Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who first came to fame telling the Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 that U.S. soldiers had committed atrocities in Vietnam, now has decided that his supposedly good legacy would be tarnished if President Trump scuttles Kerry’s most prized possession, the Iran nuclear deal. Thus Kerry is undermining the president by conducting shadow diplomacy with foreign leaders, including Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Union official Federica Mogherini, and France’s Emanuel Macron to try to undermine Trump’s possible decision to leave the deal altogether.
The Boston Globe, proud of its native son, writes, “With the Iran deal facing its gravest threat since it was signed in 2015, Kerry has been on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to preserve it, using his deep lists of contacts gleaned during his time as the top U.S. diplomat to try to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside.”
Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy expert at the leftist Brookings Institution, told the Globe, ““It is unusual for a former secretary of state to engage in foreign policy like this, as an actual diplomat and quasi-negotiator. Of course, former secretaries of state often remain quite engaged with foreign leaders, as they should, but it’s rarely so issue-specific, especially when they have just left office.”
None of this is surprising; Kerry’s well-known hostility toward Israel has been documented for years, so the idea that the very state that has threatened Israel with extinction should be allowed to pursue nuclear weapons disturbs Kerry nary a bit. As Wikileaks revealed years ago, “On a February trip to the Middle East, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) told Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem as part of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and that he was ‘shocked’ by what he saw on a visit to Gaza.”
Giving the Golan Heights to Syria would be suicidal for Israel; Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and Gaza has been dominated by Hamas, which has ruled over it with an iron fist for years.
So why is Kerry pretending he is engaging in quiet diplomacy when everyone can see what he is doing? One source who has worked with Kerry told the Globe, “Part of the equation is if Ernie [Ernest Moniz, the former US energy secretary] or John made a bold statement, [Trump] is . . . crazy, and he might do the opposite just to spite them. You’re liable to spur this guy in a direction you don’t want him to go in, just to be spiteful.”
Right. Kerry enabled Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, Trump may halt that in its tracks, but Trump is the one who’s crazy?
The Globe adds of Kerry, “In recent weeks he’s placed dozens of phone calls and, often with Moniz by his side, has lobbied members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan. While he is not negotiating as he did as secretary of state, he is attempting through quiet advocacy to preserve what he accomplished.”
Kerry is determined to preserve the fiction that Iran can be trusted; he tweeted on Tuesday, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave new evidence of Iran’s duplicity, “Every detail PM Netanyahu presented yesterday was every reason the world came together to apply years of sanctions and negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement — because the threat was real and had to be stopped. It’s working!”
Kerry is working with a group hilariously titled Diplomacy Works; its advisory council includes lead Iran-deal negotiator Wendy Sherman, former State Department chief of staff Jon Finer, and former spokeswoman Jen Psaki. They are attempting to inundate the media with articles championing the Iran deal.
Because, as everyone knows, Kerry is doing this for America, not to salvage his own ego.