‘Tis the season for looking back on the year ending and reflecting upon one’s accomplishments, and President Obama’s State Department is getting in on the fun, led by everyone’s favorite feckless Secretary of State John Kerry.Spokesman John Kirby offered the State Department’s reflections on its “wins” in 2015. Considering the list is coming from the perspective of the Obama administration, you might guess some of the accomplishments the department categorizes as “wins,” even if we would categorize them as a disaster at worst, or a joke at best. The Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the climate agreement probably come to your mind as likely “wins” about which this administration might boast.
But there’s one “win” on the list that — even trying to understand it from the Obama administration’s flawed perspective — is simply astonishing to see. Kirby claims credit for “bringing peace” to Syria, thanks to the stellar leadership of Secretary of State John Kerry in peace talks.Wait, what?
Even the liberal rag Politico clearly thinks this one’s a stretch:
The State Department is counting “bringing peace” to Syria as one of its wins in 2015.A boastful recap of the State Department’s accomplishments, written by spokesman John Kirby, includes the bold subheadline of “Bringing Peace, Security to Syria” above a more modest entry talking about U.S. aid for those affected by the country’s turmoil and the U.S. push for a political transition from President Bashar Assad.
While Secretary of State John Kerry has played an integral role in the Syrian peace talks, the country remains embroiled in a nasty civil war and terrorized by the Islamic State.
“The United States and many members of the international community have stepped up to aid the Syrian people during their time of need — the United States has led the world in humanitarian aid contributions since the crisis began in 2011,” Kirby said.Kirby wrote that the Syrians have “borne a heavy load” but that under Kerry’s stewardship the United Nations passed a U.S.-sponsored resolution to create a road map for Syria going forward.
A road map for Syria? By road map, does he mean a plan to help hundreds of thousands of “refugees” get the heck out of Dodge and flee the war-torn, ISIS-infested country and resettle over here in the United States?
The apparent declaration of a win echoes comments from President Barack Obama, who has been heavily criticized for calling the Islamic State a “JV team” in a January 2014 article and for calling the group’s territorial expansion efforts “contained,” just days before the Paris attacks.Kirby also explicitly touched on the Islamic State, also called ISIL, saying that the U.S. is “winning [the] fight against violent extremists.”
“Although challenges remain, we have made positive strides over the last year, including in our fight against ISIL,” Kirby said. “This forward progress will only continue as more countries pledge resources to the anti-ISIL effort and as citizens around the world increasingly reject ISIL’s misguided ideology.”
The notion that the U.S. is winning the fight against violent extremists is in stark contrast to the recent CNN/ORC poll that shows Americans are more likely to say terrorists are winning against the United States than they have been at any point since the September 11 attacks. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they’re not satisfied with how the war on terror is progressing under the Obama administration — well above the previous high, during the Bush administration, or 61% dissatisfied in 2007.
Hard to see how the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 and the San Bernardino, California terror attack that killed 14 — in the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 — figure into “winning the fight against violent extremists.”
Kirby cited the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, hosted in February, which he called “monumental.”
The only thing “monumental” I can see here is the delusion of this State Department. Once again, I have to remind you, this is not the Onion. This is Obama’s America.
One. More. Year.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]