The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at The Wall Street Journal written by the editor, James Taranto.
Question and Answer
Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control
“Citizen Journalists Are About to Take Over Newsrooms”—headline, New York Post, March 9
Breaking News From 1513
“Bernie Sanders Discovers Florida”—headline, Politico.com, March 9
Bottom Story of the Day
“Ben and Jerry of Ice Cream Fame Back Bernie Sanders”–headline, March 10
‘Internally, I Went, Oops’
The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has a long, fascinating but somewhat unsettling essay about the Obama administration’s foreign policy. We may return to it in a later column but wanted to highlight a couple of bits about our favorite foil, John Kerry. Both have to do with the administration’s botched joke of a response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons in 2013:
But the president had grown queasy. In the days after the gassing of Ghouta, Obama would later tell me, he found himself recoiling from the idea of an attack unsanctioned by international law or by Congress. The American people seemed unenthusiastic about a Syria intervention; so too did one of the few foreign leaders Obama respects, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. She told him that her country would not participate in a Syria campaign. And in a stunning development, on Thursday, August 29, the British Parliament denied David Cameron its blessing for an attack. John Kerry later told me that when he heard that, “internally, I went, Oops.”
…Kerry turns out to be the administration’s most militaristic figure. He’s continued pushing for missile strikes against the Syrian regime, to little avail:
Obama has steadfastly resisted Kerry’s requests, and seems to have grown impatient with his lobbying. Recently, when Kerry handed Obama a written outline of new steps to bring more pressure to bear on Assad, Obama said, “Oh, another proposal?” Administration officials have told me that Vice President Biden, too, has become frustrated with Kerry’s demands for action. He has said privately to the secretary of state, “John, remember Vietnam? Remember how that started?”
We know what you’re thinking: Doesn’t he have that memory which is seared—seared—in him? Nah, that’s Cambodia. As far as we know, he’s never heard of Vietnam.
For more “Best of the Web” from The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto click here.