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Parry writes: "As a young man, John Kerry was thrust into the Vietnam War by old men who lied to the nation out of ideological delusions, political expediency or personal pride. Now, John Kerry has become that old man, either detached from reality or believing he has a right to mislead the American people."

John Kerry testifies before Congress on the Ukraine. (photo: NBC)
John Kerry testifies before Congress on the Ukraine. (photo: NBC)


John Kerry's Sad Circle to Deceit

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

25 April 14

 

s a young man, John Kerry was thrust into the Vietnam War by old men who lied to the nation out of ideological delusions, political expediency or personal pride. Now, John Kerry has become that old man, either detached from reality or believing he has a right to mislead the American people just like those old men who sent him and so many other young Americans into the bloody jungles of Vietnam nearly a half century ago.

Kerry’s strident April 24 speech about Russia and Ukraine was, in many ways, a replay of his bellicose speech last Aug. 30 about Syria and the mysterious chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21. In both cases, Kerry opted for a one-sided rant over a balanced presentation of the facts; in both cases, he made repeated assertions about what the U.S. government knows without actually providing evidence.

Indeed, it seems that whenever Kerry does cite supposed “evidence” that can be checked – like the dubious anti-Semitic fliers distributed in eastern Ukraine or the photos of alleged Russian special forces soldiers who allegedly slipped into Ukraine – the “proof” goes “poof” as Kerry once said in a different context.

For Kerry, playing fast and loose with the truth has become a pattern, so much so that he is quickly shredding the credibility he once had as a brave young naval officer who returned from Vietnam to speak out against the war and as a courageous young senator who investigated serious crimes of state by the Reagan administration, including its tolerance of cocaine trafficking by U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contra rebels.

There were, of course, troubling signs along the way, such as his politically motivated vote in 2002 to let President George W. Bush invade Iraq on baseless claims about hidden WMD stockpiles and Kerry’s weak-kneed 2004 presidential campaign when he let his handlers convince him to hide his honorable past.

The Syrian-Sarin Ruse

But this full-blown Kerry-as-a-neocon-style-warmonger has only emerged since he became Secretary of State on Feb. 1, 2013. It was first fully unveiled in his Aug. 30 speech calling on the nation to support a bombing campaign against Syria for a sarin attack nine days earlier.

Given what we now know about the Syrian sarin attack – that the who-done-it is a far more complex mystery than what Kerry presented as a rationalization for war – it is worth looking back at what Kerry told the American people on Aug. 30.

Kerry pretended that the U.S. government had released a trove of detailed evidence proving that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack. He even urged Americans to read the evidence for themselves. He said:

“That’s why this morning’s release of our government’s unclassified estimate of what took place in Syria is so important. Its findings are as clear as they are compelling. I’m not asking you to take my word for it. Read for yourself, everyone, those listening.

“All of you, read for yourselves the evidence from thousands of sources, evidence that is already publicly available, and read for yourselves the verdict reached by our intelligence community about the chemical weapons attack the Assad regime inflicted on the opposition and on opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods in the Damascus suburbs on the early morning of August 21st. … We have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves.”

The problem with Kerry’s generous offer was that the Obama administration had declassified not a shred of evidence relating to the Syrian government’s alleged guilt, nothing that could be independently checked and verified.

Its four-page white paper was simply a series of assertions that had been carefully packaged as a “Government Assessment,” a sleight-of-hand trick to avoid a more formal National Intelligence Estimate which would have had to include dissents from U.S. intelligence analysts, some of whom had grave doubts about the administration’s rush to judgment.

There were other problems with Kerry’s case, including the lack of motive for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to launch the sarin attack outside Damascus just as United Nations inspectors were arriving to investigate an earlier chemical attack that Assad was blaming on the rebels. The Aug. 21 attack was sure to divert the inspectors (as it did) and was sure to provoke the U.S. government to claim that President Barack Obama’s “red line” had been crossed, thus possibly bringing the U.S. military into the civil war on the side of the rebels (which it almost did).

Evidentiary Problems

But that was only the beginning of the problems with the U.S. government’s case. Though Kerry and other U.S. officials cited a Syrian government bombardment with multiple rockets carrying sarin, the UN inspectors would ultimately recover only two suspect rockets, and one, which landed in Moadimiya, was found to have no sarin or other chemical agents. Only the one rocket landing in the Zamalka area was found to contain sarin.

And, much like former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who claimed to know where Iraq’s WMD sites were located before the Iraq War, Kerry insisted that he knew where the Syrian rockets originated. He declared: “We know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. We know where they landed and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.”

As part of its white paper, the U.S. government distributed a map supposedly showing the areas controlled by the government and neighborhoods in rebel hands, where the multiple rockets supposedly landed. The problem with this claim was that rocket scientists later determined that the one sarin-laden rocket had a maximum range of only about two kilometers, meaning that it would likely have been fired from a rebel-controlled zone.

One of those rocket scientists, MIT’s Theodore Postol, told MintPress News that “According to our analysis, I would not … claim that I know who executed the attack, but it’s very clear that John Kerry had very bad intelligence at best or, at worst, lied about the intelligence he had.”

Postol compared Kerry’s presentation to the Bush-43 administration’s assertions about Iraq possessing WMD in 2002-03 and the Johnson administration citing the Gulf of Tonkin incident to justify escalation of the Vietnam War in 1964. Postol also noted the failure of the U.S. press to question the U.S. government’s accusations against Syria.

“To me, the fact that people are not focused on how the [Obama] administration lied is very disturbing and shows how far the community of journalists and the community of so-called security experts has strayed from their responsibility,” Postol said. “The government so specifically distorted the evidence that it presented a very real danger to the country and the world. I am concerned about the collapse of traditional journalism and the future of the country.”

Though the U.S. “Government Assessment” was largely a propaganda document, it did include one footnote that U.S. intelligence analysts embedded in the map of the Damascus area (perhaps so it couldn’t be easily removed), explaining why the initial reports of about a dozen targets may have been exaggerated. The footnote read:

“Reports of chemical attacks originating from some locations may reflect the movement of patients exposed in one neighborhood to field hospitals and medical facilities in the surrounding area. They may also reflect confusion and panic triggered by the ongoing artillery and rocket barrage, and reports of chemical use in other neighborhoods.”

The Death Toll

However, in his Aug. 30 speech, Kerry expressed his case for Syrian government guilt with such certainty that he left no room for doubt, even offering a curiously precise figure for number of people killed.

Kerry declared, “The United States Government now knows that at least 1,429 Syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children. Even the first responders, the doctors, nurses, and medics who tried to save them, they became victims themselves. We saw them gasping for air, terrified that their own lives were in danger. This is the indiscriminate, inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. This is what Assad did to his own people.”

But the U.S.-claimed death toll surprised those first responders who estimated the casualties in the range of several hundred. Later, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration had reached its oddly precise number by applying facial recognition software to YouTube videos showing people in bloodless shrouds and then subtracting those that appeared more than once.

The problems with this “methodology” were multiple. First, you’d have to assume that all the YouTube videos were from the aftermath of the Aug. 21 attack, not from some earlier incident. Then, you’d have to assume that the lack of blood on the shrouds was proof of death from sarin when there could be many other causes of death that would not leave a bloody shroud. Despite Kerry’s bold assertion on the 1,429 number, there were no autopsies to support that figure.

Kerry insisted, too, that the Syrian government tightly restricted where the UN inspectors could go. But that made little sense because all the alleged impact sites were in rebel-controlled areas.

When the UN inspectors issued their first report in mid-September, they revealed how dependent they were on Syrian rebels for access to the areas of the alleged sarin attacks and to witnesses. One rebel commander was even asked to take “custody” of the UN inspection.

“An elaborate information exchange took place between UNOJSR [the UN team] and key representatives of the opposition. The information gathered through these exchanges would be used to formulate an action plan for the upcoming visit, which became very critical to the success of the mission,” the UN report said.

“The point of contact within the opposition was used to ensure the security and movement of the Mission, to facilitate the access to the most critical cases/witnesses to be interviewed and sampled by the Mission and to control patients and crowd in order for the Mission to focus on its main activities.”

While at these suspected attack sites, the inspectors also detected signs that evidence had apparently been “moved” and “possibly manipulated.” In other words, contrary to Kerry’s public assertions, it was the rebels who managed the movements of the UN inspectors, not the Assad regime. [For the latest on this sarin controversy, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Was Turkey Behind Syria-Sarin Attack?”]

Sinking Credibility

So, Kerry’s credibility on an issue of war or peace in Syria was right up there with President Lyndon Johnson’s on the Gulf of Tonkin or President George W. Bush’s on Iraq’s WMD. Though many lives were in the balance if the United States had launched the planned massive bombing campaign against Syria, Kerry made his case as an unscrupulous prosecutor piling up half-truths, untruths and unverified assertions.

It is perhaps not a coincidence that the principal world figure who steered President Obama away from Kerry’s hotly desired war last September was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arranged for Syria’s Assad to agree to surrender his entire chemical weapons arsenal even as Assad continued to deny any role in the Aug. 21 attack which he blamed on the rebels as a ploy to pull the U.S. military into the conflict.

By late September, leading American neocons were angry, too, frustrated that their hope for “regime change” in Syria had been blocked by Putin, who was also helping Obama hammer out a negotiated settlement to the Iranian nuclear dispute (and thus negate neocon hopes for another bombing campaign). The neocons began taking aim at this new adversary by targeting Ukraine, an important country on Russia’s border.

Carl Gershman, a leading neocon and longtime president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the op-ed page of the neocon-flagship Washington Post to urge the U.S. government to push European “free trade” agreements on Ukraine and other former Soviet states and thus counter Moscow’s efforts to maintain close relations with those countries.

The ultimate goal, according to Gershman, was isolating and possibly toppling Putin in Russia with Ukraine the key piece on this global chessboard. “Ukraine is the biggest prize,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

In furtherance of these goals, NED funded a staggering 65 projects in Ukraine, training activists, financing “journalists” and organizing business groups, according to NED’s annual report.

The Ukraine Context

In other words, the events that played out in Ukraine in fall 2013 and winter 2014 had a context. American neocons were furious at Putin for undercutting their plans for more “regime change” in the Middle East, and Kerry had ended up looking like a belligerent fool on Syria as he made the case for war but then saw Putin intervene.

Although Ukrainian citizens had legitimate beefs against their government and their elected President Viktor Yanukovych, the U.S. government – or at least Kerry’s State Department and Kerry’s neocon friends – kept up their own pressure for “regime change.” Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, a neocon from the ranks of Foreign Service officers, worked hand-in-glove with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt to encourage the anti-government protests in Kiev’s Maidan.

Nuland, the wife of neocon star Robert Kagan (a founder of the Project for the New American Century), literally passed out cookies to demonstrators and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the U.S. government had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.” In an intercepted phone call, she discussed with Pyatt her desire to see Arseniy Yatsenyuk installed as the new leader once Yanukovych was removed.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, Kerry’s old chum who had shepherded Kerry’s nomination to head the State Department, also showed up at the Maidan sharing a podium with the right-wing Svoboda party under its banners honoring Stepan Bandera, a Nazi collaborator from World War II whose paramilitary force helped exterminate Jews and Poles in an effort to achieve Ukrainian ethnic purity.

The reality of the Maidan was that most of the protesters appeared to be citizens rallying against government corruption and hoping for a more European future. Kiev, after all, is in Ukraine’s west where pro-European sentiment is strongest. But an important element of the Maidan uprising was the role played by the neo-Nazi militias, who were well-organized in 100-man units and who had secured weapons from looting a government arsenal.

These neo-Nazis moved to the forefront of the protests as things turned violent and after a still-mysterious sniper shooting that killed both demonstrators and police. U.S. officials and media blamed Yanukovych but he denied issuing such an order and some suspicion has fallen on a possible neo-Nazi sniper team seeking to enflame violence.

In an effort to tamp down that violence, Yanukovych signed an agreement on Feb. 21 brokered by three European governments in which he agreed to limit his powers, accept early elections to vote him out of office, and pull back police. It was that last move, however, that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias to seize government buildings on Feb. 22 and force Yanukovych and many of his officials to flee for their lives.

Immediately, the U.S. State Department hailed the “pro-democracy” coup and recognized the coup regime as the legitimate new leaders of Ukraine. However, the neo-Nazi storm troopers were an inconvenient reality.

A senior international diplomat who has been on scene in Ukraine told me that Western countries moved quickly to organize a new government under U.S. favorite Yatsenyuk because otherwise these unsavory far-right thugs would have been in total control. The neo-Nazis did get four ministries, including national security, and many of the neo-Nazi militias were then “legitimized” by being incorporated into the National Guard.

East Ukrainian Uprising

The installation of the coup regime in Kiev prompted resistance from Crimea and eastern Ukraine where Yanukovych had his electoral base. The Crimean parliament hastily arranged a referendum on secession and the official results showed 96 percent of the voters favoring rejoining Russia, an annexation which rapidly followed.

Pro-Russian demonstrators also rose up in eastern Ukraine seeking either a federalized state granting their regions substantial autonomy or a referendum on breaking away from western Ukraine and joining Russia.

However, Kerry, along with virtually the entire U.S. news media and officialdom, has presented the Ukrainian narrative as simply a case of Russia plotting to seize territory and acting as outside agitators to stir up the otherwise happy Ukrainian population. Yet, as with the Syrian sarin case, there has been a problem with actual evidence.

Last week, at a Geneva conference called to reduce tensions in Ukraine, Kerry instead exacerbated them with a claim about pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine threatening local Jews.

“Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews. And obviously, the accompanying threat implied is – or threatened – or suffer the consequences, one way or the other,” Kerry said.

However, in the days before Kerry spoke, the distribution of those leaflets in Donetsk had already been denounced as a black-propaganda hoax designed to discredit the pro-Russian protesters. Among those denying the legitimacy of the fliers was Denis Pushilin, the person whose name was signed at the bottom. He termed the fliers a “provocation” concocted by pro-coup operatives.

Although the authenticity of the fliers already had been publicly disputed, Kerry still cited them, without noting the denials about their authorship. He seemed to be back on message, using whatever gasoline he could throw on the fire.

Then, there was the case of Kerry’s State Department palming off photos to the New York Times that supposedly showed Russian soldiers “clearly” in Russia and then later in towns in eastern Ukraine. However, it soon turned out that a key photo, purportedly snapped in Russia, was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the principal claim of the photo spread. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Retracts Russian Photo Scoop.”]

Sticking to His Story

Despite that embarrassment, Kerry still cited these photos in his April 24 speech as proof that Russian special forces were operating inside Ukraine. “Some of the individual special operations personnel, who were active on Russia’s behalf in Chechnya, Georgia, and Crimea have been photographed in Slovyansk, Donetsk, and Luhansk,” he declared.

Much of the rest of Kerry’s tough talk also should be placed in the context of his now tattered credibility. As with his Aug. 30 call to arms against Syria, Kerry cited information that was either in serious dispute or couldn’t be verified independently.

But there was also a bombastic propagandistic tone to almost everything coming out of his mouth, an arrogance that some of us are old enough to remember in the days of the Vietnam War when the U.S. side always wore “white hats” and the other side always wore “black hats.”

In the Ukraine context, of course, the neo-Nazi brown shirts who spearheaded the coup on Feb. 22 have been thoroughly whitewashed from the acceptable U.S. media/government narrative. The overthrow of a democratically elected president has been rehabilitated as a “pro-democracy” exercise. Yanukovych’s supporters in eastern Ukraine who are resisting the imposition of authority by the coup regime in Kiev are now dubbed “terrorists.”

And, for good measure, Kerry sneered: “Russia is actually mystified to see Ukraine’s neighbors and likeminded free people all over the world united with Ukrainians who want to build a better life and choose their leaders for themselves, by themselves.”

Much as we were told that no one should question the secret U.S. evidence on the Syrian chemical incident, Kerry continued, “Nobody should doubt Russia’s hand in this. …

“Our intelligence community tells me that Russia’s intelligence and military intelligence services and special operators are playing an active role in destabilizing eastern Ukraine with personnel, weapons, money, operational planning, and coordination. The Ukrainians have intercepted and publicized command-and-control conversations from known Russian agents with their separatist clients in Ukraine. …And we’ve seen weapons and gear on the separatists that matches those worn and used by Russian special forces.”

Though it is surely possible that Russian special forces are operating in eastern Ukraine – despite the Russian government’s denials – Kerry has presented no evidence to prove his point. Indeed, the evidence that his State Department has put forth, as in the Russian photos, turned out to be bogus.

Yet, what has gripped Official Washington and the U.S. news media is a full-blown “group think.” The facts and context of the Ukrainian events have been forgotten or bowdlerized to such an extent that the American people are being systematically misled. Whenever the fuller context is mentioned, it is dismissed as “the Russian narrative.”

We have seen this movie many times before – as has John Kerry – when the American people were snookered into the Vietnam War via the Gulf of Tonkin deception, when we were sold on Iraq’s non-existent WMD, and when we were told “facts” about the Syrian gas attack that have since proved false, just to name a few of the times propaganda has dominated American discourse around war or peace.

Sadly, John Kerry seems to be completing the circle of his public career by becoming as an old man what the young John Kerry bravely spoke against.

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+43 # Henry 2014-04-26 08:52
Kerry promised to have "all the votes counted" when he ran for president against Bush – but he immediately conceded, thereby losing ANY credibility if he ever had any.
 
 
+25 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-04-26 09:04
Kerry as a young man was not a person of honesty and ethics. He went into the Vietman war in an attempt to get lots of medals. His plan at that time was to go into politics. He wanted to go on the small boats as Kennedy did. He was only in Vietnam for a few months and he left his commsnd to kill a young man storing food for his family in an underground bunker. The young man was unarmed and no threat to the American forces---and why were we in Vietnam anyway? Weapons of mass destruction? An attack that never happened to one of our navy ships? Defending what? THe rights of our corporations to make massive profits?

Kerry has no ethics or morals. He is a spokesman for the top 1% and likes being a rich man. And like the other rich people, he is motivated by greed.
 
 
+16 # ericlipps 2014-04-26 13:14
Gee, I wish I could read the mind of someone far away forty years ago.

As for Kerry "leaving his command to kill a young man storing food for his family," that particular story, which was peddled by the Bush-connected Swift Boaters, was long ago debunked as a gross distortion if not an outright hoax. And no one goes to war to "get lots of medals"--and comes home alive as Kerry did.

Kerry's performance in recent years suggests a man finally beaten down, not one who was corrupt all along.
 
 
+3 # Elin48 2014-04-26 14:01
I can agree with your thoughts on this much easier than the one above to which you are replying. My only other thought was that perhaps he was a phony all along, but I'll have to listen again to his conversations in 1971 and decide phony or not. At the time he was considered a hero by those of us in the anti war movement. In 1971 I was 24.
 
 
+13 # vicnada 2014-04-26 18:47
When we discuss who Kerry was 40 years ago, it's difficult to cast a young, perhaps idealistic, more likely confused man as "phony" and then tag "all along" as if there was no change in the intervening term. What Parry rightly claims as "sad" is that maturing in our political system seems to have transformed Kerry into the cynical counterfeit that he so despised in his youth.
 
 
+9 # Malcolm 2014-04-26 13:22
Ironically, Kerry, as a young man, spoke before Congress about the fraud that was the Vietnam "war". He even joined a group of veterans, who threw their medals over the fence, at the Whitehouse.

I admit that there are some people who've claimed that what Kerry threw at the Whitehouse was not actually his medals. I don't know what evidence there may have been for that claim, though.

Regardless, he's certainly turned into a true chameleon warmonger, now that he's married into the 1%.

Anyone reading this old enough to remember the Viet nam era threat of "Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the lives of the American people"? My attempt at a quote...
 
 
+12 # tabonsell 2014-04-26 15:59
I'll explain why we were in Vietnam.

In March of 1954 the North Vietnamese kicked the French out of that part of the country.

By September of 1954 Eisenhower had created the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization that called for defense of SE Asian nations partners of the treaty. Also included in the treaty were France and Great Britain who had territory in SE Asia. Ike began sending advisors to Vietnam.

When the Viet Cong began their uprising near the end of 1960 US troops were only allowed to advise since active combat required 100% approval of all treaty partners. It wasn't forthcoming because the treaty did not address civil wars.

As an intelligence analyst, I talked to an Army major who had come back from advising and he said it was impossible to get South Vietnamese army to engage the VC because they hated the puppet government the French had imposed on them as much as the VC did.

Lyndon Johnson wasn't going to cut and run from Vietnam because of the political backlash he would face at home, so he created the "Gulf of Tonkin attack" to get congressional approval to engage in combat. He got it.

Many argue that Kennedy would have gotten us out of Vietnam without a war. That is dubious because he had presided over the situation for three years before he died and had done nothing to get us out.

Incidentally, I was a strong supporter of both Kennedy and Johnson; just being impartial here.
 
 
+2 # RevOleson 2014-04-26 16:51
That's not why we were in Vietnam! A reporter asked Johnson on an airplane why the US was in Vietnam..Johnso n unzipped his pants...Took out his penis and said, "That's why." His Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg witnessed it.
 
 
0 # tigerlillie 2014-04-26 23:53
The above comment is a response tabonsell, not RevOleson, whose point is very valid.
 
 
0 # tigerlillie 2014-04-26 23:53
I guess it was the below comment...
 
 
0 # tigerlillie 2014-04-26 23:49
What kind of explanation is this? It makes no sense what so ever. A big reason for our involvement in Vietnam was China's backing of the North Vietnamese.
 
 
+1 # tigerlillie 2014-04-26 23:37
Fiction or fact? Substantiate your claims, which I suspect are the interpretation of Kerry's Vietnam involvement by someone with an agenda of their own.
 
 
+25 # dyannne 2014-04-26 09:43
What a SAD state of affairs.
 
 
+4 # Yakpsyche 2014-04-26 16:21
Very sad state of the world; state of humanity. Sad, sad, sad.
 
 
+37 # maddave 2014-04-26 10:46
I was awarded a Vietnam Campaign Medal with four bronze stars, showing that my ticket was punched beginning in 1962. However, I offer no opinions regarding Kerry, whom I never met. What I will, say is that I read the complete transcript of his testimony before the Senate - the one for which that REMF's (Rear Escalon M-F's) pilloried him - and history has proven his words to be true - spot on - unqualified . I'll leave it at that.

Today? I am puzzled. The Kerry of the late 60's (and in 2004) was not so bellicose as today's Kerry. My best & most honest estimate of the current situation is that age & experience change one's perspective while power & wealth corrupt.

When lives and national treasure are at stake, arbitration and negotiations ought to - at least initially - trump brash threats, ultimatums and force!
 
 
+13 # Activista 2014-04-26 16:49
I am not qualified to comments on Kerry as human being, but his anti Russia propaganda is so transparent that few seconds search on the Internet .. and house of cards comes down ..
Maybe Kerry is ultimes "team" player .. of Neocons Inc. ?
 
 
+44 # Rich Austin 2014-04-26 11:06
maddave is spot on! "age & experience change one's perspective while power & wealth corrupt." As a lifelong Democrat (been voting for 52 years) it is apparent the today's sorry excuse for Democrat couldn't have carried FDR's water. As the workers bees who die in the wars made by the rich to further enrich the wealthy, and who suffer the effects of corporate friendly free-trade scams, we must ANNOUNCE to the DNC, and to State Party operatives that a new day has dawned. The neolibs have been in control for forty years and America's workers has suffered at their "bipartisan" hands. It's time we who turn the wheels in America reclaim our Party, and only support politicians who embraces FDR's Second Bill of Rights. No more excuses. The time is now.

Kerry (et al) has been co-opted by power and wealth. I'll leave it at that.
 
 
+20 # James Marcus 2014-04-26 11:16
Lying...is now his FIRST AMENDMENT "RIGHT".
Just ask the Supreme Court.
 
 
+21 # David Starr 2014-04-26 11:39
How tragic Kerry went from a young ex-soldier with the courage to reveals truths about the Vietnam War to a Bush Jr. wannabe.
 
 
+11 # rjbinky 2014-04-26 12:46
I find it very difficult to look at him in his on-air speeches. Those eyes are looking out from a sad place.
 
 
-7 # ahollman 2014-04-26 13:02
Too bad that Parry, like many journalists, can't rely on his facts, but *must* have a villain in his article, in this case Kerry, undeservedly.

Yes, the US was about to bomb Assad's forces over his use of nerve gas. But Obama pulled back *because* his own military/intel staff said they lacked proof *and* had evidence that the opposition used it.

Kerry had been quietly negotiating a deal with the Russians: Assad would turn over his chemical stockpile and the US would not bomb. Parry ignores that it took our threat to bomb Assad's forces to get Assad to agree.

It's morally ambiguous. The world, mostly the US and Russia, got Assad to give up chemicals, which he would have likely used when desperate, but gave him more time to fight the rebels.

The Hersh article that Parry cites gives strong evidence (but not proof) that Turkey armed the rebels with chemical weapons, to use and then blame Assad, in order to draw in the US. That failed.

Parry ignored more complex facts to vilify Kerry. He avoids a moral dilemma: what *should* the US do? Arm the rebels? Help only affected Syrian civilians?

Now Parry unfairly vilifies Kerry on Ukraine. Its Ukranian and Russian populations, equally corrupt and anti-Semitic, have had lousy choices, between Nazis and Communists in WW2, between two competing economic blocs now.

Nor have Parry or other journalists criticized the New Endowment for Democracy until now, although it's been active for many years.

Parry can do better.
 
 
+19 # Radscal 2014-04-26 15:41
"what *should* the US do? "

Well, a good start would be to admit that Obama appointed the NeoCon, Robert Ford as the first U.S. Ambassador to Syria in 6 years in 2011, who immediately began to foment the "rebellion" that has led to something over 100,000 deaths in an attempt to overturn a democratically- elected government. (However despotic Assad may be, he was elected and had the support of 2/3 of all Syrians two years into the "rebellion.")

We should acknowledge that Ford's previous claim to fame was his appointment by Bush II as deputy to NeoCon John Negroponte to implement the Pentagon's "Iraq Salvador Option" of establishing terrorist death squads to guarantee a "failed state" in Iraq.

We should admit that immediately upon arriving in Syria, he began organizing, funding, arming and importing "rebels" to complete Rumsfeld's 2002 goal of "regime change" in 7 countries. We should acknowledge that Ford's shipping of arms and Islamic radicals from Libya to Syria was the cause of the Benghazi fiasco.

Then, I suppose we should apologize formally, pay war reparations for the havoc we've reaped and arrest and prosecute the war criminals who caused all this suffering, death and destruction in what had been one of the most modern, sectarian countries in the Middle East.

Or, we could just continue to believe whatever propaganda the NeoCons feed us.
 
 
0 # ahollman 2014-04-30 19:01
Radscal responded to my post's question re Syria: "What *should* the US do?", by 1) bringing up past history, 2) accepting Assad's election as legitimate, 3) and suggesting that we apologize for past actions and pay reparations.

Radscal addresses the past, but ignores what we should do *now* about 200,000 Syrians dead and millions displaced.

Yes, we have had contentious relations with Syria, alternately trying to overthrow Assad and working with him. It's called realpolitik. It's a nasty business which sacrifices morality for national interest. Most nations do it most of the time.

Re Robert Ford, "neocon" has no commonly accepted meaning and is thus meaningless. It may be that Ford was the Syrian end of the CIA/MI6 project to ship Libyan arms to Syria (as documented by journalist Seymour Hersh), but Radscal entirely ignores the brutality of Assad's regime and the popular anti-Assad protest that ignited the Syrian rebellion.

Now, we face a moral choice: To what extent do we support groups (many quite dubious) who oppose Assad (who definitely deserves to go), given our past meddling in the region? How do we respond to Syrians continuing to die or flee to other countries? Do we stand by and do nothing, as we did in Rwanda 20 years ago?

Although the rebels used nerve gas first, I'm glad we helped relieve Assad of his chemicals. We should do more to help Syrian refugees and the adjacent countries (poor) which house them. Let's take a support role, not a lead role.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2014-04-26 16:58
Excellent information from Ahollman - wish the people marking red would provide better some explanation.
Kerry is tragicomic character - hope to read his memoirs when he will be out of power/governmen t. Where his "instructions" came from.
Kerry was tougher on Israel than previous secretary of state Hillary Clinton (hard not to be).
 
 
-2 # tgemberl 2014-04-26 19:48
I am beginning to be skeptical about the whole term "neocon." I suppose there were neocons at some point. Our victory in the first Gulf War made people overconfident that we could intervene abroad. Certainly there were neocons when we invaded Iraq. But on this site, the term "neocon" seems to signify anyone who believes people elsewhere in the world might be able to learn something from the US.

We've made some bad mistakes. Vietnam and Iraq were really bad. But there are good things about the US. Our great contribution to human civilization was the separation of church and state. Actually, even imperialism isn't always bad. Roman imperialism in the ancient world created a Mediterranean region with quite a bit of peace, economic growth, social mobility, and cultural diversity. French imperialism in the early 19th century spread the enlightened ideas of the French Revolution. And some imperial powers are better than others. For example, I can see nothing positive in German Nazi imperialism.
 
 
+3 # Activista 2014-04-26 20:47
2009 Andrew Sullivan .. neoconservatism , in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as -survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into... But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism
Close to my definition of neocons - USA foreign politics controlled by Israel - best example is US policy and propaganda for war against Iran ...
 
 
0 # tgemberl 2014-04-27 14:28
Thank you. That definition is helpful. But our policies towards the Ukraine or Russia have nothing to do with Israel. Sure, Russia sometimes supports Iran and Syria against us, but supporting the aspirations of some Ukrainians to be independent of Russia is unrelated to that.

It seems to me that people who use the term "neocon" a lot look at every event in the world through the same glasses. Every time the US government takes a position on some foreign conflict, it's part of "neoconservativ ism." I don't think that's enlightening.
 
 
+29 # mighead 2014-04-26 13:20
Re: Ukraine

I'm not worried about the Russian lies here...

I AM worried about the lies MY government is telling me here.

Less than 1 year ago we needed to intervene in Syria...hopeful ly getting bogged down in another multi-year Trillion Dollar mess in some country halfway across the world that we had no business being in.

Now we're manufacturing evidence so we can get bogged down in another multi-year Trillion Dollar mess with Russia over Ukraine which has lots of Russians and ZERO Americans the last time I looked?

What concerns me here is our Dr. Strangelove government that is getting us into all of these messes that are certainly none of our business and certainly not worth a nickel of taxpayer money.

Oops...did I say 'none of our business'?

Sorry Shell, Chevron, Monsanto and all of the rest of the corporations who have money at stake in Ukraine here!!!

But why don't you use your own money to get whatever you want instead of doing it all on Taxpayer money!!!

OOPS...did I say Taxpayer money???

I meant to say Social Security Trust Fund money!!! After the $2T that was taken out to fund Iraq and Afghanistan, there's still $2T left before the US is completely bankrupt!!!
 
 
-1 # tgemberl 2014-04-27 19:50
There won't be any war with Russia. No one would be crazy enough to go to war with Russia.
 
 
+14 # Anonymot 2014-04-26 13:39
You can call it "group think" if you wish, but groups can think together to promote peace or war, democracy or Fascism. The great group think of the 20th Century was Hitler, the second greatest was Stalin. On the other side was anti-apartheid, or black rights in America or the most aggressively militant: the gay movement in its various aspects.

Kerry is as much a deception as Obama, but in this Deep State government, controlled by the same people as the Bush mobsters, both the President and last 2 Secretaries of State are mere mouthpieces for people we don't see except when some useless Congressional committee calls up a Clapper or Brennan types and all concerned blow hot wind past their lips.

I think the entire concept of Republicans & Democrats requires dramatic revision. Two parties of neocons bowing & scraping to an unknown group of neofascists may be hot stuff in Zimbabwe, but is this Zimbabwe, too?
 
 
+14 # mighead 2014-04-26 13:46
So by my calendar...

Our Dr. Strangelove government tries to start a new multi-year Trillion Dollar war every 8 months. Preferably in some place halfway across the world where there are no Americans.

Have I got that right???!!!
 
 
+12 # janie1893 2014-04-26 14:00
Gotta keep the old military/indust rial complex rolling along!
 
 
+7 # aljoschu 2014-04-26 15:52
Bush, Obama, Kerry, McCain and consorts have turned war into a profitable business case. In Afghanistan and Iraq there is not much to win any longer - except for what the American soldatesca is ripping off of what belongs to the people there. Syria went bad somehow - no Red Lines any more and we better not talk about the originator of the poison gas attacks (I am sure the CIA knows, though).
Now it's Russia, a new game, lot's to win by going into Cold War reloaded! And the Ukraine is just the stepping stone. Europe - fuck you! We Americans pay the bill - military wise - therefore, we cash in. And if the war extends over western Europe - so what? The Euro is getting too strong again, anyway.
 
 
0 # tgemberl 2014-04-27 19:53
"Syria went bad somehow"

Isn't it clear enough that it went bad because there wasn't enough evidence about who did the bombing, and because Kerry helped talk Assad into dismantling the weapons?
 
 
+4 # Ken Carman 2014-04-26 17:10
Despite promises, in 04 Kerry turned his boat around and skedaddled like the coward he has become. Even Edwards said we could wait to count the votes.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2014-04-26 17:13
Looking at the puppet government in Kiev - whom it represents?
The president candidate oligarch Timoshenko want Ukraine to be part of NATO -
"
AP Interview: Tymoshenko calls for NATO membership
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said that Ukraine "must be a member of NATO" in order to protect itself from Russian aggression.
I am sure that US State Department notices and guess where the "campaign" money will go. But there is no chance for Eastern Ukraine to agree .. Think that the problem are politicians/oli garchs - NOT Ukraine people ...
 
 
+3 # geraldom 2014-04-26 21:26
The following URL links you to the article:

http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-tymoshenko-calls-nato-membership-152144036.html

Activista, I repeat to you now what I have mentioned several times in previous posts.

It is my opinion that the illegitimate government of Ukraine, under the guidance of the CIA, the United States government and John Kerry, is sending out what I call feelers in the form of the Ukrainian military into the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine to see how Putin is reacting to these forages, to these attacks on the pro-Russian separatists, to see if he would really send in the Russian military.

Each time they do this, they seem to send in more and more military hardware and troops, and so far they see no real threat coming from Russia.

If Putin fails to move in to eastern and southern Ukraine sooner rather than later, militarily-spea king, in order to set up some protective shield, a protective wall, as a major deterrent against any further incursions by the illegitimate Ukrainian government and to once and for all tell the Kiev government, the United States government, the EU, and NATO, not to mention an American-contro lled United Nations, that Russia means business, that it will not tolerate any further attempts to expand NATO beyond those borders where NATO (unfortunately) already exists (illegally) in eastern Europe, then Putin (and Russia) will eventually end up losing all of Ukraine to the United States.
 
 
+7 # geraldom 2014-04-26 18:07
If today's version of John Kerry was Secretary of State under George W. Bush instead of Colin Powell, he would have probably knowingly lied to the American people as easily and as coldly as Colin Powell did at the behest of George W, Bush in order to justify an illegal war in Iraq that caused the deaths of well over two million innocent Iraqis, men, women, and children. And, the dying continues in Iraq even till today as a result of Colin Powell's lies.


What's happened to John Kerry? Did he sell his soul to the devil?
 
 
-3 # jojo5056 2014-04-26 18:52
Kerry (Koche)--This man is evil--innocent looking but devilish to the core.

Senator Heinz and Kerry Families were known to party together. Senator Heinz's small plane just happened to develop engine failure on flight--By By Mr. Heinz. In few months. Johnny Boy is shacking up with Mrs. Heinz. Mrs. Kerry develops a serious illness. Kerry drops her and Marries Mrs.Heinz. Get this--After Heinz dies--in 3 months Kerry becomes a multi $ billionaire. I suggest everyone read up in how and why Kerry's grandfather switch last names.
You can not get anyone more evil then this puke.
 
 
+2 # Lou17 2014-04-26 20:42
Sen Heinz and six others died when his twin-engined plane collided with a helicopter that was checking its landing gear, which the plane's pilot had reported possibly malfunctioning. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/05/us/senator-heinz-and-6-others-killed-in-midair-crash-near-philadelphia.html There is no suggestion of suspicious circumstances in the report. I have not investigated further.
 
 
+8 # ganymede 2014-04-26 21:18
First of all, thank you Robert Parry for a concise and very accurate rundown of yet another disaster we may be headed for. Hopefully, Putin isn't as big a warmonger as we are, and will do something positive again as he did with the Sarin situation.

Which leads me to the biggest question of all; why have we become the world's No.1 warmonger since Hitler. It isn't just the excesses of a capitalism totally out of control, but something darker in the American psyche. Unlike, Europeans who have experienced a lot of violence and upheaval on their soil and have become somewhat more peace-loving people, we revel in violence,guns and punishment, especially in inflicting it on people in faraway places with our dispensible young soldiers.

Left out in Parry's article, was the impending war in Iran being heavily marketed by the neocons and wayward Jewish propagandists. They are so itching to drop bombs on Iran, but, fortunately, the whole world is watching. One wonders how these people can live with themselves realizing the death and destruction they are causing.
 
 
+2 # fdawei 2014-04-26 23:45
Since my hair has been receding for years, the only thing I like about John Kerry is his hair.
 
 
+7 # FDRva 2014-04-26 23:58
I closely followed John Kerry's first successful electoral campaign--for Mass Lt. Gov.--and used the research of his Senate committee investigating the Nicaraguan Contras & cocaine to remind Va. voters that Col. Oliver North was a "drug-smuggling Son-of-a-Bush" and not a 'patriotic Christian.' I strongly supported his 2004 presidential run.

And I could not be more disgusted with Kerry and President Obama.

Has Kerry gone mad? Maybe, overdosed on McCain's Viagra?

Has the White House suggested that the Obama organization wants Kerry to be the next President?

That might explain--but not excuse--the war drive against Russia.

And make no mistake--the issues raised--Syria & Ukraine--are about bringing Russia to heel--to the benefit of the London & Wall Street financial community.

Perhaps, Putin should go to the UN and propose an intervention to bring democracy to Arizona--and stop the Administration' s record deportations of Mexican refugees.

There is no shortage of 'human rights' complaints that could 'justify' Russian-led UN intervention.
 
 
0 # tgemberl 2014-04-27 19:46
"war drive against Russia"

There won't be any war with Russia. No one would be crazy enough to go to war with Russia.
 
 
+3 # tigerlillie 2014-04-27 00:15
McCain was always a bad apple, but the demise of what was once a sincere young man of integrity, the demise of John Kerry, I find infinitely sad. I once considered him a viable presidential candidate. Is he so desperate for political prominence that he will say or do anything? He still has the option to repudiate the whole thing and step down. I never perceived him as having the ruthless drive of, say, Hilary Clinton.
 
 
+1 # FDRva 2014-04-27 00:28
Russian bayonets in Arizona certainly would break the logjam on immigration reform--since both Washington parties benefit politically from fear.

The GOP benefits from fear among poor White voters that immigrants--leg al or otherwise--thre aten their livelihoods.

And Dems from voters fearful that 'driving while Hispanic' gets them jailed.

Maybe Putin can solve this--since Obama, Boehner et al--to date--cannot.

And a tip of the hat to Jonathan Swift.
 
 
+4 # RMDC 2014-04-27 08:33
Kerry is just another cowardly employee of the US empire. He was always that. Let's not forget that he was Skull and Bones at Yale.
 
 
-1 # BKnowswhitt 2014-04-28 20:55
Con-Fart-ium 'News' - don't be so quick to judge a mans past as we are all flawed. you mean to tell me that Kerry is a sell out to the Right and that kind of over simplification is the reason for his position? It's far more complicated and be sure my friends to not lose sight of the fact that it's Putin who is a crook and not the USA .. points in the article If They are True .. point out how complex it is. Countries that have no economic base nor history are game for dictators .. that's Ukraines history .... we should be aligned in this country both Left and Right to stand up for what is right .. and it ain't what a weakoned Russia is doing right now ... and i don't blame either Obama or John Kerry for what is going on there .. nor should you .. get a fucking life please!!!!!!!!! !!!
 
 
-1 # BKnowswhitt 2014-04-29 13:16
More importantly who did he Decieve?
 

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