumbs up to the idea last night, it’s time for Kerry to pretend that he was being serious. Such is the genius of Hopenchange, my friends, that brilliant ideas come tumbling out of the major players before even they recognize how brilliant they are:
“I had some conversations about this with my counterpart from Russia last week,” Secretary of State John Kerry said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “President Putin raised the issue with President Obama at St. Petersburg. President Obama directed us to try to continue to talk and see if it is possible. So it is not something that — you know, suddenly emerged, though it did publicly. But it cannot be allowed to be a delay.”
Later, under questioning by Rep. Hank Johnson, Kerry said he had not made a mistake when he suggested the proposal in a press conference in London on Monday.
“I didn’t misspeak,” Kerry said. “I was asked about it. I responded because I was asked.”
Money quote from Waffles: “It is the ideal way to take this weapon away from him.” Obama vaguely noted in one of his TV interviews last night that he and Putin had had diplomatic conversations about Syria at the G20 summit, which was his way of implying that maybe this weapons proposal had been in the works for ages even though it surely hasn’t because, as noted by Kerry, only a schmuck with no other options would take it seriously.
In fact … didn’t the State Department dismiss Kerry’s comments yesterday as “rhetorical” after he made them? I think they did:
The US state department stressed that Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the one-week deadline and unlikelihood of Assad turning over Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. In a statement, the department added: “His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That’s why the world faces this moment.”
Breitbart’s John Sexton has been rounding up other admissions from U.S. officials, made before the new Narrative had been set, that this was all a big dumb accident on Kerry’s part. Here’s deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken confirming that Kerry was speaking hypothetically; here’s an unnamed U.S. official calling it a “major goof” and a product of Kerry going “off script”; and here’s Kerry himself reportedly phoning his Russian counterpart to emphasize that he wasn’t being serious about the proposal, before Obama apparently pulled him aside to explain that this weapons-inspection charade could be their ticket out of a gigantic political mess. It was a blunder, and it’s only going to benefit Assad long-term, but it helps the White House avoid a domestic political humiliation and that’s what’s important.