January 9, 2020

Stop and take a moment to remember what it was like when we had a real Secretary of State who gave a damn about actually using diplomacy to solve some of the problems in the world instead of behaving like a child. And a real president who used the levers of power for good and not evil.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry joined Lawrence O'Donnell to vent about how stupid this administration is to have walked away from the Iran deal and then assassinate Iran's second-in-command.

When Lawrence asked Kerry whether President Obama was given the option to off Soleimani, Kerry was firm. "It was always an option," he replied. "It's been an option through several administrations."

But why didn't Obama do it, then? Because, as Kerry explained, "Within 24 hours, a new general is appointed. And I assure at you that new general is as committed to the track that General Soleimani was on as he was."

Kerry went on to hammer home the point: Not only has the threat NOT been eliminated, it's now even more dangerous than before.

Lawrence then dropped the key question: How is Vladimir Putin reacting to this? I'll put his answer here in its entirety:

Well, Russia has to be delighted by the way in which the United States has been confounded in the region. That is clearly part of the loss of what President Trump has brought about in his extraordinary attitude towards President Putin and Russia itself, as we've seen evidenced on so much occasions. Russia is thrilled by this. They are visible shaking hands and hugging Assad. Russia is in the region.

You know, I think that the president's speech today obviously contemplates something different in terms of the actual outcome of a new negotiation, even though he talks about it in the context he did. But the fact remains, the nuclear weapon that he now says they will never get, they were never going to get because it was already off the table. And what was awaiting this president and others was the negotiation on the follow-on agreement to make peace in Yemen, to bring to a halt Iran's enrichment of uranium. I agree with the Saudis that Iran has no business bringing rockets there that threaten Saudi Arabia. We didn't want that any more than they wanted it today.

How do you get to that? You have to have a negotiation.

What the president did by just unilaterally pulling out of the agreement and simultaneously declaring effective economic war against Iran was to say to them, I'm abrogating the agreement, you can't trust me, you can't negotiate with me because I'm going to get what I want. And the result of that, they have hardened down Iran. The IRGC never wanted Iran's nuclear ambitions curbed. The IRGC constantly has been the really aggressive arm of the Iranian regime. If you have a chance of moving in a different direction and creating a longer-term stability in the region which is so critical to everybody, it can only come through negotiation. To date there has been little indication that this administration has really been serious about that negotiation.

Watch it, because he's on fire for that entire segment.

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