It’s possible that developments in Syria will prove John Kerry’s infamous admission wasn’t just fatuity, but, still, can’t Andrew Sullivan calm down?
It’s been awesome to watch today as all the jerking knees quieted a little and all the instant judgments of the past month ceded to a deeper acknowledgment (even among Republicans) of what had actually been substantively achieved: something that, if it pans out, might be truly called a breakthrough – not just in terms of Syria, but also in terms of a better international system, and in terms of Iran.
Obama has managed to insist on his red line on Syria’s chemical weapons, forcing the world to grapple with a new breach of international law, while also avoiding being dragged into Syria’s civil war. But he has also strengthened the impression that he will risk a great deal to stop the advance of WMDs (which presumably includes Iran’s nukes).
Like his good friend Hitchens said about George F. Will, Sullivan writes like a hack in a one-party state. The American public will not support wars for the sake of an inchoate Syrian opposition. It won’t support war with Iran. If this deal collapses, the recalcitrance of the Congress remains a fact. Yes, Russia is in it too. So what?
On a related note, Larison swats aside the uselessness of “isolationist” as descriptor and label:
The label inevitably misinforms and misleads in several unfortunate ways. Reasonable, debatable arguments to keep the U.S. out of specific foreign conflicts are treated as the embodiment of a phenomenon that doesn’t really exist, and we are supposed to recoil from those arguments because they are misleadingly labeled with a pejorative name that none of the people being described accepts. Making the case against “isolation” is exceedingly easy, because no one is arguing the case for it.