January 31, 2013
NYC Letter: Congratulations! -- John Kerry, SOS
Day 1,467 of CHOPE
D-minus 1,452 Days
John Kerry has been confirmed by the Senate for Secretary of State.
JOHN KERRY, SOS
[Picture source: Weasel Zippers]
January 29, 2013 (WaPo) - The vote was 94 to 3, clearing the way for Kerry to formally take over from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday. ... Three Republicans voted against Kerry — Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma.
Long a favorite of tens -- perhaps dozens -- of unidentified "world leaders", Mr. Kerry has been championing and recanting foreign policies for years. Mr. Kerry is a man for all political seasons. Whatever your position on anything, it's a good bet that the Senator has backed your play at least once in his career. He is a master nuancer, a weasel word wrangler, a man of self opportunity, of blazing insight, of modest presumption (last item), an oblivious hypocrite. All that makes him the perfect pick as successor to HRC as Mr. Obama's envoy of "smart power".*
Here is a small sampling of Mr. Kerry's foreign policy perspicaciousness.
The Vietnam War
There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 caliber machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.
MEET THE PRESS
WASHINGTON April 18, 1971 (HNN/NBC)
On his own testimony, Mr. Kerry will be the first war criminal to hold the office of Secretary of State.
The Iraq War
We must recognize that there is no indication that Saddam Hussein has any intention of relenting. So we have an obligation of enormous consequence, an obligation to guarantee that Saddam Hussein cannot ignore the United Nations. He cannot be permitted to go unobserved and unimpeded toward his horrific objective of amassing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a matter about which there should be any debate whatsoever in the Security Council, or, certainly, in this Nation.
Speech to the floor of the Senate
WASHINGTON November 9, 1997 (RCP/Congressional Record)
We need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. He miscalculated an eight-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America’s response to that act of naked aggression. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending scuds into Israel and trying to assassinate an American President. He miscalculated his own military strength. He miscalculated the Arab world’s response to his misconduct. And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm.
REMARKS AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
WASHINGTON January 23, 2003 (DU)
If you don't believe Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me.
REMARKS AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
WASHINGTON January 23, 2003 (NBC)
It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
BUSH AND KERRY CLASH OVER
IRAQ AND A TIMETABLE
CANONSBURG, Pennsylvania September 7, 2004 (NYT)
And back when everyone else was hand-wringing about oppression in Syria, Mr. Kerry had Mr. Assad sussed.
Q: I wanted to ask you what you think could be done to encourage democracy in Syria and Iran?
Well, I personally believe that -- I mean, this is my belief, okay? But President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had. And when I last went to -- the last several trips to Syria -- I asked President Assad to do certain things to build the relationship with the United States and sort of show the good faith that would help us to move the process forward. ... So I put about five or six requests... Guess what? All six were done, delivered. ... So my judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it.
U.S. POLICY TOWARD THE MIDDLE EAST
WASHINGTON March 16, 2011 (Carnegie)**
I said there was a chance [Assad] could be a reformer if certain things were done. I wasn't wrong about if those things were done. They weren't done. I didn't hold out hope. I said there were a series of things that if he engaged in them, there was a chance he would be able to produce a different paradigm. But he didn't.
IT'S TIME TO GIVE UP ON ASSAD THE REFORMER
May 10, 2011 (The Cable)**
This guy's going to be great. [Pause.] Four heartbeats away from the presidency.
** More here.Posted by Damian at January 31, 2013 12:15 PM