John Kerry: Unfit for Duty

The Senate confirmation of John Kerry will mean that every enemy power or group that despises the United States will have an ally at the head of this country’s foreign policy establishment.


By Daniel Greenfield | January 21, 2013

Kerry Unfit for Duty

November 1971. The Anti-War movement was moving into high gear even as the Vietnam War was fading away. Americans troops were leaving Vietnam in large numbers and the last American offensive in Vietnam had begun the year before. But for the Anti-War movement, the actual war was only a pretext for undermining their country and promoting themselves.

Few men fit that description better than John Forbes Kerry who had not needed a weatherman to know which way the winds of political fortune were blowing. Vietnam Veterans Against the War became the platform for an aspiring Congressman seeking to remake his image. Despite its name VVAW was as bent on attacking the men fighting the war, as the war itself. Its publicity stunts, such as Operation RAW or Kerry’s own Senate testimony, were calculated to cast returning veterans as war criminals and murderers.

Toward the end of 1971, VVAW was balanced on the edge of its own irrelevance. The publicity stunts had brought it fame and undermined America’s position in negotiating a departure from Vietnam, but the departure was still underway. Rather than speeding it up, Kerry and VVAW had slowed it down to make the most of their moment in the sun, but once the public and VVAW’s membership realized that the war really was ending, so would their popularity.

For John Kerry, VVAW had accomplished its goal by making him famous. His medal stunt and Senate testimony were in the past now and in a few months the newly minted man of the people would begin his first Congressional campaign. But not every VVAW activist had a political exit strategy. Some had a more violent one in mind.

At the Kansas City leadership meeting of VVAW, a proposal was put forward to use the Christmas recess to murder several senators. Murdering senators would not be helpful to Kerry’s career plans, but neither would informing the authorities of the plot. Unlike much of the VVAW, Kerry didn’t want to storm the Senate, he wanted to work there. And so the man of nuance found a compromise, he resigned without telling anyone of the plot.

Three months later he was running for Congress.

Kerry’s second desertion was to become a pattern in his career. While some in the VVAW were career radicals, Kerry was a radical careerist. Leftist politics were his way up the ladder, but he never let them get in the way of his own career.

Over 40 years later, Kerry, the fake war hero turned fake anti-war hero, would try to pull off the same trick a second time, going from pro-war to anti-war in Iraq.

During his Senate testimony, Kerry had said, “We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now.” But John Forbes Kerry had always been a summer soldier, a straw man playing a part, a traitor to everything but his own career. John Kerry had gone to Washington not to tell the truth, but to tell the profitable lie.

Kerry was willing to lie, to portray himself as a war hero when it suited him and as a war criminal when it suited him, and to switch from one to the other, as quickly as he switched from supporting a war to opposing it. He was willing to cover up the planned assassination of United States senators, to throw away medals that he claimed were his before claiming that they weren’t, and to make common cause with America’s enemies, so long as it got him where he needed to go.

John Kerry has spent thirty years holding public office, twenty-eight of them as a United States Senator, and he has spent that time pushing the same bankrupt politics of international appeasement. The Kerry who made up imaginary war crimes in Vietnam while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee became a member of that same Committee while making up imaginary war crimes in Nicaragua.

The career of Senator Kerry is bookended by his support for the Sandinista terrorists at its inception to his recent support for Assad. In that time, the man who would be Secretary of State demonstrated that he had learned nothing from his constant mistakes.

In 1985, Kerry insisted that America needed to put its faith in the goodwill of the Sandinistas, as he had earlier expected it to puts its faith in the goodwill of the Viet Cong’s peace offer that he had announced in Washington D.C.

In 1970, as Kerry was taking aim at his first Congressional campaign, he told the Harvard Crimson, “I’m an internationalist. I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.” And Kerry also mentioned that he would like to eliminate the CIA.

In 1985, Kerry finally became Senator Kerry. Shortly thereafter, Senator Kerry announced that he was going to Nicaragua to meet with the Sandinistas as a Vietnam Veteran to avoid “repeating the mistakes we made in Vietnam.”

To Kerry, Nicaragua was just another Vietnam. The Comandante, Daniel Ortega, was just another Ho Chi Mihn and the old winter soldier was back in the saddle galloping to the rescue of another Communist dictatorship. Senator Kerry went in search of another Vietnam and he found it. In his Senate floor speech a year later, he argued against military aid to the Contra rebels by invoking Vietnam.

“Mr. President, how quickly do we forget? How quickly do we forget? No one wanted to widen the war in Vietnam.” Then followed the usual tale of young Kerry suffering through Christmas in Cambodia and a plea not to send off another generation of American soldiers to die in Nicaragua. It was a shameless speech that Kerry would repeat with tedious regularity throughout his long political career of finding new Vietnams around the world.

While Nicaragua did not have much in common with Vietnam, the Sandinistas and the Viet Cong both had Kerry selling their agenda in Washington. In the Senate, John Kerry did exactly what he had done outside it… represent the interests of the Communist foe.

Having found himself another Vietnam, Kerry obstructed Reagan’s policy as much as he could. He met with Ortega and brought back his proposal to block all aid to the contras. The proposal was a thin tissue of lies. It claimed that the Sandinistas were non-aligned, when they were aligned with the USSR, and Ortega’s visit to Moscow shortly thereafter would humiliate and discredit pro-Sandinista Democrats like Kerry. Kerry’s claim that he was not illegally negotiating with Ortega, but only passing along a message, was an even thinner tissue of lies.

When Reagan imposed sanctions on the Sandinista regime, Kerry denounced it as an “unpardonable” “unilateral display of arrogance.” He demanded an investigation into the possibility that former US soldiers were acting as soldiers of fortune in Nicaragua.

John Kerry defined himself as a veteran, but the one consistent attitude that he has shown is contempt for the American soldier.

As far back as his Yale days, Kerry had been insisting that American’s foreign policy problems were caused by its military. Kerry’s political career began with his demonization of American soldiers in Vietnam and it wrapped up with his demonization of American soldiers in Iraq.

In 1971, Kerry had accused American soldiers of cutting off ears and heads, raping women and behaving in a way reminiscent of Genghis Khan. Thirty-four years later, Kerry accused American soldiers in Iraq of terrorizing women and children.

The war hero turned anti-war hero turned war hero let his true feelings slip at a campaign event in California in 2006.

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq,” he told students.

John Forbes Kerry, Yale man, was far too smart to get stuck in Iraq or Vietnam. Instead he did his homework and finessed his way out of Vietnam and into Washington DC. Unlike those fools in the military who believed in winning wars, he believed in losing them and profiting politically from the defeat.

This was the lesson that Kerry had taken away from his work with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the same lesson that he had taken away from every war, that it was safer to be the senator than the soldier, the critic rather than the commander. That is the lesson that John Kerry learned 71 years ago. It is the lesson that he intends to bring with him to his work as Secretary of State.

For all his cleverness, John Kerry has always been a pawn of foreign interests. Kerry let himself be used by the Viet Cong and by the Sandinistas, by the Soviet Union and by half the Muslim world. As Secretary of State, he will go on being used, no longer as a Senator, but as the most important foreign policy figure in the Obama Administration.

If John Kerry becomes Secretary of State, then every terrorist group that he panders to and every tyrant that he plays up to will ascend that post with him. The Senate confirmation of John Kerry will mean that every enemy power or group that despises the United States will have an ally at the head of this country’s foreign policy establishment.

Over 40 years ago, Kerry learned that treason will be rewarded by the political establishment of the left. If his political career is capped off with this honor, then American foreign policy will be in the hands of a man with no principle except contempt for the military and no guiding light but the efficacy of treason.


Daniel Greenfield is a New York City-based writer and freelance commentator with a special focus on the War on Terror and the rising threat to Western Civilization. Mr. Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He maintains a blog and is a contributor to

SFPPR News & Analysis.