[President] Obama wasn't just reluctant to show solidarity in 2009, he feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran. In his new book, "The Iran Wars," Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon uncovers new details on how far Obama went to avoid helping Iran's green movement. Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America's support.
And of course, Syria--where we are now fighting--is just collateral damage in this diplomatic outreach to Iran, since Iran backed Assad and to avoid angering Iran we refused to help resistance to Assad when Assad was teetering and before jihadis flocked to Syria.
And Iraq War 2.0--which we are fighting to defeat ISIL which grew first in Syria--is the collateral damage of that Syrian civil war.
As Kerry, the architect of our recent foreign policy put it:
In one particularly revealing passage, Solomon captures the thinking of Kerry, who engaged in detailed negotiations over the deal in the final months of the talks. "So many wars have been fought over misunderstandings, misinterpretations, lack of effective diplomacy," Kerry told Solomon in a 2016 interview. "War is the failure of diplomacy."
War is the failure of diplomacy. That's debatable. Sometimes enemies are determined to have war. But Kerry believes it.
So what do you call two wars in Syria and Iraq?
I'm just going to remind you of how a few years ago the Obama administration scaled back their diplomatic objectives for the Middle East:
After a thorough review, the Obama administration has lowered its foreign policy objectives for the Middle East:
Susan Rice leads US to more modest Mideast strategy[.]
Expansive role of two years ago is scaled down[.]
At the United Nations last month, Obama laid out the priorities he has adopted as a result of the review. The United States, he declared, would focus on negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, brokering peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and mitigating the strife in Syria. Everything else would take a back seat.
Is that all? What will they do after lunch? Engineer the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
And here we are waging two wars in Syria and Iraq; and we have a strengthened Iran under nutball mullah rule that is still on the path to nuclear weapons and an emboldened Russia carving out a role in the Middle East.
We'd have to improve our diplomacy significantly to rise to the level of "failure."