Pollak: John Kerry Should Just Go Away

John Kerry and James Taylor (Rick Wilking / AFP / Getty)
Rick Wilking / AFP / Getty

Former Secretary of State John Kerry trashed President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in an appearance Saturday night on CNN, hosted by David Axelrod, former political strategist to President Barack Obama, their mutual boss.

As reported by The Hill, Kerry criticized what he called Trump’s “pull-out, walk-away presidency.” He claimed the 45th president “has isolated America,” that he “is not negotiating,” and “capitulates to the president of Russia.”

Kerry even criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. And he vowed to keep up his criticism, possibly by running for president in 2020: “”I’m going to be in the middle of the debate no matter what, period.”

No doubt Kerry and Axelrod are fuming over current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent speech in Cairo, which was a point-by-point demolition of Obama’s own speech there, and the policy of appeasement he adopted.

But for all the consternation, nothing can change the historical record. Kerry and Obama left the United States much weaker than they found it — partly by design, since neither believes in American leadership in the world.

Kerry should know about “pull-out, walk-away” foreign policy. He first appeared on the national stage as part of an effort to push the U.S. to withdraw from Vietnam by publicly slandering his fellow soldiers as war criminals.

Then-Sen. Kerry (D-MA) later supported Obama’s effort to pull out of Iraq prematurely, despite the gains of the “surge” in Iraq — a decision that led to the rise of the terror regime known as the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS.

As Secretary of State, Kerry accepted the dubious job of carrying out Obama’s foreign policy, which was driven by the notion that the U.S. was not a force for good in the world except in retreat, militarily and economically.

Kerry complains that Trump “is not negotiating.” It is an odd complaint to make just hours after Trump announced a second summit with Kim Jong-un to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — an ambitious goal.

Moreover, what Kerry negotiated was an absolute disaster for the United States. It was Kerry who led the U.S. in negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal — a negotiation in which Iran achieved everything it wanted and the U.S. squandered all its leverage,  leaving the world powerless to stop Iran from advancing its nuclear ambitious.

Kerry also negotiated a chemical weapons deal in which the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad — the brutal dictator whom Kerry had once wined and dined — was to have given up his chemical weapons under Russian supervision. The deal tacitly accepted that Assad would remain in power — contrary to Obama’s pledge — as a Russian client. Years later, it is clear that Syria never gave up its chemical war — but Russia is in Syria to stay as a regional power.

Not content with empowering Russia in Syria, Kerry and Obama watched feebly as Putin seized Crimea, taking advantage of their weakness. Kerry complained feebly on TV that Putin was playing by “19th century” rules.

As for allies, Kerry offered the French people, traumatized by terror, a cameo by James Taylor. And on his way out the door, Kerry and Obama stabbed Israel in the back, allowing an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council.

Trump can only hope Kerry is in “the middle of the debate.” But the rest of us should hope he just goes away.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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