John Kerry’s Alarming Priorities
by Joseph Klein, FrontPageMag
Al Qaeda and its affiliates are running all over North Africa and the Middle East while remaining a serious threat to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Approximately 70,000 Syrians are dead in a civil war exploited by Iran, Russia and Islamist jihadists. Egypt is an economic basket case, ruled by an increasingly unpopular authoritarian Islamist regime. Iran is getting ever closer to achieving its nuclear arms ambitions. North Korea has just exploded its third and most powerful nuclear bomb and is also developing inter-continental missile technology, which its military has said is “targeted” for the United States. China is engaging in cyber attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies. The “reset” of relations with Russia is reset in reverse.
In short, Secretary of State John Kerry assumes his office facing some of the most challenging foreign policy issues in a generation. One might think that his first major foreign policy address would deal with the clear and present dangers facing the United States and the free world today, such as the proliferation of nuclear arms into the wrong hands, the Arab Spring-Turned-Winter or global terrorism, which cost Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans their lives last September 11th.
But that would be too much to ask. Instead, Kerry decided to use his speech on February 20th at the University of Virginia to indulge in clichéd generalities about the importance of State Department foreign “investments” (i.e., foreign aid), promotion of American values abroad, and the need to tackle climate change. He also threw in for good measure a warning about budget cuts and the looming sequester.
“Some might ask why I’m standing here – why I’m starting here – a Secretary of State making his first speech in the United States,” Kerry said. “They might ask, ‘Doesn’t diplomacy happen over there, overseas, far beyond the boundaries of our own backyard?’”
A good question, but John Kerry gave an answer that is more fitting for a high school social studies teacher.
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