From the desk of David Horowitz
John Kerry forgot one thing when he went to Geneva to cut a deal with the Iranian mullahs last weekend—his umbrella.
Neville Chamberlain carried one with him to Munich and it became a symbol of the appeasement that encouraged Hitler to go to war. Now Kerry has brought appeasement back into vogue with a deal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right in saying was not, as our Secretary of State congratulated himself in proclaiming, “an historic agreement,” but rather”an historic mistake.”
Neville Chamberlain at least faced a real threat. Hitler’s armies were on the move and the Reich was on the verge of overrunning Western Europe. What threat was Kerry trying to forestall by his appeasement? The mullahs were on the ropes as a result of a successful sanctions regime that has been official U.S. policy for two decades. Instead of intensifying the sanctions, which Congress will hopefully now do to remedy the national embarrassment the Secretary of State has created; Kerry gave the Iranians a relief from them. In return, they will not have to dismantle even one centrifuge. They retain what their Foreign Minister Javad Zarif defiantly calls “the inalienable right to enrich.” Kerry cut this desperate—and despicable regime—slack and gave it time—the one thing the Iranians desperately need to achieve the nuclear weapon that has become their obsessive quest.
Who benefited from this appeasement? Not the dissidents the Iranians routinely torture, the political opponents they hang, the religious minorities they torment. They are not even mentioned in the agreement. Not traditional U.S. allies such as the Saudis who fear the growth of a radical Iranian imperialism that will threaten the stability of the Middle East. Certainly not the Israelis, who were left twisting slowly in the wind by an act of diplomatic nihilism that strengthens a regime committed to their destruction. Prime Minister Netanyahu had it right when he said of Kerry’s deal: “Iran gets everything that it wanted and it pays nothing.”
Why the rush? Why give the Iranians, weaker than ever, this moment of respite? In truth this appears to be deal making for deal making’s sake—an effort at “personal diplomacy” by a man whose hallmark is narcissism and a pomposity that calls to mind Theodore Roosevelt’s description of William Jennings Bryan as “a professional yodeler and human trombone.”
But then, what else to expect from someone who first gained fame as a standard bearer for a movement aiming to stigmatize U.S. power as immoral and its military as genocidal? A few months ago, not long after Kerry had been appointed Secretary of State, the Freedom Center produced this video, contrasting him to a man to whom he was linked by circumstance and who became his opposite number, John O’Neill, a member of our board of directors. The contrast is not just between two very different individuals, but two clashing attitudes toward our country and toward totalitarianism.
In 1967 Kerry left Vietnam after three months of combat and came home to join the anti war movement. Soon after, O’Neill, a young lieutenant just out of the Naval Academy, took command of the Swift boat Kerry had just left. By 1970, Kerry, now a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, was building a political career for himself by calling his fellow American servicemen “war criminals” and charging that they had committed “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.”
O’Neill believed that the men who had fought alongside him in Vietnam had served honorably. Standing virtually alone, he challenged the mainstream media that had made Kerry into a national figure to stage a debate between the two of them. When his opportunity came he made the most of it, attacking Kerry’s contention that America was an immoral nation and deserved to lose the war. He drew a line in the sand that was still visible more than three decades years later in 2004, when Kerry was nominated for President by the Democratic Party.
The U.S. was in the middle of another war, the War on Terror that began on September 11, 2001. Kerry was for it before he was against it, initially voting to authorize the Iraq invasion and then, along with so many of his liberal Democrat colleagues, savagely attacked the mission of the U.S. military there, as he had 35 years earlier when accusing his Vietnam comrades of war crimes.
Kerry made his own service the centerpiece of his campaign when he accepted his party’s nomination by saluting the convention and saying that he was “reporting for duty.” John O’Neill wrote a book called Unfit For Duty which recorded how Kerry had filed phony claims of heroism under fire during his brief time in Vietnam, exaggerated his wounds, campaigned for medals he later threw away. O’Neill helped create television advertisements telling the truth about Kerry in which he appeared alongside other swift boat veterans who had served with the Democratic nominee.
John O’Neill helped stop John Kerry in 2004, but the anti American movement Kerry had joined when he was first looking for a short cut to personal power in the late 1960s has continued its slow motion takeover of our political culture and has now not only captured the State Department but the White House itself.
As John Kerry pursues engagement with the Iranian mullahs while punishing the Israelis, it is worth remembering yet again where he comes from and what he has believed since entering American political life. It is not a big step from defending the communist government of Ho Chi Minh forty years ago to appeasing the Islamist government of the Iranian mullahs today.
The Freedom Center believes that our leaders and opinion makers need to think carefully about what John Kerry believes and what he has done in his career as he now accommodates the most significant threat to stability in the Middle East. Please help us distribute this video—a time capsule all Americans need to open and examine in the context of Kerry’s actions as Secretary of State today.