“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 somebody else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies — all of us, the British, the French, and others. 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," Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, debating whether to authorize President Barack Obama's punitive strike in response to a reported chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.
Asked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the committee, whether the secretary of state truly believed combat troops could be an option, Kerry walked the comment back by saying he was only "thinking out loud."
"Let me be very clear now, because I do not want anything coming out of the hearing that leaves any door open to any possibility," he said. "Let's shut the door now as tight as we can. All I did was raise a hypothetical question about some possibility, and I am thinking out loud on how to protect America's interests, but if you want to know if there is any -- the answer is what ever prohibition clarifies it to Congress, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war."
And in the event that Godzilla AND Mothra showed up, Mr. Secretary, what would we do then?
First of all, it is not at all giving Kerry a pass to say fuck Congress for asking a thousand questions that were never asked of Rumsfeld, Powell and the rest of them ten years ago. Now they're all concerned about what we're ruling in and ruling out. It's amazing what having a Democrat in the White House does to their skepticism.
It's also amazing what it does to the general skepticism of the pundit class, which is so very, very reluctant to get us into a war that might never end. Which is really nice, for all the soldiers and civilians who are still alive whose lives we are actually treating with some measure of delicacy, and not so much for the ones we decided were expendable last decade because we had something to prove.
(News flash re: everything ever: The hippies aren't yelling stuff at you because it's fun for them to get the shit kicked out of them. They're yelling because this stuff sucks and it should be hard, and if you'd listened during the last two wars you'd know that. Obama said, as a candidate, that he didn't oppose all wars, and you know what, I think very few people oppose all wars. Even a lot of hippies don't oppose all wars. I don't want to start saying that because we manifestly fucked up Iraq and Afghanistan we never get to do anything else ever. I don't know what's going to happen next week, in Syria or anywhere else.)
Second of all, it is a pathological John Kerry thing, to entertain every hypothetical, especially when it's a trap. It must drive his press officers goddamn insane. It drove me up a tree during the campaign. Of course if we have recorded video of Assad giving whoever took over for bin Laden nerve gas with a "USE ONLY IN THE EVENT OF AMERICA" label on it we're going to send people in to fuck him up, but saying that into a live mic does nothing but panic everybody.
Third, it also does nothing to dispel anybody's suspicions that this is a neverending suckhole of wrong that we need no part of, when we can't even delineate where OUR line of "no more" is but have no problem pointing out theirs.