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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin E. Dempsey (L), John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State (C), and Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, present the administration's case for U.S. military action against Syria to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Just pounding on the table.
Secretary of State John Kerry:
"This is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter," Kerry said.
The U.S. has been happy to be spectators to conflicts in Darfur, Congo, Burma, Sudan, Kashmir, Somalia and dozens of other places around the globe. Unfortunately, there's no shortage of war, religious strife, ethnic cleansing, separatist insurgencies, foreign adventurism, or nationalistic fights in our planet. And yes, we're stuck being spectators to most of those situations because the alternative is unpalatable.

Doing the smart thing isn't "isolationism". If Kerry wants to lead a new glory era of U.S. engagement in international affairs, he can lobby Congress for more developmental aid—the kind of billions that can prevent new wars, rather than exacerbate existing ones by dropping bombs.

The "isolationists" Kerry speaks of would be happy to lend a hand, if only the interventionists had a working theory of why bombing Syria would improve matters. But no, they talk about "sending a message", as if killing a few people and knocking down a few buildings is akin to a sternly worded letter. You know, extra stern.

Give us a plausible scenario of how a "limited military action" would save lives and hasten the end of the conflict, and you might have additional support. Instead, we get lots of pounding on the table and screaming about "HITLER!", as if our foreign policy is now run by wingnut neocon bloggers.

More Kerry:

“The president is not asking you to go to war,” Secretary of State John Kerry told Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and a skeptic of a Syria strike, during a hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war? Me neither. You bomb someone, it's war, no matter how you might want to pretend otherwise.

Can someone please tell Kerry that he's the secretary of State, and not Defense?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War.

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