Kerry as Obama's Overseas Enforcer
By Matthew Vadum
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) promised yesterday to faithfully execute President Obama’s chaotic, destructive foreign policy if confirmed as the new U.S. secretary of state.
At a congressional hearing, Obama’s nominee to replace Hillary Clinton at Foggy Bottom vowed to de-emphasize the military role “thrust upon us” by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, saying “we cannot afford a diplomacy that is defined by troops or drones or confrontation.”
Kerry told his fellow senators that it was time to highlight U.S. programs abroad aimed at helping poor people, advancing human rights, and combating disease.
“We cannot allow the extraordinary good we do to save and change lives to be eclipsed entirely,” said Kerry.
Senators from both parties, including John McCain (R-Ariz.), warmly lauded Kerry for whatever it is he’s been doing in the Senate since the 1980s.
The Left’s favorite Boston Brahmin, this dull, seemingly passionless, double-talking man, bereft of important legislative accomplishments, now appears virtually certain to become the nation’s next top diplomat after a confirmation hearing that was more of a group hug than a grilling. Kerry has been a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 29 years. If confirmed he would be the first committee member to rise to the post of secretary of state in more than a century.
Kerry’s pledge to do the administration’s bidding overseas amounts to a vow to export the same kind of chaos and malaise worldwide that Obama has generated domestically — not that the president needs much help after turning Egypt, until fairly recently America’s staunchest Arab ally, into an Islamist enemy in a relatively short span of time.
Left-wingers like Kerry generally care little about defending America; they would prefer to divert the nation’s defense budget to social welfare schemes. Leftists prefer to send our soldiers abroad as armed social workers bearing care packages instead of as warriors defending America’s freedoms and interests.
Anyone who watched Kerry, stiff and robotic as a presidential candidate, saluting perfunctorily and pretending he was of presidential timber by saying he was “reporting for duty” at the Democratic Party’s 2004 national convention, knows that he’s well suited for running the liberal-internationalist echo chamber that is the Department of State.
Although yesterday’s hearing in the clubby Senate was cordial for the most part, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenged Kerry over the Obama administration’s Libya policy, NPR reported. These attacks from two Tea Party-backed prospective presidential contenders in 2016, offer a window into what the political landscape of the next four years is going to look like.
On constitutional grounds, Paul critiqued the military campaign that helped to oust strongman
President Obama “took us to war in Libya without congressional authority, unilaterally,” he said. “I would argue though that the Constitution really has no exceptions for when you are having a tough time or people disagree with you, that you just go ahead and do it.”
In 2008, Paul noted, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said he was opposed to presidents going to war without congressional authorization, adding that Kerry too had denounced the U.S. invention in Cambodia in the 1970s for the same reason.
“The Constitution doesn’t really give this kind of latitude to sometimes go to war and to sometimes not go to war,” Paul said.
“I thought [candidate] Barack Obama was very explicit, it’s what I liked about him frankly. People are like, ‘oh, Rand Paul certainly doesn’t like anything about Barack Obama,’ I did like his forthrightness when he ran for office and said ‘no president should unilaterally go to war, the Constitution doesn’t allow it.’”
A dissembling Kerry rejected Paul’s reasoning, saying the situations in Cambodia and Libya are significantly different. “You can be absolutist and apply it to every circumstance, the problem is, it just doesn’t work in some instances,” he said.
“When 10,000 people are about to be wiped out by a brutal dictator and you need to make a quick judgment about engagement, you certainly can’t rely on a Congress that has proven itself unwilling to move after weeks and months sometimes,” Kerry said.
Rubio suggested that Obama bungled the effort in Libya.
“I was not suggesting that the U.S. should have invaded or put soldiers on the ground,” Rubio said.
“We did certain things in the first 48 to 72 hours of that conflict – had we extended that for a couple weeks that conflict would have ended a lot sooner. In hindsight, a shortened conflict there would have certainly led to a government that would have been stronger and less instability than exists now.”
Rubio asked Kerry what impact the overthrow of Qaddafi’s regime was having on stability in North Africa.
Kerry was vague. “There is a monumental transformation taking place” in the region, he said. “This is the biggest upheaval in that part of the world since the Ottoman Empire.”
Americans can be forgiven if they have forgotten that Kerry was the Democrats’ unsuccessful presidential candidate who, with heavy financial backing from radical billionaires like George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, came surprisingly close to unseating President George W. Bush in 2004.
The fabulously wealthy Kerry may not be memorable but he is certainly consistent. The ultimate pampered limousine leftist, Kerry has been on the wrong side of every major foreign policy debate for his entire adult life.
This makes him a good fit for President Obama’s cabinet.
Remember last March when during an unguarded moment with Russia’s then-president Dmitri Medvedev, Obama said he would gut America’s nuclear shield in his second term?
“This is my last election,” Obama said at a nuclear security summit in Seoul. Leaning in close to Medvedev, he said, “After my election, I have more flexibility,” and reassuringly clutched his counterpart’s forearm.
There is probably no one better qualified to wave the white flag in front of America’s enemies than Kerry. After all, the senior senator from Massachusetts two decades Obama’s senior has been toiling in the trenches of seditious anti-Americanism for his entire political career.
After serving in Vietnam, Kerry left the Navy in 1970 and began working to undermine America’s war effort. He vigorously attacked U.S. soldiers for doing their duty and assumed a leadership role in the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
Kerry depicted the U.S. as a thuggish aggressor that needed to be checked externally. “I’m an internationalist,” he said. “I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.”
In early 1971, Kerry played a key role in the “Winter Soldier Investigation” in Detroit, a piece of political theater in which Vietnam veterans and civilians falsely testified that American troops routinely committed atrocities against innocent civilians in South Vietnam as a matter of U.S. policy.
Later that year before a congressional committee, Kerry accused the U.S. of war crimes as he recounted the lies from the mock inquiry.
Many Vietnam veterans, he said, had “told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war…”
“We learned the meaning of free fire zones,” Kerry said, “shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals.”
The future senator said the U.S. was racist and no better than its Communist enemy. “We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties.”
Evidence places Kerry at a series of VVAW meetings in Kansas City, Missouri, in late 1971 at which his fellow subversives made plans to assassinate U.S. senators. Kerry reportedly resigned from the group on the third day of the meetings but historian Gerald Nicosia said, “My evidence is incontrovertible. He [Kerry] was there.”
As an elected official years later Kerry rarely missed an opportunity to trash his country.
He criticized the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada, which replaced a hostile communist dictatorship with a pro-Western government.
“The invasion represented a bully’s show of force against a weak Third World nation,” Kerry said, channeling Noam Chomsky. “The invasion only served to heighten world tensions and further strain brittle U.S.–Soviet and North–South relations.”
In 1985 the Institute for Policy Studies, a rabidly anti-American think tank-activist group, arranged for Kerry and fellow Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to travel to Nicaragua. While there they had friendly meetings with communist Daniel Ortega, that nation’s pro-Soviet, pro-Cuban leader. The senators relayed Ortega’s offer to President Reagan of a ceasefire with Nicaragua’s anti-communist insurgents, the Contras, if the U.S. would stop funding those fighters.
The U.S. Congress later rejected sending new aid to the Contras but Ortega visited Moscow the very next day to accept a $200 million loan from the Soviet Union.
In 1986, Kerry expressed support for a “fast for life” initiative by four U.S. military veterans opposed to Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy, which those veterans claimed consisted of “illegal and extraordinarily vicious wars against the poor of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.”
Meanwhile, as Kerry began to wind down his largely dry testimony yesterday a young woman disrupted the hearing, shouting “I’m tired of my friends in the Middle East dying.”
After the woman was ejected from the committee room, Code Pink leader and Obama bundler Jodie Evans took to Twitter to identify the protester as Lachelle Roddy, a so-called intern at Code Pink.
Roddy is a political science major at Hollins University, a small, private women’s college in Roanoke, Virginia. It is unclear if she will receive college credit for these extracurricular activities.
Kerry refused to criticize his detractor, fondly recalling his own protest antics. “I respect the woman who was voicing her concerns about the world,” he said.
“People measure what we do.”