Combative

Kerry: We Will Not Repeat Iraq

Nearly 30 minutes late for his press conference on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry described exactly “what we know” about the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against its people. The weapons were fired from regime strongholds, and killed an estimated 1,429 people, 426 of whom were children. Describing Assad as “a thug and a murderer,” Kerry said, “It matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens,” because other countries are “watching to see if Syria can get away with it.” As deliberations continue with Congress, U.S. allies, and the public, Kerry said President Obama has promised that “whatever decision he makes on Syria will bear no resemblance to Afghanistan, or Iraq, or even Libya.” Action will be limited, no boots on the ground, and the U.S. will not “assume responsibility for a civil war already under way.” Noting that “after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war,” Kerry insisted, “Fatigue does not absolve us of responsibility. Just longing for peace does not necessarily bring it about.”