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Kerry: Boots-on-the-ground is no big deal
A newsstand that's brimming with issues
Saturday, July 21, 2018, 06:01:UTC)(
31 October 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured Americans that President Barack Obama's decision to put "boots on the ground" in Syria is not at odds with his signature promise that re-electing him would be a way to avoid putting boots on the ground in Syria.
The Iraq War, now on tour in Syria, was designed not to put boots on the ground. American jets are never shot down, and even if they were, airmen now wear Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers rather than boots that might wind up on the ground.
However, Mr. Obama has now put 100 boots on the ground — 50 left and 50 right. The 50 Special Forces troops will be able to build perhaps one wing of a library or three or four portable classrooms. White House spokesman "Josh" "Earnest" stressed that their presence does not change the fundamental "strategy" and that the troops do not have a combat mission. Any combat will be incidental, and most will carry nothing more lethal than nail guns.
Mr. "Earnest" said the earlier promises of "no boots on the ground" first came in the context of removing Syrian President Bashar Assad if he should use chemical weapons, which would be crossing a red line, by way of explaining why the U.S. did nothing when he did. Now, however, Syria has become a haven for ISIS fighters. Which is different. They use American tanks and weapons abandoned by the freedom-fighters after they were trained by Mr. Obama's last, tiny, non-combat deployment.
Mr. Obama's time-tested policy of "leading from behind" has induced Russia to follow from in front, sending massive forces into Syria. ISIS, which Mr. Obama called the "junior varsity," curiously emerged to continue the fight after he masterfully destroyed the sophomores, juniors, and seniors of al-Qaeda, including star cheerleader Osama bin Laden. American boots, including the one in Mr. Kerry's mouth, will coax Russia to attack the real enemy rather than the forces the U.S. promised to protect. (And propping up Assad as a Russian puppet after Hillary Clinton tried to topple him, only that is Old News and it is time for the nation to Move On and focus on her "accomplishments.") Mr. "Earnest" said that rules of engagement, which may keep American and Russian forces from attacking each other, will be final within months. With luck, Russia will put similar constraints on its own forces soon after.
TV-watchers will remember Mitt Romney insisting that Russia remained a threat in the 2012 debates, until the broad in the middle weighed the facts and declared Mr. Obama the winner. Now, wistful Republicans toss Mr. Romney's name around as a possible savior, given Jeb Bush's self-induced injuries in all fields of endeavor except his fantasy league. Jebbers stated in the last Presidential debate that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was "on my team" and would surely become Secretary of Defense despite playing on offense. Mr. Romney in 2012 did a much better job of concealing the fact that he had no idea why he wanted to be President, and now he might be even better at it.
- Bradley Klapper "Kerry says US troops in Syria will only fight Islamic State". Associated Press, October 31, 2015
- Gregory Korte "16 times Obama said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria". USA Today, October 31, 2015