There is an old disputed argument that extensive air travel causes physical injury and distorts cognitive thinking. [Stewardesses did remark that during the changeover in the mid-20th century from internal combustion and jet-prop engines interrupted their menstrual cycle.] Secretary of State John Kerry, like his predecessor Sec. Hillary Clinton, is in constant motion, most of it to foreign parts.
Perhaps that is the explanation of recent comments by Kerry to a group of University of Chicago political science students. The Secretary was presenting his case for the success of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.
Syria, he said, had proved that Pres. Obama’s famous red line had been drawn and was a success. He said it had ushered in the program of exporting the chemical weapons of the Assad regime. This statement would depend on your definition of chemicals since it is certain that Assad and his Russian and Iranian and Hezbollah allies continue to use chlorine gas in abundance. Also, Kerry ignored the Russian air attacks on civilian targets including medical facilities – nothing as barbaric seen since the 1930s.
Obama’s “deal” with Iran to postpone their introduction of nuclear weapons, however, effective it may be, is another of Kerry’s victories. Again, he ignores that within weeks, Tehran had boasted of developments in intercontinental ballistics missiles tests – their only utility, of course, would be to deliver weapons of mass destruction including nuclear. Nor is there any elucidation of the accusation that billions of dollars in payments to Iran at the same time as the release of American citizens, would go to fund the world’s number one terrorist state.
Kerry also skirted the highly staged gift that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – a badge marked “reset” in English and Russian. But the Cyrillic transliteration was “peregruzka”, Russian for “overload.” A significant mistake!
What the Obama Administration believed was to be the beginning of a new cooperative era turned into Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea, his sponsorship of the Russian-speaking minority toward the destruction of Ukraine, and hints at similar operations in the Baltic states. That was after Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% of America’s uranium holdings to Russia [while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation]. This transfer was supposed to be another clever maneuver to halt Moscow’s expanding its own production of uranium as a fuel for nuclear weapons.
Kerry claimed the U.S. had preserved freedom of the seas by what must be described by others as a tepid response to China’s claims in the South China Sea. Beijing – despite the denunciation of its sovereignty claims by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague – has moved now from an unsubstantiated claim to negotiations with Washington on how its claims are to be compromised.
Perhaps most egregious of Kerry’s maneuvers has been his courtship of the Vietnamese Communist regime. Ignoring its persecution of religious and other political prisoners, he argues that a stronger Vietnam in tacit alliance with the U.S. against China’s encroachments in Southeast Asia might be sustained. But the elaborate courtship of the chairman of Hanoi’s Communist Party rather than its government figures reminds us of Kerry’s past. He was, after all, a flamboyant supporter of the cutoff of military aid to a South Vietnam’s army, which had performed well after the American withdrawal. He and his friends assured us there would be no human catastrophe. Tell that to the families of a million South Vietnamese who went into fetid political prisons – tens of thousands never to exit- the thousands who lost their lives trying to flee by sea from the new regime, and the murder of prominent anti-Communist leaders without trial.
The Mad Hatter told Alice that the truthfulness of his statements was of his choosing. Kerry obviously, has taken that advice.
* This commentary has been posted on yeoldecrabb.com on October 29, 2016.