HOW OBAMA SEES IT . . .
President Barack Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for Secretary of State.
Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.Kerry became the clear frontrunner for the position when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration. Rice stepped aside citing concern that the confirmation process would have been "lengthy, disruptive and costly" due to persistent Republican opposition to her response to the Sept. 11 anniversary attack on a U.S. compound Benghazi, Libya.
Kerry has been member of the Foreign Relations Committee for 27 years, the last six as chairman. The senator has traveled extensively in his capacity as intrepid lawmaker and unofficial envoy for Obama, tamping down diplomatic fires in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Egypt, the AP reports.
"He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training," Obama said during the nomination announcement.
Something seems amiss here. I don't know, maybe it's that all the crap associated with Kerry's career is totally ignored. This sounds like a squeaky-clean young daddy who has been suggested for the post of local PTA chairman. Where's the beef?
Here's some of it -- Kerry seems a waffler who will run for the exits at the first whiff of smoke. His loyalty to our Armed Forces is a leaky boat in a tsunami. He co-starred with Hanoi Jane Fonda in a propaganda blitz praising Viet Cong partisans, sneering at U.S efforts in Viet Nam.
So let's deal with the crap before President Obama's shoo-in nominee is hurried through the confirmation process. Here are some choice nuggets:
AND NOW THE REST OF US . . .
There are questions for which Kerry’s record provides no sure answers. After serving as a navy officer on a Swift boat on patrol against Viet Cong forces in the vast Mekong River delta of South Vietnam, he returned as an anti-war founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Kerry was no ordinary protester. He made a show of throwing away his medals, which included a silver star for bravery and three purple hearts for wounds that did not require hospitalization. Kerry’s antics were enough to get President Richard Nixon to ask who this guy was and how he came to have such a strong anti-war viewpoint. Kerry answered that question in testimony before a congressional committee in which he enumerated war crimes, the destruction of villages, the alienation of Vietnamese by the rough tactics of U.S. forces.
Kerry’s position on the U.S. role in Vietnam struck a popular chord in the U.S. as protest rose to the point at which the U.S. withdrew its troops in 1973, two years before the North Vietnamese stormed south on the way to victory.
Many people would commend him for contributing to understanding the horrors of the war. Others would accuse him of betraying the U.S. forces in which he served, of denigrating the sacrifices of those who also served in Vietnam and of misunderstanding the feelings of millions of South Vietnamese who looked to the U.S. to defend them.
In quite a different way, Kerry has gone through reversal on Iraq. Yes, he supported President George W. Bush’s decision in 2003 to wage war against Saddam Hussein, but he completely reversed himself when he ran for president against Bush in 2004 on an anti-war platform.
All of which raises huge doubts as to where Kerry would stand on the U.S. role in conflict anywhere. We can be pretty sure that Kerry, as secretary of state, would declare ritual support of the U.S.-Korean defense treaty, as would anyone in that position. He would enthusiastically call for dialogue with North Korea and would proclaim close ties with the incoming South Korean government.
The question, though, is how he would respond in a crisis. How strongly would he want to face down the North? Would he go for the peace treaty that Pyongyang has long been demanding with Washington? I don’t know of anyone who sees a U.S.-North Korean treaty as anything other than a gambit to separate the U.S. from its South Korean ally and press for withdrawal of U.S. forces, but would Kerry fall for it s a gesture to bring about reconciliation?
Questions about his dedication to America’s allies would extend to Japan and Taiwan. The U.S. has said it would honor its defense relationship with Japan if the current stand-off on the Senkakus were to explode in armed conflict. One has to wonder, though, if he would share this sentiment. Or would he be more anxious to appease Beijing than to defend American allies?
Kerry’s record on foreign policy has been one of dramatic shifts. The history shows he’s loudly opposed U.S. forces at critical moments. Assuming he does become secretary of state, watch out for double-talk, shifting positions and uncertain loyalties.
Verne: So I ask you -- with Ms. Rice out of the way, how capable and trustworthy a nominee has Obama pushed on-stage in the person of John Kerry?
I submit that Squire John deserves another pat-down at the TSA security station. Something big is being hidden away somewhere. We should find it before moving further.
Verne Strickland Blogmaster / December 21, 2012