John Kerry has No Doubts…..

photo…abcnews.go.com

While the President seems a bit solemn…..

His Secretary of State seems resolute on the Syria……

( The buck stops at the President’s Desk not Kerry’s )

A former assistant district attorney in Massachusetts, Kerry delivered a point-by-point closing argument Friday, spending nearly 20 minutes detailing why the U.S. intelligence community has “high confidence” that Assad killed 1,429 people in a chemical weapons attack last week.

And it was Kerry — not Obama — who in a private conference call Thursday night challenged members of Congress for concrete proposals on how Obama should retaliate.

For Kerry, the Syria crisis is an opportunity to step out of the shadows of both Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and establish himself anew in front of the American people. Kerry has long shuddered at the thought that he’s dovish or too soft, and his aides have privately argued that he’s been more forward leaning on a Syria strike than some other administration officials.

Obama, aware that the American people are weary of war, has thus far remained comfortably seated in the second chair on the prosecution’s side.

That dynamic suits the designs of both men, according to one former senior State Department official.

“Having Kerry out front gives Kerry what he wants, a visible public profile on the burning issue of the day, and gives the White House what they want, a measure of remove from a no-win conflict,” the former official said. “If things go surprisingly well, the president can always swoop back into public view.”

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35 thoughts on “John Kerry has No Doubts…..”

  1. You think Kerry approved the decision about Congress? Was Biden as wing man and not Sec. State an indication of anything?

  2. Off the top of my head I think Kerry and Biden where probably the only two in the room to go…

    I think the General’s and Hagel where NOT happy…
    They would have to come back with MORE options when things didn’t improve….
    And the political mission went to mission creep for them…

    They want a rest for the troops after two big conflicts for the last decade

    As I point out
    The buck stops at the President
    NOT the Sec of State…..

    I believe this was a purely Domestic POLITICAL decesion
    And I believe Cameron’s beatdown had a HUGE effect on the President….

  3. Also Obama actions where a direction in violation of the ‘Powell’ doctrine of using overwhelming force to take your objective….

  4. Cameron seemed more intent though, on taking action. And really pushing the Parliament to avoid the Blair thing probably.

  5. The administration looked poorly with Kerry’s message very different from that of Obama. This hurts Kerry’s credibility, and Obama’s too to a lesser extent.

  6. I don’t agree Zreebs at all. The Administration has made its case and now the President wants to go to Congress. I think it is a perfect solution. Watched CNN while I was on the treadmill down at the gym today. They are just wishing for a war to cover. They had the same old bs artists who told all those Iraq lies on there saying the President has to go now or else.

    Such crap. Let Congress vote for war, or not. Let the crazy Republicans in Congress put up, or shut up. Especially Ms. Graham.

  7. My feeble understanding about the difference between Blair’s and Cameron’s requests to Parliament is that Blair pushed fairly hard, with Tory front-bench support, to join Operation Iraqi Freedom, while Cameron & Clegg were more open to heeding the views of Members and their constituents.

    And Iraq poisoned the well for Syria.

    Another difference (which perhaps Mac or another reader more familiar with recent British political history can correct or confirm) is that Labour offered its own amendment this year and then voted (apparently fairly unanimously against the Coalition Government’s motion, although some Labour members favoured joining a strike against Assad.

    In 2002, I don’t think British intervention would have passed the Commons without many Opposition votes.

  8. Re 8:25 I thought some of the same Zreebs.. That Kerry was stealing the show and looking Presidential in his resolve and firm voice.
    They could’ve done a good cop bad cop thing – but probably Kerry just forgot his place for a few seconds there..
    It makes it clear though, that Obama will avoid interfering in anything as long as he possibly can.

  9. You’re right on about CNN, Keith.
    It was so embarrassing listening to Wolf and Gloria Borger(!!) right after his speech. “A HUGE bet” by the President, “rolling the dice”. Crap.
    He just doesn’t want to do this and instead of backtracking he turned the blocked Congress into something useful for himself, for once.

    Ms. Graham will vote against it because it’s too little (and always too late). You have to crush and destroy!

  10. LOL – Mac is always so polite – even to the point of putting a prefix in front of Graham.

    I am willing to bet that some Republicans will vote against the strike on the grounds that it is too little too late. Just like they have been so willing to say that if you don’t do something EXACTLY their way,they will vote against it. my suspicion: The vote fails in a close vote.

  11. Yesterday I opined that Obamas asking for Congressional concurrence , prior to military intervention ,may become the new norm and that such,in the present circumstances ,was a smart political move.

    James ucountered by reciting the legalisms of the War Powers Act which was not relevant to my point.Sure a President CAN act unilaterally within the confines of War Powers ,but is such an action as viable politically as it formerly was?

    A lot of this is wrapped up in internal changes within the Republican Party which formerly was strongly pro interventionist and thus would give any President rhetorical cover in taking unilateral actions.

    Over the past couple of years ,however, we have observed the growth of a distictly anti interventionist wing of the GOP,led by Rand Paul, but including other younger Right Wingers ,not nearly as enamored of the US as “policeman of the world “as their elders

    Add this to the always skeptical of military action Democratic liberals and, all of a sudden, intervention is no longer the political winner it once was.Further, public opinion which ,even a few short years ago ,used to react almost viscerally in favor of such moves has moved rapidly in the other direction

    Accordingly,I see a future in which such actions as being contemplated in Syria will be entered into gingerly by Presidents of either party ,legalisms such as the War Powers Act notwithstanding.

  12. I can’t help but wonder how much of the GOP opposition will occur because Obama supported it, and how much opposition will occur because they are really opposed to it. Rand Paul legitimately opposes military intervention, but I’m less sure of most others.

  13. Here in SC ,one of the most pro military pro interventionist states in the country,every member of the House delegation including Democrat Jim Clyburn, has expressed skepticism,if not outright opposition ,to intervention.

    Several of these Republicans are identified with the interventionist wing of the GOP,so likely their opposition has alot to do with simple anti Obamaism,although they have expressed reservations about the rebls too;however a couple have been expressing Rand Paul like opposition to intervention per se(see my post above).

  14. After watchingg a couple of Democratic Congressmen coming out in opposition to military intervention, and in reading Jack’s post, I am now even more comfortable that the vote will fail in the House.

    Good news!

  15. He, he, he…..

    I see Jack IS Happy with the the non-intervention talk….

    Good look for him and Rand Paul …..

  16. John Kerry does seem to be taking the killings and use of Chemical weapons personally….

    It’s a good look for the Admin to have someone working as a strong push while the President sits back and takes a rest after being out there on a limb by himself after Cameron got HIS beatdown….

    In addtion, It’s a good look because it does appear that President Obama had simply NOT made a good case for what he was going to do…..

    As a President we’ve been here before Obama….
    He is NOT a good salesmen for some of his moves….
    3 years after he got the Healthcare Law pasted he just now beginning to sell it….
    During the 2012 Democratic Convention he needed Bill Clinton to explian why HE should be given a second chance…

  17. I just posted up a piece on the House and Senate doing a vote….

    As I though when Obama punted this….

    I doubt he gets a back on this….

    I’ll pose another question….

    If they like the British Parliment vote NO by small margins what does Obama do?
    Throw up his hands and take his tail between his legs and say ‘They said I can’t do anything?’

    The politics of this thing ISN’T gonna just settle down…
    The media and others ARE gonna riducule him…..

    But our friend Jack makes a good point…
    Will the outcome elevate Rand Paul BACK over Chris Christie and the interventionist’s?

    Will American President’s hide behind the ask Congress skirt?

    I didn’t think Obama made a good case…
    Going to Congress in my mind with Kerry hammering in the media just shows me that my President
    Got WTF ahead of himself on this…

  18. Keith….

    If the President had his Shit together he could have gone to Congress AFTER he did like the law required and a good reasoning would have given them cover against the rightwingnuts who won’t give him shit even if he had a budget surplus and he was giving away refunds….

    But DO like the make the GOPer’s get on the recond part….

  19. Me and Rand Paul?

    What about you?

    You “said” you were opposed to intervention in Syia as recently as Friday.

    Have you “changed your mind?”

  20. I have explained several times here that President Obama did NOT give a good reason for his actions IN THIS CASE which is why he punted….
    I do NOT believe the ‘line in the sand ‘ is good enough…

    I also have said that SOMETHING should be done to stop the senseless loss of life due to gassing people…

    Every situation needs a different look….
    And the gas attack DOES change things…

  21. NO! What you “said” was that you OPPOSED intervention in Syria.THATS WHAT YOU SAID!

    As recently as YESTERDAY you took me to task for trying to “define” you or some other such RIGAMAROLE

    Say what the HELL you mean man!

    Stand up for what you believe in!

    Lets make it simple!

    AT THIS TIME, do you favor American military intervention ,either unilaterally or with others ,in Syria?

    Yes or No?

    And cut out the BULLSHIT of “Jack likes” “Jack and And Rand Paul likes” etc.

  22. My answer was given…..

    ‘I have explained several times here that President Obama did NOT give a good reason for his actions IN THIS CASE which is why he punted….
    I do NOT believe the ‘line in the sand ‘ is good enough…’

    That is for right now Jack….
    Different reasoning COULD change my mind….

    He, he, he…..

    Bull Shit?

  23. I’d also say Kerry is too emotional. Chewing a bit on his talks today – he resorts to chocking on what he’ve seen and the old “must stop” mantra. That is not foreign policy.

  24. it might have been STRONG foreign policy as DSD just mentione back in the day….

    but as Jack points out….
    SO MANY ‘must stops’ render the policy suspect when we see little progress from them and angst from those who hail us the day the shooting stops and hate us ten minutes later when we become ocupiers…

    If ya gonna go….
    Go ….
    Get yourt objective…or Goal…
    Get The Fuck out…..

  25. Lower turnout in Mobile’s black precincts apparently allowed a black mayor (Sam Jones) to lose to a pro-business challenger (Sandy Stimpson).

    What few including [sports oddsmaker Danny] Sheridan foresaw was the apathy among black voters, who constitute a slight majority in Mobile. Many of the downtown precincts that helped catapult Jones to victory in 2005 saw steep drops in voter turnout on Aug. 27.

    Stimpson, meanwhile, ran an energetic campaign that connected most strongly with voters in the city’s western precincts.

    “I think the low African-American turnout was a combination of voters not happy with the mayor, but not enthusiastic about the challenger, either,” Sheridan said. “I was very surprised by that.”

    http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/08/danny_sheridan_why_i_was_wrong.html

    I have no idea if this presages anything about Southern black Democratic turnout in general, or is just one of those idiosyncratic factors you’ll find in most municipal elections.

  26. Black turnout in GENERAL I have noticed is lower than expected EXCEPT for the past two Obama elections around the country….

    We mauy have the same thing in NYC in the up coming Democratic Primaries for Mayor and Comptroller….

    Bill Thompson (Black) is in second place based on spliting the black vote with De Blasio (White w/Black wife )….

    Thompson stands more to lose with a low black vote…

    In the Comptroller race Eliot Spitzer MAYBE 10+ points ahead IF the black vote, which he owns, shows up….
    If not?….He loses… to Scott Stringer who owns the white vot….

  27. The leading candidates for Mayor of Boston are White Anglophones, (far better funded than their minority competitors), even though I think that anglophone whites are no longer a majority of Beantown.

    But that’s sentiment and resources rather than turnout, since the preliminary (election) hasn’t yet happened.

  28. Same in NYC DSD….

    Since David Dinkins all white guys and GOPer’s too….

    2010 NYC

    44% White
    27% Hispanic
    24% Black….

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