Saturday, August 31, 2013

Of mice and men

Back in 2004, then Senator Kerry wanted to be president.  A decorated Vietnam veteran, Mr. Kerry thought he would be a cinch for the nomination.  Then cam the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) and suddenly his record came into question.  To be sure, Kerry did perform with valor but what caught my attention was that he supposedly gave back his medals in 1971.  "I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals", said Kerry in an interview WRC-TC Viewpoints ABC News

Kerry supposedly gave these medals back because of how he felt about the war (but more likely because as a Democrat it would not help his chances to get elected if here were seen as a hawk).  Contrast though this article on Salon from 2004 where apparently Mr. Kerry still has his medals.

Do you still have the Silver Star,” I asked Kerry. “Yeah,” he said, “do you want to see it?” My answer was yes. He walked across his study to a secondary desk with clutter on top, mainly books, and opened the top right drawer. This is where he keeps all of his war medals. Salon

Now Secretary Kerry is leading the charge for intervention in Syria.  Kerry is certain of the use of chemical weapons by Assad (although reports are now surfacing that it may have been the Syrian rebels who used the chemical weapons). Kerry called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "a thug and a murderer" and accused his regime of using chemical weapons to kill 1,429 people--ABC

So the war hero first morphs into a "dove" then transforms again into a "hawk".  It makes it hard to really take the Secretary's bluster all that seriously.  Apparently many in Congress feel equally unimpressed with his arguments.  Yet Kerry's vitriol was able to persuade at least one elected official, President Obama.  Despite the resounding defeat of Prime Minister Cameron's effort in Parliament, Mr. Obama was going to go at it alone.

That was until yesterday evening when apparently Mr. Obama went for a walk with his senior advisor and changed his mind (NBC News).  I can't imagine how frustrated his administration has to be after Secretary Kerry brow-beat everyone into taking action in Syria.  This good-cop, bad-cop approach is going to backfire. President Obama is not seen as being particularly strong on foreign policy and defiantly comes in second to his rival Vladmir Putin.  I do not want to see the US launch cruise missiles.  However, I don't want to see a President who flip-flops on such serious matters seemingly at the turn of a hat.

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