Kerry reaches Syria deal, but can we trust it?

John Kerry made a deal with Russia about Syria, but the real question now is whether it has any teeth and can we trust it. Photo: Kerry and Lavrov make a deal in Geneva (

CHARLOTTESeptember 16, 2013 – The breeze we felt over the weekend was the world exhaling a collective sign of relief following a diplomatic solution over Syria in Geneva, Switzerland.

Before we get too confident, however, there is much to be considered as to whether the arrangement has the necessary clout to make it work, or whether it was merely a delaying tactic to save face for everyone involved.

SEE RELATED: Syrian intelligence: Who do we believe? Consider the source

It would be nice to believe the negotiations worked as diplomacy should, but not long after the announcement was made, Barack Obama made the rounds of the Sunday news shows to extol the virtues of his foreign policy strategies.

As the old saying goes, “You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet.” In other words the process looked messy and frenzied, but all that mattered in the end was the result. Sometimes that is true. In sports they have a term for it called “winning ugly.”

As Obamas sees it, it doesn’t matter how we get there so long as we eventually accomplish the  goal. So that huge global sigh might have been fine for now, but it may only be temporary.

The words sound good for now and the timelines seem reasonable, but when we look back at the Obama administration’s track record, almost all of the “omelets” he has made have broken more than their share of eggs.

SEE RELATED: America’s Syrian policy: Victory for the Keystone Kops

There is an eerie “Neville Chamberlain” quality to the diplomatic efforts in Geneva that somehow don’t seem to provide the necessary confidence that all is well in world of statesmanship between the United States, Russia and the Middle East.

Obama likes to say that the sudden flurry of diplomatic wisdom emanating out of Geneva last week is the result of his coolness under pressure and his threats to use force in Syria. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Though the Obama administration would like us to believe that a misguided off-the-cuff remark by Secretary of State John Kerry in London was part of an elaborate White House strategy that was so cleverly utilized that Syria and Russia buckled under the sheer genius of the proposal. In fact, evidence shows it was closer to being the other way around.

For the moment the Syrian situation appears stabilized. At least as much as something can be stable in the Middle East. If you can call an uninterrupted civil war in Syria that rages on today stabilization then the agreement would have to be a success.

But what about the future? The focal point of Mideast turmoil has a way of shifting from country to country. Does that mean Iran will be next? Could it be that Bashar al-Assad was testing the United States commitment to the use of force as a trial run for Iran to proceed with their nuclear weapons program?

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is so concerned that he is preparing to propose a bill in congress now that gives the president the authority to strike against Iran immediately without all the delays we saw in Syria.

Certainly that would be a time saver that could greatly minimize the debate in the media and in Washington, except for the fact that Obama does not have a strong track record when it comes to making bold decisions about any issue, especially military force.

If we have learned nothing from the events o f 9/11/01 other than Islamic extremism is not going away, then this momentary intermission we are enjoying is only a prelude to another show-stopping  performance.

There is an eerie false sense of security about Syria’s willingness to give up its chemical weapons. Something is out of kilter. The press conferences and details may sound strong but they are filled with doubt thanks to so many other instances where the Obama administration has said one thing and done another.

Certainly a president and his staff are privy to inside information the public and media, do not possess, but there is little confidence that Barack Obama knows how to utilize that knowledge to make strong, well-informed decision.

In fact, more often than not, Obama makes no decision, until it is too late.

For a man who gained notoriety with his elegant oratory, Barack Obama’s words today sound tired, empty, unimaginative and suspicious. Obama’s delivery remains good, but meanings are not as convincing as before..

The America we once knew may not have always been right, but we were always confident that we were doing the right thing because we had leaders we believed.

Today we have a follower we do not trust.

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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

 His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at The Washington Times Communities

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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