John Kerry, the man who failed to become president in no small measure because his foreign policy ideas scared the heck out of Americans, was determined to get even at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last night. He delivered an angry, derisive speech, which he hopes will catapult him into the position of secretary of State under a second Obama administration. Along with the few lines that the president devoted to foreign relations, the tag team’s performance was a stark reminder of the serious dangers which an Obama-Kerry duo would pose to our national security.
In the presidential debates eight years ago, John Kerry was the man who championed a “global test” for legitimizing American action to protect our country. At the centerpiece of this global test was the United Nations. In his view, earning approval abroad was essential to an America deserving of respect.
On September 30, 2004, Kerry insisted that any use by a president of the option of a “preemptive strike” must be done “in a way…that passes the global test where…you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.” “You don’t help yourself with other nations,” he said, “when you refuse to deal at length with the United Nations.”
Imagine having to prove to the thugs running UN states – a majority of which are not democratic – that a president’s actions to protect Americans are legitimate.
Like so many others, Kerry the presidential candidate connected venerating the UN with denigrating the United States: “…with other nations…you have to earn [their] respect. And I think we have a lot of earning back to do.” No wonder that yesterday Kerry was stumping center-stage for a president who bowed to a Saudi king.
Kerry’s defense of Obama’s foreign policy, and the specter the two men presented of the next four years, were alarming yet familiar. Kerry told the DNC that before the era of Obama “our moral authority was in tatters. America was isolated in the world.” Apparently we will know if America has moral authority by asking folks like the Russians and the Chinese. And then Kerry had the audacity to worry about outsourcing – having just outsourced adjudicating America’s “moral authority” to the rest of the world.
The irony is that Kerry defended the president by bragging: “Our forces have eliminated more of [al-Qaeda’s] leadership in the last three years than in all the eight years that came before.” Someone ought to tell him that his buddies at the UN have repeatedly called such activities morally reprehensible “extrajudicial execution.” To paraphrase the senator, before Barack Obama debates Mitt Romney on foreign policy, he better finish the debate over whose values he really cares about with himself.
Kerry repeated the empty mantra that President Obama “promised always to stand with Israel” – for which he felt he had to offer proof (with good reason). So he reached back to quote Prime Minister Netanyahu in March 2012. Then the Israeli leader expressed the view that Obama shared Israel’s policy on Iran. Evidently Kerry has been offline for the past two weeks.
On August 30, with the clear blessing of the president, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey chastised Netanyahu for what turns out to have been wishful thinking. According to Dempsey, Obama’s and Israel’s policies on Iran are not exactly the same. On the contrary, the president is desperate to avoid being seen to be “complicit” should Israel decide to exercise her right of self-defense against Iran. And a week earlier, Dempsey said: “Israel sees the Iranian threat more seriously than the U.S. sees it, because a nuclear Iran poses a threat to Israel’s very existence….[O]ur clocks are ticking at different paces.” Declaring publicly that an Iranian nuclear weapon and the threatened annihilation of the Jewish state is somehow less serious to this president is a disconnect if there ever was one.
Both the president and the senator were concerned to put in a good word for their comrades in Russia. Kerry exclaimed Obama “promised to work with Russia to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and signed an historic treaty that does just that.” Actually, in September 2009 President Obama chose to become the first U.S. president to preside over the UN Security Council and decided to put nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation side-by-side on its agenda. He gave Iran the excuse it has used ever since for non-performance of its non-proliferation obligations. And while the Russians got busy preventing serious sanctions on Iran at the Council, the president poured his energies into disarming America.
And the president isn’t finished. After all, he promised then Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in March that he would show “more flexibility” about “all these issues, but particularly missile defense” after the November elections. Kerry and the president were upset by the suggestion that Russia might be a “geopolitical foe.” Apparently, “friend” is a better word for a country that built Iran’s first nuclear reactor, balked at U.S.-led missile defense systems in Europe, stymies action on Syria, backs a bellicose non-negotiated UN state of Palestine, and poisons, assassinates or jails its own citizens for demanding free speech and the rule of law.
Scraping the bottom of the barrel, was their common allegation that a Romney-Ryan ticket is “new to foreign policy” – a very strange complaint considering that the President came into office having virtually no experience with anything going on in Washington at all. Diplomacy might just relate to Romney’s running an Olympics for 2,400 athletes from 77 nations, or the international trade work involved in a governorship, and as chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan monitors resources for our military – necessitating a close understanding of its missions and its needs. It’s more likely to be Ryan’s co-sponsorship of bills like the 2011 UN Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act – which the Obama administration vehemently opposed – that’s the rub.
The president made no effort to respond publicly to the exposure of the anti-Israel belly of the DNC beast during the adoption and amendment of the party platform segment on Jerusalem. That made sense, considering former Congressman Robert Wexler, a member of the DNC platform drafting committee, has suggested that the omission was a deliberate effort to bring the platform into line with the president’s actual policies.
Finally, Kerry gushed: President Obama “is giving new life…to America’s indispensable role in the world.”
- assuring Iran – immediately following its fraudulent June 2009 elections and in the midst of the carnage in the streets of Tehran – “We will continue to pursue a …direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us,”
- visiting Egypt and Saudi Arabia and bypassing Israel,
- abrogating the deal to place antimissile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic,
- emboldening Syrian President Assad by renewing ties and appointing an American ambassador without preconditions, and
- spending three and half years chattering to Iran while their nuclear bomb-making plans speed ahead.
“Dispensable” would be a more accurate description of a foreign policy mercifully avoided in 2004, plaguing the country since 2009, and ominously hovering over 2012.