McCain Vs. Kerry: Who is More Delusional?
The one time Senate colleagues are trading barbs over Syria, but McCain and Lindsey Graham took it to a new level Wednesday.
Add this to the list of monikers people have used to describe John Kerry: “Not Delusional.”
The backhanded compliment came from the combined pen of Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who in a blistering statement on Wednesday sarcastically applauded Kerry for taking a hard stance with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over the Russian bombing campaign in Syria.
“Finally, a real power move in American diplomacy,” the duo write. “Secretary of State John ‘Not Delusional’ Kerry has made the one threat the Russians feared most – the suspension of U.S.-Russia bilateral talks about Syria.”
The State Department released a statement earlier in the day reading out a phone call Kerry had with Lavrov, where Kerry told him that Washington holds Russia responsible for bombing hospitals and civilian infrastructure in Aleppo. The United States, he added, “is making preparations” to end ongoing talks with Moscow on a ceasefire and information sharing agreement in Syria.
Kerry and Lavrov struck a deal on a ceasefire last month after marathon negotiations, but it fell apart within a week after Syrian and Russian planes struck a U.N. aid convoy near Aleppo, and unleashed a ferocious air campaign on the city itself, killing hundreds of civilians.
The “delusional” crack came after Kerry pushed back earlier this week on comments from McCain that he was “intrepid but delusional” for negotiating with the Russians over Syria.
“So I mean, John McCain wants to talk about ‘delusional,’” Kerry said on Monday. “Where’s the congressional vote for force? Where’s the congressional vote to go do something? They weren’t even willing to help support a vote to get the chemical weapons out of Syria. We got that out by talking to the Russians and by actually taking action.”
McCain and Graham weren’t done after coining a new nickname, however. If the talks are are really off, they write, there will be “no more lakeside tête-à-têtes at five-star hotels in Geneva,” and “we can only imagine that having heard the news, Vladimir Putin has called off his bear hunt and is rushing back to the Kremlin to call off Russian airstrikes on hospitals, schools, and humanitarian aid convoys around Aleppo.”
And they saved what was perhaps their most biting turn of phrase for last: “After all, butchering the Syrian people to save the Assad regime is an important Russian goal. But not if it comes at the unthinkable price of dialogue with Secretary Kerry.”
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