by VICTOR MEDINA
THE CHEMICAL ATTACK ON CIVILIANS BY THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT THIS WEEK HAS HIGHLIGHTED THE INCOMPETENCE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IN THEIR DEALINGS WITH SYRIA. JOHN KERRY AND SUSAN RICE BOTH CLAIMED SYRIA HAD VOLUNTARILY RID ITSELF OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS. AT THE TIME, BOTH DECLARED IT A VICTORY OF OBAMA POLICY TO SOLVE THE SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS PROBLEM. WE NOW KNOW THOSE CLAIMS WERE UNTRUE.
In an interview with National Public Radio in January, Rice claimed there were no Syrian chemical weapons left in the country. In the interview with Rachel Martin, she said Assad had voluntarily given them up.
She claimed the Obama administration had found “a solution that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would have never accomplished. But the fundamental problem in Syria persists, and that is there is enormous human suffering. And we, the United States and the international community, the U.N., Russia, everybody else…have not managed to find a negotiated solution, which by necessity would mean dealing with the problem of Assad continuing to govern Syria in the most violent and repressive way.”
When prodded about President Obama’s use of the term “red line” in dealing with Syria, Rice said this.
“It’s not for me to regret or otherwise. I think the President stated the U.S.. view, which is the use of chemical weapons is not something we are prepared to allow to persist. And we didn’t. We managed to accomplish that goal far more thoroughly than we could by some limited strikes against chemical targets.”
Now Rice must face the reality that even “limited strikes against chemical targets” could have saved some of the lives lost this week. It is now plain to see President Obama did not have the will.
HERE IS THE AUDIO OF THE RICE CLAIM.
The outcry leads us to revisit a 2014 claim from former Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry said in a television interview that in Syria, “we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”
Syria had agreed in 2013 to an ambitious program to destroy its chemical stockpiles under international supervision, as part of a deal brokered by Russia. When Kerry spoke in July 2014, the process seemed far along. Based on reports from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — which later won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts — we rated that claim Mostly True. There were caveats about incomplete information, but at the time, international experts said the claim largely held up.
Given recent events, we have pulled that fact-check (you can read an archived version here) because we now have many unanswered questions.
Kerry has a history of exaggerating. After all, this is the same John Kerry who was accused of overstating an injury to earn a Purple Heart in Vietnam. For Syria, however, there were no medals to be awarded. His lies about chemical weapons have now cost lives.
H/T: The Gateway Pundit