RUSH: It's surreal. We are a worldwide joke and everybody knows it but us. You know, what's happened on this Syria thing? Have you kept up with this? This is a Saturday Night Live skit! I will try to make this understandable. It's what we do here, my friends: Make the complex understandable. This is not easy to say, but I'm telling you: In the eyes of the world, this country has to be a laughingstock. It has to be a joke, and most of the people of this country don't even know it. They're absorbed with Miley Cyrus or what have you.
So basically John Kerry, in typical John Kerry fashion, misspeaks. He commits a major gaffe. He attempted to walk the gaffe back. He attempted to take it back. He attempted to recall the gaffe. The Russians, Vladimir Putin, and Bashar Assad, leapt on the gaffe and took it -- and the John Kerry gaffe has become the official policy of the United States in Syria with Obama and the media now claiming credit for a brilliant strategy! This is the Limbaugh Theorem on display.
We have an absolute joke of a secretary of state making an incompetent comment that is so bad for us that the Russians and Assad glom on to it and say they accept it. Kerry tries to walk it back. They say, "No, no, no! We're going with this." Obama then says, "We can take this," and then he quotes Reagan. He says, "All we gotta do here is 'trust and verify' that the Syrians actually abide by their agreement with this gaffe." The media, in the meanwhile, mobilized at full speed to make it look like this whole thing was a strategic initiative orchestrated by Obama, brilliantly and flawlessly executed after being brilliantly conceived.
What we have here essentially is Kerry saying something stupid and realizing it and trying to walk it back. Now, let me see if I can give you the details, and I've got stories here that are time-stamped. I time-stamp them, for me. If you think I'm the only one in the media thinking this, The Politico has a piece today: "The United States of Weakness," but it's not what you think. It's not Obama's problem. The reason we are weak is because the media is so fractured.
The American people can no longer sit down at 6:30 every night and watch one of three networks and find out what happened that day. That's why so many people are watching Miley Cyrus or Bachelor/Bachelorette, or Dancing With the Stars, or Miley Cyrus again, or whatever. They don't know what's happening, and Politico laments that not even a presidential speech now can permeate the rest of the media noise so that even a brilliant president like Obama has a tough time reaching all the people.
And then they find a way somehow -- I kid you not -- to blame Bush for that. It really is surreal. Now, folks, I don't mean to beat this to death, but I'm gonna try to explain this. As I say, I have included time stamps here on these articles that I put together, as much for myself as to be able to relate to you, to show the timeline. It's a great example of the Limbaugh Theorem because it shows how the media help Obama get away with the most outrageous claims.
The latest Syria development began with what was an obvious gaffe from John Kerry, which he immediately tried to walk back, and then he even called the Russians to tell them it was a gaffe! The State Department issued several statements confirming that it was a gaffe. But, lo and behold, Vladimir Putin has jumped on the gaffe, and he's taken Kerry's offer, and now the White House and their media minions that promote them have realized that this could provide a way out for Obama without ever having to strike Syria.
So now it's not a gaffe.
Now it becomes brilliantly conceived, flawlessly executed statecraft by Obama and Kerry. And everything Kerry and the State Department said about it being a gaffe and trying to walk it back or recall it is immediately forgotten. Furthermore, we are now told by Obama and his media minions that this option is something Obama has been discussing with Putin for some time, apparently in secret. Keep in mind that Kerry said it was a gaffe. He was scared to death when the Syrians and Russians accepted it.
Byron York -- you know, we follow Byron here occasionally. Yes, I'll get to the gaffe here in just a second. That is fundamental. But I want to explain something first. Byron York at the DC Examiner claims that this policy proposal, the Kerry gaffe, was actually proposed as a quasi-joke by the comedian Albert Brooks on Twitter, and he finds the Twitter post of Albert Brooks, and it is almost verbatim what Kerry said.
First, the Reuters story. Let's just start here in order. This is 7:22 a.m. yesterday. "Secretary of State John Kerry was making a rhetorical comment when he said on Monday that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad would not hand over his country's chemical weapons. Kerry told a news briefing on Monday that Assad could avoid a military strike by turning over all his chemical weapons within a week but added that Assad was not about to do that.
"'Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used,' a US State Department spokeswoman said in an emailed statement." Albert Brooks -- I kid you not -- according to Byron York, made a joke on Twitter: "Why don't we just tell Assad to give up his chemical weapons, and let the international community or the Russians hold 'em?"
So Kerry ran with it, claiming that it was just a rhetorical comment. It was not serious. Of course, Putin glommed right on to it. "That's a great idea! Assad will give up his chemical weapons, and we'll control 'em." When that happened, when Kerry's rhetorical gaffe... His "stream of consciousness" is what the State Department is trying to say it was. When the Russians accepted it, that was panic because Kerry just had diarrhea of the mouth. He was just thinking out loud.
He was trying to sound smart. It was typical John Kerry trying to sound like a smart guy, trying to sound like a European. You know, he imitates Europeans all the time. He'd love to be one. He told a news briefing on Monday that Assad could avoid a military strike by turning over all of his chemical weapons within a week. He was just talking like you might sit around with some friends and talk about what a friend of yours might do to avoid problems at work. He's speculating.
Secretaries of state don't do this, except insecure ones that are just obsessed with everybody knowing how smart they are, and it was so bad... Again, folks, yesterday morning -- just a little over 22 hours ago, probably 26 hours ago now -- Kerry suggested (summarized), "You know, Assad could avoid all this if he just turn over all those chemical weapons to the international community, the United Nations, Russia, and let me them handle it. Take 'em out of Assad's hands. Yeah, that'd be the right thing to do!"
The State Department said, "Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used." The State Department then said, "His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons," and yet that's exactly what they've agreed to do! Folks, I can't keep a straight face.
So now this has become, in the media, a brilliant Obama strategy that he was discussing with Putin in secret long ago. But again, I can't emphasize enough: Kerry just kind of threw it out there as a stream-of-consciousness thought. The State Department was so scared Kerry said that, that they tried to walk it back. "No, no! It was just a rhetorical exercise. He was just speaking. He didn't mean anything. He knows this isn't gonna happen," and yet here it's happened. This is the Keystone Cops.
This is a bunch of rumbling, bumbling... I don't know how to describe it. That's just one story. Then here at 4:15 yesterday afternoon, also from Reuters, headline: "Kerry Tells Russia His Syria Comments were Not Meant as a Proposal." Now, keep in mind that what Kerry said is now the official policy. It is the policy of this government. All day yesterday, Kerry and the State Department are trying to walk it back because it was a gaffe.
So Reuters' headline, 7:22 yesterday morning, "Kerry Speaking Rhetorically Over Syria Turning in Weapons," and then same day, yesterday afternoon, "Kerry Tells Russia His Syria Comments were Not Meant as a Proposal." Here's the lede to the story. "Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov his comments about Syria averting a US military strike by turning over its chemical weapons within a week were rhetorical and not meant to be a proposal, a senior US Official said on Monday.
"Kerry also voiced 'serious skepticism' when Lavrov offered to explore the idea, saying that the United States would take a look at any serious proposal, but this could not be a reason to slow the White House's efforts to secure congressional authorization to use force against Syria..." From AP, 6:26 last night, two hours after the Reuters story: "Obama, Putin Talked About Securing Syria Chemical Weapons." So it turns out this was the plan all along. At least that's what the media wants us to believe.
This is journalistic malpractice. It's embarrassing. It is as transparent as it can be. "President Barack Obama says he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about a potential plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international control. Syria has welcomed an idea floated Monday for it to hand over chemical weapons for destruction to avoid a US military strike. The public proposal from Russia followed what seemed to be an offhand remark..." (laughing)
It wasn't offhand at all. It turns out it was a typical, brilliantly nuanced strategy! That's what they want us all to believe. It's unreal, folks. Here's the Albert Brooks. On Friday night Brooks sent out a Syria joke: "Russia and the US could unite for one week..." This is a tweet. "Russia and the US could unite for one week, go into Syria, remove the chemicals, and let them continue fighting," and that's what's happened. That was Brooks on Friday night.
That's the first known published remark of this strategy: A joke from a comedian. So a comedian has set US foreign policy -- and, by the way, folks, the fighting can continue. Assad, having agreed to this, has resumed bombing the rebels in Damascus suburbs with conventional weapons, which is apparently fine. He doesn't get in trouble for that. As long as you kill people with standard, ordinary, everyday bombs and cherry bombs and fireworks and dynamite, that's cool.
You use chemical weapons and you're gonna really tick off John Kerry and Barack Obama. So they're gonna really move in there and do something. So the attack, whatever this all was started by... Everybody in our government thinking that Assad's a bad guy, has taken out his own people, these blessed rebels, and he had to be stopped 'cause he's using weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons. So Albert Brooks proposes a joke -- and, by the way, said let the fighting continue.
You know, "take the chemical weapons away and let 'em continue fighting and may the best man win," and that is our policy! And the media's trying to make it look like that's what it was all along. Let's go to the audio sound bites. We'll start here at number one. Folks, they're so excited. Kerry's... (sigh) Well, it is stupidity, and I'll tell you what's stupid about it is, Obama even quotes Reagan, "Trust but verify." The Russians are involved here?
The Russians and Assad are promising to get rid of chemical weapons, and that's it? We accept it? Course we do! Of course we do, because the media's on Obama's side! They can make it look like Obama's a force of nature and Obama's very presence scared the heck out of Assad and Putin, and Assad and Putin ran in there and they grabbed those chemical weapons and they got 'em out of Syria, all because they're so afraid of Obama.
That's the way this is being portrayed. Here's a media montage. Listen and soak it all in, folks.
DIANE SAWYER: What a turn of events today.
ERIN BURNETT: This proposal from John Kerry, things have changed in the past few hours it seems.
ANDREA MITCHELL: The Russians, perhaps seeking a way out of the crisis, jumped on it.
JESSICA YELLIN: The John Kerry goof this morning which may have actually been a goof that saves the President.
ANDERSON COOPER: An offhanded remark. A goof.
JOHN KING: (b-roll noise) A goof, a mess-up. I've never seen a day like this.
STEPHANIE CUTTER: This is a great development! We could potentially avert a military action! Something worked!
MARTHA RADDATZ: If he can get some sort of breakthrough here with Syria, they don't have to strike.
VAN JONES: A god comes down from the machine and just fixes everything. Deus ex machina. The gaffe that saves the world!
WOLF BLITZER: Diplomatic, national security win for the US, right? The president would have to deserve a lot of credit.
ANDREW SULLIVAN: Just a fantastic end result for the president!
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: If this works, it is genius!
RUSH: Folks, I don't know how much longer I can do this. I don't know how much longer I can subject myself to this every day and stay sane. I really, really don't.
RUSH: Folks, do you realize what's happening? Somebody has finally taken John Kerry seriously at one of the most inopportune times for United States. It just illustrates that all of this always has been about nothing but Obama. It's not about the rebels. It's not about saving lives. It's not about compassion. It's not about this, these dreaded chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction. Obama, in the heat of a presidential campaign, draws a red line.
He says, "Not while I'm here," and nobody listened to him, and nobody paid him any mind because he doesn't scare anybody. The US is demonstrably now, either in reality or simply because of who runs it, too weak to do anything about it around the world. We're not going to, and everybody knows it. The first chance Obama had to slither out of a commitment to use force, he took it. A John Kerry mistake. A John Kerry gaffe.
Like white on rice, they attached themselves to this, and now the media's in the process -- even though acknowledging that Kerry committed a gaffe -- of talking about how genius it was. "You know, even when Kerry is stupid, he's a genius. Even when we liberals make goofs, we are geniuses. We are so smart," and then it was learned that Obama, smarter than everybody, had be talking about this with Putin behind the scenes for weeks and nobody knew. We're being asked to believe this.
But here's something interesting: The rebels in Syria are opposed to this. I have it right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers. "Syrian opposition..." That would be the rebels. "Syrian Rebels Against New Kerry Plan to Avoid Strike." Says right here "The Syrian political opposition is dead set against the brand-new Obama [regime] policy to pursue a new diplomatic negotiation with Russia in an effort to avoid a military strike on Syria.."
Now, wait a minute, now. I thought we were aligned with the rebels. I thought that we were trying to protect the rebels. Now the rebels are getting the excrement kicked out of 'em because Assad's going back to suing standard conventional weapons -- which, apparently, is okay. We have no problem with that. Obama didn't say not to use those. So I guess our alliance with the rebels is out the window, too. Poof! Up in smoke, as it were.
RUSH: Now, I have a question. We all know -- well, those of you in this audience know -- that there's some question as to who actually has been using the chemical weapons in Syria. There's credible evidence... In fact, there's more today here in the Stack of Stuff and the audio sound bites. There's more evidence today that the rebels were using the chemical weapons. This is not to say that Assad doesn't have any, but he may not be the only one possessing them.
Assad has claimed all along that he never fired them, he never used them. That has been his position. So Kerry comes along thinking out loud, "Well, you know what we could do? Syria could give those weapons to Russia, and get 'em out of the country, and let the fighting continue, and get the weapons at least out of the country." We immediately realized how stupid it was. I mean, to bring Russia into this? To give chemical weapons to Russian supervision and to trust them that the weapons are being taken out of Syria?
Anyway, the State Department started walking it back. "Nah, it was just a rhetorical exercise. Secretary Kerry really didn't mean it. It was a goof." So the media said it was a goof, but Assad and Putin said, "We accept it! We want it!" They raise their hands. "We accept it! We accept it!" So Assad, who claims he didn't even use them, has given them up. The rebels, who others are saying with credibility also used them, are not giving them up. So let's say...
It's a good week for this to happen here. This is all about making Obama look good, folks. You have to understand this. It's not about anything else, and the way this has transpired proves it and the way the media is covering it proves it. It's all about yanking Obama out of a mess, a huge one. But now his address to the nation tonight is gonna be totally different than what he was gonna go out and try to prepare everybody for a strike, and then Kerry...
This is kind of like Biden, you know, letting it out there that the regime supports gay marriage right before the Democrat convention. Obama had to go out and fix it, 'cause up to that point Obama wasn't supporting gay marriage, and Biden went out there and did it and led Obama into it. It may have been by design. Who knows? This wasn't. This was a Kerry gaffe. But let's say Assad does give up his weapons. I don't think that's gonna happen. I think the bottom line is Assad's not gonna give anything up.
But the Russians are gonna say, "Yes, he did! We've got 'em and the international community has 'em," and whoever the version of Hans Blix is these days will say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah! They gave up their chemical weapons." Then what happens when somebody uses them again? Assad will say, "Da-da-da! I don't have 'em! I gave 'em way. I mean. It must be these rebels using them." (laughing) Jeez. Oh, my Lord. Sorry. "Oh, my aching head."
Another story her from Reuters: "Syria accepted a Russian..." This is today. This is at 9:30 this morning. Time-stamping everything 'cause it's crucial. "Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from US military strikes," dadelut dadelut dadelut dadelut "while its jets returned to the sky to bomb rebel positions in Damascus for the first time since the West threatened force.'"
So Obama... (laughing) I'm sorry to laugh at this. There's nothing funny about it. It's not funny for the people living through this. So Assad says, "Oh, yeah! I'll gladly give up my chemicals. I'm not even firing 'em off anyway. I'm not using 'em. You can have 'em for a week, whatever. Putin will be glad to take 'em off my hands. We'll get 'em back by Christmas. What the hell? No big deal." So everybody assumes chemical weapons are gonna leave Syria.
While the chemical weapons are on the way out, Assad resumes attacking the rebels who side we're supposedly on. So the rebels are getting the excrement kicked out of 'em again in the Damascus suburbs, Assad has launched the attacks, and nobody cares. All that matters is Obama said, "No chemical weapons," and there are no chemical weapons. "See? See how good he is? See how messiah he is? See how powerful he is? See how brilliant he is? See how respected he is? See how tough he is? See how strong he is?"
That's what all this is about. Meanwhile, the people whose side we claim to be on are getting killed in renewed action, and Assad is doing it with impunity 'cause he gave up his chemical weapons. Again, he claimed all along he never used them. So if they do show up, if they're used again at some point in the future, he's got an out. "Don't look at me! I gave them to Putin. The UN's got control of mine. I don't have any of those things. I got rid of 'em. Obama scared the hell out of me. I got rid of 'em."
Here's Kerry. You gotta here this.
This is this morning. He's testifying at the House Armed Services Committee on proposed military strikes in Syria over chemical weapons use. Kerry is proud of his gaffe. Now, again, folks, let me give you the time stamp. Sorry to be repetitive here. Yesterday morning at 7:20, Kerry was "speaking rhetorically" over Syria turning in weapons. As soon as Kerry made this gaffe, the State Department ran out and said it was a gaffe, that he didn't mean it. He was just making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and the unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons.
He never thought he would do it. That's what he said, and Assad picked up on it with Putin and so now they've got a gaffe on their hands. Then at 4:15 yesterday afternoon Kerry tells Russia his Syria comments were "not meant as a proposal." So Kerry makes a gaffe and tries to walk it back. He then called the Russians and told them it was a gaffe, he didn't mean it. He said it's not a serious proposal. Then the State Department issued several statements confirming it was a gaffe and not serious and he didn't mean it.
But then Putin jumped on it, and now it has become genius!
Here's Kerry testifying this morning...
KERRY: Make no mistake. Make no mistake about why this idea has any potential legs at all, and why it is that the Russians have reached out to the Syrians and why the Syrians have initially suggested they might be interested. It's the credible threat of force that has been on the table for these last weeks that has, for the first time, brought this regime to even acknowledge that they have a chemical weapons arsenal! It is only because of the threat of force that we are discussing today, and that threat is more compelling if Congress stands with the commander-in-chief.
RUSH: So here's Kerry, an anti-war American if there ever was one, who does not like the use of force. When any other president has threatened the use of force, Kerry has been critical of them, as being a "bully" and threatening to "impose" the United States policies on the lesser nations of the world. He has been critical forever of the threatened use of force. Now here he is giving the threatened use of force all the credit for Assad basically turning into a coward and caving and giving up.
He's admitting for the first time that he had chemical weapons. Did he really? You realize, there isn't gonna be anything backing this up. We're gonna accept the word of Assad and Putin that this removal of chemical weapons from Syria has occurred. These liberals, they believe their own mumbo jumbo. Their arrogance and their conceit leads them to think that everybody believes what they say, and is scared of 'em.
So now it was the Obama implied threat of force. Well, just what kind of threat was it? Let's go back. Obama said (summarized), "It isn't gonna be much. A couple of missiles, maybe take a half hour. We never threatened major military action. We did just the opposite." Kerry kept calling it "incredibly small." We didn't threaten anything. We kept trying to tell the world... I remember making the point yesterday. It's what liberals do.
"Oh, no! We're not like Bush. We're not gonna be irresponsible." The spokeskid, Jay Carney, said, "We're not gonna be irresponsible. We're not gonna be like Bush. We're not gonna go in there and do Shock and Awe. We're not gonna go in there just start leveling country. No, no, no!" They started talking about how small the hit would be. Yet today, they want to tell us Assad's quaking in his boots, scared to death over the threatened use of force. The sad thing is, this is not good, either. The sad thing here is, everybody involved here is probably laughing themselves silly like we all are.