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View Diary: Taking Occam's Razor to the Syria diplomacy debacle (104 comments)

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  •  Flubbed how? (10+ / 0-)

    Flubbed by smoothly and unhesitatingly defining the conditions under which a U.S. attack might be prevented? A set of conditions that just so happened to be amenable to Russia and Syria? I wish my flubs were this graceful and productive. He didn't stumble over his words, he didn't try to walk them back upon having said them, etc.

    Also, the entire 'Kerry goofed up' interpretation is predicated on the assumption that the U.S. gave something up, and that Putin got something he wanted at the expense of the U.S. What exactly did the U.S. give up that Putin pounced on?

    Ultimately, it seems like it's pretty safe to assume that if the U.S. didn't want to abide by Kerry's words, they'd just barge right through them - they'd say that the Russian/Syrian plan was too weak, had too may holes, etc. In other words - if he President wanted to attack, he'd still be attacking.

    •  Well (5+ / 0-)
      Flubbed by smoothly and unhesitatingly defining the conditions under which a U.S. attack might be prevented? A set of conditions that just so happened to be amenable to Russia and Syria? I wish my flubs were this graceful and productive. He didn't stumble over his words, he didn't try to walk them back upon having said them, etc.
      I admit I don't see why you're so impressed that Kerry put together a coherent sentence. So he didn't stutter, so what? I don't see how that's definitive proof that this was all part of the grand plan. As for "walking it back"...
      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.”
      Does that qualify as a walkback? How about the DOD coming out and saying Kerry's remarks were "rhetorical"?

      Obviously I'm not there to see all the backroom diplomacy going on for this highly volatile situation. But when I try to apply Occam's Razor to the situation, it seems that the Obama administration had been pretty dead-set on bombing Syria. It obviously didn't have faith in a diplomatic solution. Kerry threw out this off-the-cuff statement, dismissed it literally right after he said it, and was supported in the walk-back by the DOD. Russia pounced on it anyway, the Obama admin is smart enough to take the lucky out, and here we are, maybe about to work out a diplomatic solution to Assad's CWs.

      Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

      by Boogalord on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:20:51 PM PDT

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      •  It is the detail. (13+ / 0-)

        I listened a second time a few days later and Kerry listed off details that could only have been talked about in diplomatic relations.  What he proffered is a finished plan.  I then found out that US and Russia had been talking for months. That makes the diary's premise very plausible and the speed with which it was agreed to be implemented. I do however, think that Kerry had no idea they would jump on it that quickly or at all.  I think he was feeling frustrated that there as no movement in the negotiations and he really didn't want to go military. He spelled out the negotiation points out of frustration and lo, it moved them forward.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

        by tobendaro on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:49:10 PM PDT

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        •  At the end of the Kerry talk he did say something (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          about doing everything in the proposal within a week.

          "But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.”

          So, after Addad fails to meet demands for doing everything in a week, will it be OK for the US to have their unilateral bombing run on Syria? Can the MIC and the other war profiteers real be expected to loose this profit opportunity without a fight?

          War is costly. Peace is priceless!

          by frostbite on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 05:06:38 PM PDT

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          •  Diplomacy isn't about (0+ / 0-)

            setting parameters and sticking to them.  Diplomats and sensible people realize that lives are at steak and they work out the problems and give a little here and get a little there.  This country seems to have forgotten how important and exceptional diplomacy is and should be. So many of us prefer the GWB style of shoot and ask questions later.  So manly and all. Results are the goal here, not the perception of macho.

            Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

            by tobendaro on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:20:15 AM PDT

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            •  My suspicion: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              frostbite

              Obama all along dreaded being boxed into the "humanitarian bombing" of Syria and so kept open a back door for informal talks with Lavrov and Putin about a diplomatic option.

              But until this diplomatic option could be agreed upon Obama's first priority at home was to get Congress to authorize a US strike. He used Kerry as attack dog for this. It required a blunt approach: overheated bellicose rhetoric and appeals to emotion rather than reason (a calm and reasoned argument would never sway the Senate or House). Kerry is much better suited to that than Obama.

              I don't think Kerry was entirely prepared for the sudden shift back to diplomacy. The shift made him look a little ridiculous and at the least "out of the loop." He may have been kept partly out of the loop; he may not have understood how much Obama was now wagering on getting a diplomatic breakthrough.

              In other words, Obama and Kerry played "good cop"/"dumb cop."

      •  I have to say my money is on your (0+ / 0-)

        viewpoint. Like others are saying, why would Kerry's people have walked his comments back, if this was all so cleverly calculated?

        Obama looked dead set on war. Why? I don't know. But given that the war against Iran is very much something the PNAC crowd has wanted forever, and that to be successful in that war, the USA must boost Russia out of their one and only seaport on the Mediterranean, that is, Syria, and then given that Obama's polling numbers have gone into the toilet due to many things, Benghazi, IRS scandal, the lack of real recovery for the middle and lower class, and lastly  the Snowden Surveillance leak, this was a chance for the PNAC people to get what they wanted, while Obama had some pressure taken off him.

        I mean, "We have to do an  attack on Syria" stuff was a pretty good wag the dog. I also mean, does anyone even see a Snowden headline anywhere? Even a single headline? Those Snowden/Surveillance articles are gone now, as though they had not been prevalent all through June and July.

        Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

        by Truedelphi on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 07:10:40 PM PDT

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