Impromptu Comment from Kerry May Have Been the Key to Avoiding War

It turns out that sometimes you might be able to solve problems without bombing a bunch of people who live thousands of miles away. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is learning this after Syria, Russia, and the United Nations all appeared receptive to Kerry's suggestions that Syria hand over all its chemical weapons to "the international community" in order to avert a potential U.S. strike.

The New York Times reports:

Asked at a news conference in London if there were steps the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, could take to avoid an American-led attack, Mr. Kerry said, “Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week—turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow the full and total accounting.” He immediately dismissed the possibility that Mr. Assad would or could comply, saying, “But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done.”

While Kerry balked at his own suggestion, other leaders seemed to be taking it into serious consideration. Russia's foreign minister, who had been in meetings with Syria's foreign minister, said Russia would support any plan to confiscate Syria's chemical weapons and destroy them. Others soon followed suit: "In quick succession, the idea of sequestering Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile was also endorsed by Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and France foreign minister, Laurent Fabius."

And so a war may have been avoided because John Kerry made an offhanded comment in a press conference. Whatever works, I guess.

[Image via AP]