Have we ever had a more fatuous Secretary of State than John Kerry?

Posted by: Phineas on March 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

**Posted by Phineas

We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

Really, all that seems able to come out of that mouth of his is an endless stream of meaningless blather that would make Sir Humphrey Appleby proud.

Courtesy of Hot Air, this is what Kerry had to say about the Ukraine crisis yesterday:

Secretary of State John Kerry said that “all options are on the table” when it comes to steps the U.S. can take to hold Russia accountable for its military movements in Ukraine, including economic sanctions and potentially military action.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today on “This Week,” Kerry said Russian troops moving into the Ukrainian region of Crimea was “a military act of aggression” and that the U.S. will move swiftly to impose penalties if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not withdraw his troops.

While military force is among the options President Barack Obama is considering, Kerry said the U.S. and its allies hope they can avoid such action.

“The hope of the U.S. and everybody in the world is not to see this escalate into a military confrontation,” he said.

The indirect language of diplomacy uses phrases that convey very specific messages without putting the other side publicly on the spot, in a situation where he cannot back down without being humiliated. And when you say “all options are on the table,” John, that includes military action. You’re essentially telling the other side that, should we not get satisfaction, we’re willing to go to war. This is the kind of talk you do not engage in lightly, especially when dealing with another nuclear power. The very idea of a “military option” in Ukraine is insane for any number of reasons.

I wonder if Kerry even knows what the words he’s saying actually mean. If he doesn’t, he’s a bigger dunce than I thought, which would be impressive. If he does and somehow thinks that will intimidate Vladimir Putin, then he’s dangerously incompetent. Putin has taken the measure of the Obama administration after years of watching it in action, and he knows darn well their threats are meaningless. After abandoning Poland and the Czech Republic over missile defense, after the laughable reset button, after cutting and running in Iraq and Afghanistan, and after the disaster of Obama’s Syria policy, Putin knows any threats from this American administration are empty. He probably rolled his eyes and laughed when Kerry said all options were on the table.

Then there was this:

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “stunning, willful” choice to invade Ukrainian territory and warned of possible sanctions.

“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” one of several appearances on network interview shows.

“It’s serious in terms of the modern manner in which countries resolve problems,” Kerry said.

“That’s not the act of somebody who’s strong,” Kerry added, saying Putin is acting out of “weakness” and “desperation.”

I can think of many ways to describe President Putin, but “weak” and “desperate” wouldn’t even occur to me.

On the contrary, Vladimir Putin is a revanchist thug who, seeing that Washington won’t do anything meaningful (1) to oppose him, is going to push as hard as he can until someone dares to make him stop. His goal is not just to rebuild the Russian/Soviet empire, but forge a Eurasian Union (2) as an alternative bloc against the US and the EU. The bleatings of a Boston Brahmin about Putin being out of step with the times are meaningless to him

Secretary of State John Kerry (3) embodies the ideals of liberal internationalism, and brutal realist Vladimir Putin is showing just how empty they and he are.

Footnotes:
(1) For a sketch of the meaningful things we could do to stand up to Putin’s thuggery, check out Tom Rogan’s recommendations, especially that to, borrowing a phrase, “drill, baby, drill.”
(2) This is some scary stuff.
(3) To think he almost became president in 2004. I may have nightmares.

UPDATE: Speaking of Putin’s “weakness and desperation”…

Crimea Russia Ukraine mobile artillery

Those, my friends, are Russian mobile artillery pieces. On Ukrainian territory. Don’t they look weak and desperate? (h/t Jim Geraghty)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “Have we ever had a more fatuous Secretary of State than John Kerry?”

Comments

  1. John W says:

    Pravda quoted Putin’s reaction to Kerry’s remarks, but I’m not fluent in Russian so I’m not exactly sure what Putin said. Can someone please provide me with a translation of “HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa”?

  2. David Foster says:

    Re the Tom Rogan recommendations: “The president has one more extraordinary tool at his disposal: American energy. Were the president to unleash America’s energy boom into the export sector, fast-tracking energy supplies to Europe, he’d pull the rug out from under Putin’s feet.”

    The main form of energy at issue here is natural gas, which, unfortunately, is difficult to transport by sea, requiring LNG tankers along with extensive port facilities on both ends. Even with a full-scale push, it would probably take a couple of years to be in a position to deliver extensive US nat gas to Europe.

    BUT, if we had a president with any credibility, the mere announcement of firm intent to do this would have a major geopolitical impact.

  3. Drew the Infidel says:

    It must be Kerry’s a*s talking; his mouth knows better.

    It is also helpful to remember that Kerry twice met with the enemy North Vietnamese delegation in Paris during the peace talks to end the Vietnam War but while still a member of the officer corps of the US Naval Reserve. This is defined as an act of treason.

  4. Nate says:

    I thought the Hildebeest was bad as SecState, but Kerry definitely puts the ‘dip’ in ‘diplomat’.

  5. H Hazell says:

    So far, he’s not blamed the invasion on a video.

  6. jim says:

    :(( madelaine albright.

  7. bill glass says:

    He is a Professor Irwin Corey of State. Pompous, cowardly windbag – not worth a darn for anything.