Just Don’t Expect us to try To Win it or Anything
“There’s frankly a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology.”
In an interview that aired this morning on CBS’s Face the Nation, Kerry addressed the fact that his rejection of the term to describe the U.S. action against the Islamic State was at odds with subsequent statements from the administration.
“if you want to use it, yes we’re at war with ISIL in that sense…But I think it’s a waste of time to focus on that.”
“The man of peace from Massachusetts intercepted with his own hands the reasonable cease-fire that was within reach, and pushed both the Palestinians and Israelis toward an escalation that most of them did not want.”
— Ari Shavit, Haaretz
“I mean, when I voted for the war, I voted for what I thought was best for the country,” Kerry said. Then after taking a swipe at a Democratic presidential candidate who disrupted his coronation by actually opposing the war, he added, “Did I expect George Bush to f–k it up as badly as he did? I don’t think anybody did.”
Fast forward more than a decade. John Kerry is now secretary of state. And things are certainly f–ked up, perhaps more than anybody expected.
Kerry’s attempts at Middle East diplomacy have been almost universally panned, even by left-wing Israeli newspapers like Haaretz. “Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel,” states one of the more charitable Israeli accounts of Kerry’s Gaza maneuvers. “But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events.”
There are less charitable takes on Kerry’s peacemaking abilities. The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharof described “an extraordinary phone call taking place between a senior Palestinian Authority official and an Israeli counterpart, during which the two mocked the senior diplomat’s naivete and his failure to understand the regional reality.”
[Check out W. James Antle’s book “Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped“ at Amazon.com]
Ari Shavit, the author of the Haaretz piece, concluded, “The man of peace from Massachusetts intercepted with his own hands the reasonable cease-fire that was within reach, and pushed both the Palestinians and Israelis toward an escalation that most of them did not want.”
An Associated Press diplomatic correspondent tweeted,
Looks like phase one of new US Mideast peace strategy to piss everyone off so much they stop fighting each other & turn on Kerry is working.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) July 28, 2014
Kerry has finally beaten Bush: he has proved that he is a uniter, not a divider. Read the rest of this entry »
“[The U.S.] will work with Iranians so long as they respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq.”
— Secretary of State John Kerry
The U.S. cannot partner with Iran to fight Islamist insurgents in Iraq, because Iran has supported whatever it takes to gain influence in Iran, Charles Krauthammer contended.
”…preposterous…the worst thing we could possibly do.”
— Charles Krauthammer
Secretary of State John Kerry’s said today that the U.S. “will work with Iranians so long as they respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq.” Krauthammer called this idea ”preposterous.” Iran will not respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and Kerry’s military plan is “the worst thing we could possibly do,” he said on Special Report….(read more)
Israeli Parliament & Anti-Defamation League Shame Secretary of State John Kerry for ‘Apartheid’ RemarkPosted: April 28, 2014
Top official blasts: 'Shame on you'...
Right-wing MKs on Monday panned a comment attributed to US Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that if Israel does not sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the near future, it will become “an apartheid state” like South Africa.
Senior Israeli officials, among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, remained mum on the reported comments.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) tole The Times of Israel that not only was Kerry’s prediction false, it could also be applied to Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank far more accurately than to Israel.
“There are many alternatives [to a two-state solution] and there is room to consider them in the future. Today there is not a single Jew in Gaza, not a single Jewish soldier, and we still can see very well that hatred for Israel rules there,” he said.
“I think that the secretary of state saw for himself that it’s impossible to change reality; and the reality is that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas chose to go the way of terror and Hamas. Therefore, any effort to put blame on Israel is wrong and unfair,” Danon added.
According to a recording obtained by the Daily Beast, Kerry made the comments Friday to a meeting of the Trilateral Commission, a nongovernmental organization committed to fostering closer ties between Europe, North America, and Japan.
“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative,” Kerry told the gathering. “Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens — or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state. Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”
Also responding to Kerry’s comparison Monday was Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who wrote on his official Facebook page that “there are some words that must not be uttered.” Read the rest of this entry »
For the NYTimes, Isabel Kershner writes: In an unusually pointed rebuke of an ally, Israel said on Wednesday that it was “deeply disappointed” by Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks a day earlier that appeared to lay primary blame on Israel for the crisis in the American-brokered Middle East peace talks.
The Israeli-Palestinian dispute that has brought the talks to the brink of collapse appeared to be developing into an open quarrel between Israel and the United States, even as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were said to be planning a third meeting here this week with American mediators to try to resolve the crisis.
“Poof, that was sort of the moment. We find ourselves where we are.”
— Secretary of State John Kerry’s infamous “poof speech”
In a sign that the sides were still far from reconciled, Israel on Wednesday directed its government ministers and senior ministry officials to refrain from meeting with their Palestinian counterparts, a move that officials said could delay bilateral projects.
The ban on contacts does not apply to the negotiators, and Israeli officials signaled that coordination between the two sides on security issues would continue. But it was intended to send a message that there would be no business as usual. Read the rest of this entry »
Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning to protest insults the Israeli defense minister directed at the Obama administration this week, the State Department said. — thehill.com
Punditfromanotherplanet obtained an exclusive transcript of the phone conversation between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The following is a declassified portion of a recording of their communication from Wednesday, March 19th, 2014:
Kerry: Bibi? This is John. What the hell?
Netanyahu: John, I was going to call you.
Kerry: Bibi, you tell Ya’alon we’ve had enough of his reckless comments. “Messianic”?
Netanyahu: I understand you’re upset. I spoke to Ya’alon this morning and…
Kerry: That’s not the least of it! Ya’alon said the President of the United States is a “back-scratching, herb-tea-drinking, thumb-sucking Ivy League poser”, and a “golf-playing moron”.
Netanyahu: There’s nothing in the news reports that indicate Ya’alon said anything like that, John…
Kerry: This is not just about the news reports, Bibi. Some of these comments were off the record. Phone calls. Diplomatic cables…
Netanyahu: You have…wait a minute. How do you have Ya’alon’s private phone calls? I don’t even have…
Kerry: Bibi, you tell Ya’alon to back off. Tell him the United States expects a formal apology. And I want his personal apology.
Netanyahu: John, if these are just his private comments, phone calls…I seriously doubt…
Kerry: Then he called me “Obama’s little bitch” Little bitch?!
Kerry: Bibi, this is not funny.
Netanyahu: I’m sorry John, you…Ya’alon..he’s just screwing with you. You can’t let it get to you.
Poll: 74% of Israeli Jews Believe Americans Applying More Pressure on Israel, 64% Do Not Trust Kerry on SecurityPosted: March 11, 2014
This poll is interesting, I recommend visiting the source site for detailed results. While it’s easy to see Kerry as a polarizing or unpopular figure, it would be useful to see how Kerry compares to previous U.S. Secretaries of State. I’m inclined to think Kerry’s unpopularity is not unique. It’s the office, not the person, that invites distrust in the Israli-Arab world, we’d have to compare him to his predecessors. Or–it could be that Kerry stands out as a distrusted figure?
One thing is clear: The legitimization of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments in the U.S. and Europe is on the rise. [example: 23 percent rise in anti-Semetic incidents in Netherlands] And the global wave of systematic anti-Christian violence is deeply troubling. Obama’s hostility to Israel contributes to, or reflects, the shift in anti-Israel opinion in the west, particularly on college campuses. The distrust of the U.S. in Israel should surprise no one.
The Israel Democracy Institute‘s summary begins like this:
- Which Side are the Americans Pressuring?: 74% of Israeli Jews believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring Israel than the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, while 12% believe they are equally pressuring both sides and 5% believe they are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians. (Israeli Jews who see Israel as under more pressure include 86% of the self-defined right-wing, 57% of the center, and 50% of the left-wing.) Among Israeli Arabs, 29% believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, 26% believe both sides are being equally pressured, and 25% believe Israel is under more pressure.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry‘s Concern for Israeli Security:64% of Israelis (66% of Jewish Israelis and 53% of Arab Israelis) do not trust Kerry to take Israel’s security into account as a crucial factor in the framework agreement. 32% of Israelis (31% of Jewish Israelis and 32% of Arab Israelis) do trust Kerry to take into account Israel’s security. (Jewish Israelis who trust Kerry on security include 18% of the right, 39% of the center, and 79% of the left.)
- US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Motivation: 60% of Israelis (61% of Jewish Israelis and 56% of Arab Israelis) believe that Kerry’s main motivation for reaching a framework agreement is a personal interest in making history as a statesman where others before him had failed. 21% of Israelis (22% of Jewish Israelis and 16% of Arab Israelis) believe Kerry is motivated by honest concern for the future of the two parties, and 9% of Israelis (8% of Jewish Israelis and 14% of Arab Israelis) believe he is equally motivated by the chance to make history and concern for the parties.
Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking to former Clinton White House Press Secretary George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s Sunday talk show This Week, complained about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, grumbling about Putin’s “brazen act of aggression.”
“It’s a 19th-century act in the 21st century that really puts at question Russia’s capacity to be within the G-8”
Kerry had to respond to the question on everyone’s mind. Will Putin pay a price for his petulant plunge into sovereign territory?
Kerry carefully avoided saying anything offensive.
“We’re busy right now coordinating with our counterparts in many parts of the world…we don’t want this to be a larger confrontation…”
Kerry said that the president is “keeping all options on the table”, though Kerry’s phrasing is recognized by everyone, including Putin, as empty rhetoric when spoken by President Obama, or Secretary of State Kerry. Leaders east and west understand that the White House has no intentions of using any option other than diplomatic, though for the sake of appearances, it’s customary to signal that other options are being considered.
“We call on Russia to engage with the government of the Ukraine. We’re prepared to work very closely with Russia in order to address whatever legitimate concerns may exist…”
Note: Kerry’s bland answers and uninteresting quotes can be attributed to the lack of serious questions and probing redirects. While Kerry accepted invitations to appear on on each network news show this Sunday, he declined an invitation from Fox News Sunday, understandably preferring not to answer challenging questions from respected host and formidable interviewer Chris Wallace.
Jesse Walker writes: Last week I mentioned that a majority of Americans thinks it likely that a conspiracy killed John F. Kennedy. One member of that majority turns out to be Secretary of State John Kerry. Politico reports:
Pressed in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to explain his beliefs that JFK’s death was part of a bigger plot, Kerry said: “I just have a point of view. And I’m not going to get into that. It’s not something that I think needs to be commented on, and certainly not at this time.”
“I’m not going to go into it. It’s just inappropriate, and I’m not going to do more than say that it’s a point of view that I have. But it’s not right, or worthy, or appropriate for me to comment further,” Kerry told host David Gregory.
Kerry said in a recent interview with NBC, as the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches, he doubts the official story.
“To this day, I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone,” Kerry said about the suspect arrested in the 1963 assassination.
Hat tip: Bryan Alexander. As for me, I think the most persuasive account of Kennedy’s death and life is this one:
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bali was graced by the presence of Secretary of State John Kerry, a stand-in for Barack Obama, who decided to stay home so he could refuse to negotiate with the GOP-led House of Representatives.
Mis-tweet o’ the morning >> @TheOval Obama calls Kerry a liar usat.ly/1a9c9XR—
Teri Christoph (@TeriChristoph) September 05, 2013
Great catch via Twitchy