The Obama national security team that wants to go to war with Syria and demonizes President Bashar Assad is the same group that, as senators, urged reaching out to the dictator.
As a bloc on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, President Obama, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Vice President Joseph R. Biden all opposed the George W. Bush administration’s playing tough with Mr. Assad.But of course, just like supposedly being "anti-war," what Kerry, Obama, Hagel, Bite Me, Hillary and Pelosi really were was anti-Bush. It was all about the Democrap Party's anger about Election 2000.
None grew closer to Mr. Assad and promoted him in Washington more than Mr. Kerry.
“President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had,” Mr. Kerry, as a senator from Massachusetts, told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in March 2011. He predicted that Mr. Assad would change for the better.
...In 2005, the Assad regime rocked Lebanon by playing a role in Hezbollah’s assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who had led an anti-Syrian bloc in Beruit.
By that year, Mr. Assad had begun helping al Qaeda by opening his country to jihadists who passed through the Damascus airport on their way to safe houses and then across the border into Iraq, where they killed U.S. troops.
The Bush administration made repeated demands in Damascus for Mr. Assad to stop the flow of al Qaeda killers but saw no progress.
Noting that behavior, the Bush national security team refused to engage Mr. Assad in peace talks until he changed. That stance riled senators, especially Mr. Kerry, Mr. Hagel and Mr. Biden.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained the administration’s position on Mr. Assad to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2007.
“If there were any evidence, any hint, that Syria was changing its course — and it should just change its course — we don’t have an ideological problem with talking to Syria,” Ms. Rice testified. “We’ve talked with them under this administration. We could do it again.
“But the problem is, they are not engaging in constructive behavior. And we don’t see how that would change, currently, by talking to them.”
Mr. Biden, then the committee’s chairman, scolded her and reminded her of her duties.