Americans don't actually have to follow international law for their love of international law to be evident
The New York Times says it has obtained an audio recording from a meeting US Secretary of State held in New York with members of the Syrian opposition. The NYT's recap of the tape offers a few interesting points.
Firstly, the tape again confirms John Kerry is a very American diplomat -- the kind that is always eager to see Pentagon fireworks over foreign countries. Albeit not quite as bad as the wackos angling for a seat at Hillary's table (Ash Carter, John Brennan, Samantha Power) he's still firmly to the "right" of Obama who has over and over again had to put a damper on his wilder schemes:
“I think you’re looking at three people, four people in the administration who have all argued for use of force, and I lost the argument.”
Mr. Kerry has been hamstrung by Russia’s military operations in Syria and by his inability to persuade Washington to intervene more forcefully. He has also been unable to sell Syrian opponents of Mr. Assad, like the ones in that room, on a policy he does not wholeheartedly believe in.
His frustrations and dissent within the Obama administration have hardly been a secret, but in the recorded conversation, Mr. Kerry lamented being outmaneuvered by the Russians, expressed disagreement with some of Mr. Obama’s policy decisions and said Congress would never agree to use force.
Our heart is breaking here. Mr. President bombed Gaddafi for Hillary for won't bomb Assad for poor John. :( So unfair. :((
After talking up his personal appetite for bombing the government of the Arab Syrian Republic the US Secretary of State made a startling discovery:
He also said the U.S.-led coalition forces don't have legal justification to attack the Assad regime, while Russia operates with the approval of Damascus' government.
"The problem is the Russians don't care about international law, and we do," Kerry told the Syrian nationals.
You are excused if you needed to read the above twice to comprehend it. Yes. Immediately after noting that Russia is in Syria legally and the US illegally, Kerry turned around and explained the US cares about law even if Russia does not.
I guess it's that great love of international law that had Kerry proposing three years ago that US rains cruise missile against Syria -- and not even claim responsibility for them, much less argues their legality.
The self-righteousness on display here is something else. It's clear Russians by the very virtue of being Russian don't care about international law even when they're following it to the letter. Americans meanwhile -- oh they care about the law deeply, even as they're burning a hole through it the size of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria combined.
The Syrian oppositionists Kerry was talking to are a piece of work as well:
And that is when the conversation reached an impasse, with Ms. Shehwaro, an educator and social media activist, recalling hopes for a more direct American role.
“So you think the only solution is for somebody to come in and get rid of Assad?” Mr. Kerry asked.
“Yes,” Ms. Shehwaro said.
“Who’s that going to be?” he asked. “Who’s going to do that?”
“Three years ago, I would say: You. But right now, I don’t know.”
And this is exactly why the rebellion in Syria is dominated by Islamist fundamentalists, many of them foreign. Because Syria's pro-western constituency that Ms. Shehwaro stems from doesn't have the constitution to fight, but thinks instead the height of courage is lobbying the global hegom to bomb and invade your country.