“That is exactly what we are talking about doing, unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” – Secretary John Kerry
OF ALL the things to say right now, Secretary Kerry managed to say something that alienates everyone, including the very few the Administration has on their side. Mr. Kerry has done a remarkable heavy lift, but it’s clear he’s tired and needs to take a breath.
No one with even the most limited knowledge about national security thinks telegraphing an “unbelievably small” strike is helpful, which comes after also telegraphing the timing of when it will come that began the Administration’s faltering response to chemical weapons being unleashed against the Syrian populace.
As someone who continues to support strikes against Syria, because chemical weapons and WMDs must never be used in war, the White House needs to get its act together, because one gaffe is one too many right now.
But Kerry’s comments Monday caused even some of the president’s strongest backers for military intervention to call the White House’s outreach a disaster.
… “I don’t understand what he means by that,” [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Rogers said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday. “This is part of the problem. That’s a very confusing message — certainly a confusing message to me that he would offer that as somebody who believes this is in our national security interest.”
Rogers said the president has done an “awful job” of explaining foreign policy to the American people and is trying to make up for lost time.
“I am worried, though, the administration has done such a bad job of making its case,” Kristol said also on “Morning Joe” on Monday. “Now we have the secretary of State saying, ‘Well, we went to Congress, it was so important to go to Congress, for an unbelievably small limited strike.’ Even I can see why reasonable people on the Hill … can say, ‘Is that really better than nothing?’” Kristol said.
Fortunately, national security advisor Susan Rice, as well as Tony Blinken, deputy national security advisor, are also speaking on Syria, giving very strong arguments for the Administration.
The White House is bearing down hard as the week begins, setting up President Obama for tonight’s interviews with primetime appearances, which will lead into his address on Tuesday evening, 9 pm EST.