It's come to this:
KERRY: I believe that the aftermath of the Iraq experience and Afghanistan left a lot of people saying, we don’t want to see our young people coming back in a body bag and so forth. But that’s not what we are talking about and what we have to do is make clear to people that this is were not talking about war. We are not going to war. We will not have people at risk in that way. We will be able to hold Bashar Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged effort. In a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort, that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what were talking about doing an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort. Now you know that has been engaged in previously on many different occasions.
So we now concede that the military action we are planning is going to be ineffectual and purely symbolic? Really? That's how the sole remaining superpower acts in the world of Realpolitik?
Look, you just can't say this sort of thing. You're the Secretary of State, for Chrissakes!
P.S. You realize that, if Bush had announced a plan to pursue a small bombing campaign against a Middle Eastern country solely for the purpose of symbolism so he can dig himself out of the self-dug political hole he had created for himself (Obama's "redline" ad lib), all of the "progressives" would be screaming about how Bush is a racist because he is willing to sacrifice the lives of non-white Middle Eastern people for purely political gain.