It looks like the Obama administration has gone from bad (Hillary Clinton) to worse (John Kerry) at the State Department.
Blunder indeed.In what looks like an off-the-cuff blunder, Secretary of State John Kerry might have accidentally given Russian President Vladmir Putin the opportunity to muddy the international diplomatic waters and buy his friends in Syria some time.During a press briefing on Monday, Kerry said that Assad could avoid American air strikes by giving up all his chemical weapons within a week. Within hours, the State Department was forced to walk Kerry's new red line back with the claim that he was making a "rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used."It seems, then, reasonable to conclude that Kerry spoke out of turn. Kerry was not authorized to offer Syria an "out" or a new ultimatum. But Kerry's hypothetical hyperbole appears to have already backfired.In an obvious desire to make Kerry pay for his flub and throw a wrench in Obama's determination to go to war with Syria, Putin has seized upon Kerry's hypothetical and called on Syria to accept Kerry's offer and turn over all of its chemical weapons. No one believes Assad would ever willingly give up his chemical weapons, but should he agree to an offer the Obama administration did not mean to make, it could stall American action for weeks and even months.Syria is already warming to the idea.