Pat Buchanan: Is Kerry In denial?
Consider. At Davos, Switzerland, Kerry called it a "myth" that America is withdrawing, and "the most bewildering version of this disengagement myth is about a supposed U.S. retreat from the Middle East."
Syria is "someone else's civil war," says President Obama. If we do any strikes there, promised Kerry, they will be "unbelievably small," and rest assured there will be "no (U.S.) boots on the ground."
Moreover, a Pew poll last fall found that 52 percent of the nation approves of U.S. disengagement, saying America should "mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own."
To his credit, the secretary has undertaken three diplomatic initiatives, the success of any one of which could earn him a Nobel.
Yet Kerry's own undiplomatic conduct may be imperiling two of his initiatives, and naivete and hubris may be blinding him to the coming collapse of the third.
"There is no way ... that the man who led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern."
Dismissing Kerry's call for a transitional government without Assad, Moallem implied that not only was Kerry's position irrelevant — Assad currently holds the whip hand in Syria and is going nowhere — but irrational from the standpoint of U.S. national interests.
The Washington Post backed Moallem with a report that Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on all jihadists in Syria to line up in "one rowlike, solid structure in confronting your sectarian, secularist enemy," the Assad regime, that is backed by "Iran, Russia and China."
Asked what would happen should Iran backslide on the new interim nuclear agreement, Kerry rattled America's rockets:
Who is Kerry to threaten a war Congress has never authorized?
The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard dismissed Kerry's threat as "ridiculous," called his negotiating strategy "bankrupt" and warned that "the revolutionary people" of Iran are anxious for battle with the Americans.
Kerry now says that Iran will have to "dismantle" centrifuges. But is not America's objective here proof positive Iran has no nuclear weapon or weapons program, and that its nuclear program is peaceful?
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon says that Kerry "is acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor," that his peace plan "is not worth the paper it is written on," that he wishes Kerry would get his Nobel prize now and leave Israel alone.
Kerry is heading into a minefield. And so are we.