Kathleen Parker: Obama may succeed in talking war plans to death

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

And, let's be clear, if we once "kicked" Vietnam Syndrome, as President George H.W. Bush jubilantly declared after the first Gulf War, we have inherited Iraq Syndrome from his son.

Can intelligence ever be trusted again when rationalizing military action against a sovereign nation?

The war of words, tedious as it has sometimes seemed, may yet hold promise as Syria, prodded by Russia, seems to be responding positively to an off-hand remark Kerry made during a news conference. With a dismissive shrug of perhaps premature resignation, Kerry casually suggested that the strike could be avoided if Assad merely turned over his chemical weapons to international control.

The clamor for support from all quarters, including Moscow and Damascus, has been somewhat breathtaking. Was that all it took? Or did the formulation of an idea require time to evolve?

It is too soon to declare war avoided, but there is reason to hope. Who knows? Obama's most significant legacy may not be Obamacare, but the talking cure as inoculation against war.

Kathleen Parker's email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

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