Senate Republicans seem eager to let fellow Senator John Kerry (D-MA) sail through the confirmation process and take office as Secretary of State (once current incumbent Hillary Clinton testifies about the Benghazi attack). The logic seems to be that “elections have consequences,” and that President Barack Obama has again earned the right to select a competent advocate for his foreign policy, even if that policy is a bad one.
Sen. Kerry’s weaknesses are not as self-evident as those of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who misled the nation about Benghazi and had a long record of other failures. Yet Sen. Kerry has been on the wrong side of nearly every foreign policy issue for the past 40 years. His “experience” is much like that of supposed foreign policy guru, Vice President Joe Biden: a long track record of grievous mistakes. Here are Kerry’s top ten worst:
10. Honduras (2009) – Sen. Kerry backed Obama’s dubious claim that leftist President Manuel Zelaya–an antisemite and autocrat in the Hugo Chavez mode–had been ousted in a coup. He even tried to reverse a contrary finding by the Law Library of Congress.
9. Terrorism (1996) – In a debate with former Gov. Bill Weld, Sen. Kerry opposed the death penalty for terrorists, at a time when lack of vigilance by the Clinton administration allowed Al Qaeda to become a deadly threat. (After 9/11, Sen. Kerry changed his mind.)
8. Nicaragua (1985) – As Mary Anastasia O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal noted last week, Sen. Kerry encouraged Congress to end aid for the Contras, who were opposing the Sandinista regime, which quickly found support from the Soviet Union and Cuba.
7. Iraq (2003) – In 2002, Sen. Kerry voted to authorize the Iraq War; in 2003, he voted against continued funding and aid necessary to secure victory. The flip-flop was not only indefensible, but also cost Sen. Kerry the 2004 election against George W. Bush.
6. Colombia (2003) – Sen. Kerry described FARC, a drug-fueled terrorist guerilla army in Colombia much beloved by Chavez and the far left, specializing in kidnappings and hostage-taking, as having “legitimate complaints” against the Colombian government.
5. Gulf War (1991) – Not only did Sen. Kerry vote against authorizing UN-approved action against Saddam Hussein, but he also argued for a “new world order” not led by the U.S. and criticized the American-led coalition President George H.W. Bush had built.
4. Iran (2007) – Our own William Bigelow notes: “In 2007, Kerry voted against a Senate resolution that wanted to “combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
3. Israel (2003) – As CBS News has noted, Sen. Kerry called Israel’s anti-terror security barrier–which has saved hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian lives–a “barrier to peace” in October 2003. (As on many other issues, Sen. Kerry soon reversed his position.)
2. Syria (2009) – Though Sen. Kerry condemned Syria as a supporter of terrorism in 1991, when Syria had aligned with the U.S. in the Gulf War, he later embraced dictator Bashar al-Assad, leading Democrats’ efforts to rehabilitate the murderous regime.
1. Vietnam (1971) – As bad as Sen. Kerry’s record has been since, nothing quite tops his national debut in the “Winter Soldier” investigation as a decorated veteran telling false stories about war crimes allegedly committed by American troops in Vietnam.