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Monday, 9 September 2013

The Iraq Syndrome Haunts John Kerry

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has inadvertently made the strongest case yet for the power of the 'Iraq Syndrome' in US foreign policy. This is the current equivalent and heir to the better known Vietnam syndrome that American militarists had hoped been eradicated by the 'good wars' in Serbia and Bosnia back in the 1990s and more recently through 'successful' regime change via warfare in Libya.

Kerry's London press conference today, flanked by the equally helpless UK foreign secretary, smarting from parliament's recent rejection of illegal British military strikes on Syria, displayed an almost ridiculous attempt to justify US aggression by suggesting that America's aggression would be an "unbelievably small, limited kind of effort." And that's what most people clearly do not believe will be the case.

Kerry's remarks showed up a level of Orwellian doublespeak that is the hallmark of a desperate power under a desperate administration. America's global credibility is at an all time low.

"We will be able to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria's civil war."

Kerry demanded that the Assad regime give up to the US its entire chemical weapons stock in 7 days or face attack. The state department later retracted the threat by suggesting that it was entirely rhetorical and not a real deadline at all.

The bigger concern, the state department said, was that Assad's was a regime that  had "a history of playing fast and loose with the facts" - with no irony intended given the manipulated intelligence produced to justify war on Iraq by Britain and the United States in 2003.

According to the Guardian, Kerry stated that "the entire US intelligence community was united in believing Assad was responsible," a claim denied in a report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence which acknowledged, according to the AP news agency, "that the U.S. intelligence community no longer has the certainty it did six months ago of where the regime's chemical weapons are stored, nor does it have proof Assad ordered chemical weapons use, according to two intelligence officials and two more U.S. officials." (

With US public opinion - across both main political parties - ranged against military aggression against Syria, albeit for a variety of pragmatic rather than principled reasons, the Obama administration's attempts to drum up war fever is back-firing. Hence, the attempts to fall back on rhetoric suggesting that US strikes will be incredibly, unbelievably miniscule, that you won't even notice them.

This is a welcome low moment for US power.. and probably a very dangerous one too. But the specter of Iraq now haunts American foreign policy.

1 comment:

  1. Well hell kerry why not just send some men who dress in womans clothing over there thats sure to get their attention, I recently posted comments about kerry who apparently has NO work to do in iraq because he is so well educated no doubt saying that he is hard at work recruiting lbgt people to be ambassadors...HOW DARE I state that sending men who wear womans dresses and s*k other mens d*ks may be somewhat undervalued as messengers delivering a stern warning by our foes abroad...the f●gs then filled my email inbox lecturing me on my moral inferiority because I like our foreign foes believe men dressing in womens clothes and s*king other mens d*ks is immoral, I was also banned from the washington times and washington post...and if anyone can get banned from BOTH those publications at same time for same comments like shouldnt they win a prize...

    Now even if sending men that wear womans dresses doesnt get their attention then I CAN ASSURE YOU...having every f*g in high office and the media fill their email inboxes with lectures about their moral infeiority will definitely p●ss them right the fk off...YOU HAVE A WITNESS HERE TO THAT SIR

    now lets everybody shake our heads step back and look at this with a clear one is banning them for DOING IT
    kerry is promoting them specifically because they are DOING IT