The truly dismal, tentative way President Obama has approached this problem after he created it with his 'red line' language has been a classic historic case-study in How Not To Do Diplomacy#9724; The US secretary of state has said that President Bashar al-Assad has one week to hand over his entire stock of chemical weapons to avoid a military attack. But John Kerry added that he had no expectation that the Syrian leader would comply. - Patrick Wintour/THE GUARDIAN
◼ NO RED LINE: State Dept dismisses ultimatum as 'rhetorical argument'
...the State Department quickly dismissed the comment as more of a "rhetorical argument" than an offer.
In a London news conference this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to a question about whether Assad could do anything to avoid war by saying "he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting."
Kerry delivered the statement almost dismissively and quickly said Assad had no intention of giving up "weapons he denies using." But it was still the first time such a suggestion had been made by the Obama administration.
The State Department was forced to clarify the remarks, calling them "rhetorical" and making clear its desire to strike could be tempered by a Syrian offer. Kerry's point, according to spokeswoman Jen Psaki, "was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons."
◼ Via Drudge
◼ Kerry pushes attack as 'unbelievably small' - THE GLOBE AND MAIL
’We’re not talking about war’: Kerry outlines ’unbelievably small’ strike on Syria◼ WH Sends Out Rice, Who Misled on Benghazi, to Make Case - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
SAMANTHA POWER: ILLEGAL, BUT NECESSARY...
NEUTERED: Biden sent out of town as Obama pitches Congress...
◼ Obama on Syria: Incoherent Incompetence -- or the Decline of America by Design? - RUSH