Just a few years ago, President Obama said the time for talking was done, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must go.
The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people. We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.
Several months later, Obama’s then-Press Secretary, the Prince of Prescience Jay Carney, said Assad was finished – through, done, I tell ya.
The fact of the matter is that the pressure on Assad continues to intensify. He’s been — he has dwindling financial resources. He has dwindling access to what he needs to continue to govern. His regime has lost control of parts of the country. There are a number of indications of the desire to depart from the regime by senior Syrian government and military officials. These are telltale signs that Assad’s future is very limited at best.
And we continue to work with the international community to do everything we can to enhance the pressure on him, to make it clear to everyone that they should not want to place a bet on the Assad regime because that is a losing bet — and it is a losing bet in pure realpolitik terms, but it’s also a losing bet, obviously, in terms of being on the right side of the people of Syria.
Well that was three years ago. If you bet on Assad, you won.
Now, Secretary of State John Kerry wants to negotiate.
But how can you negotiate with someone who isn’t there? Oh, wait, he is still there.
Now the same people who brought you the demise of Assad are bringing you the fully verifiable deal that will keep Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.
Place your bets! Except this time, your gambling with your life.