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Kerry Tries To Lay Out Case Against Syria, Says Chemical Attack Killed 1,429 – CORRECTION

Secretary Of State John Kerry Speaks On Syria At The State Department
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Secretary of State John Kerry described how the government in Syria, led by President Bashar al-Assad, used chemical weapons in an attack on its own citizens, killing 1,429 people, including 426 children. The problem? Kerry (reportedly) used a photo from the 2003 Iraq War. Kerry then suggested that the United States must respond, or take the chance that other dictators might act similarly.

“History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator’s wanton use of weapons of mass destruction,” Kerry said during his speech at the State Department. “Will [other dictators] remember that the Assad regime was stopped from those weapons’ current or future use? Or will they remember that the world stood aside and created impunity?” – Kerry

The problem is that in the effort to build support for unilateral US interference, he used a photo from the 2003 Iraq War. The photographer, Marco di Lauro, said he nearly “fell off his chair” when he saw it was being used to promote a war in Syria. [This has information was provided by BBC and purported that the photo was used to push for an attack against Syria, Kerry did not use the photo] The Administration has an uphill battle convincing its closest NATO partners to come on board. France (“our oldest ally,” said Kerry) has indicted it will support action, while Great Britain’s parliament voted on Thursday not to intervene. The United Nations Security Council is deadlocked, with Syrian allies Russia and China opposing any foreign intervention.

U.N. inspectors are in Syria at the moment, and it is unlikely that any military action will proceed until they leave on Saturday.

“The primary question is really no longer, what do we know?” Kerry said. “The question is, what are we—we collectively—what are we in the world going to do about it?”

After this latest faux pax to attempt illicit support from her allies and the American public, it may be harder than ever to sell a case for war.

[Reuters, WSJ, BBC]

Thanks to Jeremy Kilgore for pointing out the error. I apologize for any confusion caused by this article.


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