Last night, BBC interviewed one of the Labor MPs who orchestrated the defeat of Obama’s war ambitions in the British Parliament. The MP was making the point that John Kerry has done more damage to British/American relations than any American official in recent years. As he was noting, Bashir Assad is, to many Brits, the face of modern Britain–an immigrant who came from his homeland to England, did well as a doctor, and then returned to Syria to take over his father’s business. Call Assad what you want, but the truth is that he is far more enlightened and western than his father, due in very large part to his exposure to Western values. Attack Assad, the MP said, and you get a lot of Brits just plain ticked off, because increasingly Assad looks more like Britain than Cameron.
But leaving that aside, the MP was also noting that Kerry looks like a lunatic spiraling out of control. Within the world community, there was never any doubt that while Kerry was saying otherwise there was no evidence linking Assad to a chemical weapon attack, nor was there any basis for the United States to ignore the world community even if such evidence existed, and it was pretty clear that Congress and the American people weren’t buying in any more than the Brits were. As he said, Kerry and Obama don’t have to express public gratitude toward Putin for saving their bacon, but for Kerry to be threatening Russia and Syria during political negotiations as if the Americans hold any cards (If you don’t do what we want, we’ll go to Congress and get humiliated!) just reeks of dislocation from reality. I liked the last comment from the MP,which just goes to show how far BBC doesn’t like Obama/Kerry either. “right now, the MP said, “the most Kerry and Obama can really do is propose to Putin their favorite lubricant.”