Rich Galen

I am writing this at shortly after 8 PM on Monday. By the time you read this, we might have dropped a hell fire missile on Bashir al-Assad's head.

Not really, but there are some interesting ironies about the Syrian situation.

Secretary of State John Kerry (who famously - or infamously - pretended to throw his Vietnam-era medals over the White House fence in 1971.

When I write "pretended" it is because, according to ABC News, Kerry said during a news program on the Washington, DC NBC affiliate on November 6, 1971:

"I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals."

Later, during the Presidential campaign, he claimed ""I threw my ribbons. I didn't have my medals. It is very simple."

Working definition of a difference without a distinction.

When he was running for President in 2007, Sen. Barack Obama boasted that he opposed the war in Iraq during a speech in Iowa, thus:

"I don't talk about my opposition to the war to say 'I told you so.' I wish the war had gone differently. But the reason I talk about it is because I truly believe that the judgment … that each of us showed on the most important foreign policy decision of our lives is the best indicator you have of how each of us will make those decisions going forward." [emphasis mine]

Yeah. Well.

Yesterday, John Kerry, stood at the lectern in the Department of State briefing room laying the groundwork for an attack on Syria generally and maybe its president, Bashar al-Assad. He said:

"Last night, after speaking with foreign ministers from around the world about the gravity of this situation, I went back and I watched the videos [of the chemical weapon attacks]."

The State Department has not issued a listing of the foreign ministers Kerry with whom spoke, but it's a good bet that one of them was not the foreign minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov.

The Associated Press said that Lavrov's position on all this is:

"Western nations calling for military action against Syria have no proof that the Syrian government is behind the alleged chemical weapons attack … [they] 'cannot provide evidence' of the chemical weapons attack."

Wait. There's more!

Our old friends at al Jazeera quoted Assad in the Russian newspaper Izvestia as saying:

"The United States would face failure if it attacked Syria."

Which reminded me, just a little, of Saddam Hussein - the late Saddam Hussein - saying that if the U.S. attempted to thwart his invasion of Kuwait we would face "the mother of all battles."

George H.W. Bush kicked the Iraqis out of Kuwait, you may remember.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at