The Syrian Civil War Grinds On, Largely Forgotten

By Charles Glass, July 25, 2019

Charlie Glass is among the most knowledgable on Syria.  Would it not have been better for former Secretary of State John Kerry to have sought counsel from Glass and other highly experienced, objective observers, rather than end up pulling out his hair in acknowledgment that NOT EVEN HE, NOT EVEN JOHN KERRY could figure out how to handle an — admittedly situation about which he and his advisers enjoyed abysmal ignorance.

Here is a painfully revealing remark made by Kerry at a Washington conference convened by The Atlantic on September 29, 2016.  Ray was there, but no one he talked to seemed able, or willing, to see the remark for what it was.  In a word, what let Kerry to believe that he could “align forces?”

SECRETARY KERRY: — but Syria is as complicated as anything I’ve ever seen in public life, in the sense that there are probably about six wars or so going on at the same time – Kurd against Kurd, Kurd against Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sunni, Shia, everybody against ISIL, people against Assad, Nusrah. This is as mixed-up sectarian and civil war and strategic and proxies, so it’s very, very difficult to be able to align forces. So it’s —

MR STEVE CLEMONS: So in the middle of that, why did you think you could get a ceasefire?

And so it goes.