No one is questioning anybody’s right to dissent. But to write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation — particularly the leaders they have criticized others for even engaging with — to write them and suggest they’re going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way is incorrect, is quite stunning.
But if Kerry wanted to talk about inappropriate meetings with foreign leaders, he should have turned his critical eye inward to his own past. Take 1971, for example, a year that occurred before he was a senator. He headed the Vietnam Veterans Against the War delegation, which met with the Viet Cong in Paris right in the middle of the U.S. negotiations.
During his first term in the senate Kerry went to Nicaragua with the purpose of throwing a monkey wrench into President Ronald Reagan’s policies. Communist leader Daniel Ortega had threatened the United States with war while crowds of his supporters chanted, “Here or there, Yankees will die everywhere.” Ortega’s Sandinistas had ethnically cleansed the Miskito Afro-Indians and destroyed Nicaragua’s Jewish community. But none of that deterred Kerry from shaking hands with Ortega and urging Reagan to make a deal with him.
Or how about when Kerry gave comfort to the enemy when he spoke publicly about the Iraq war on Sept. 7th, 2004:
[On] a day when seven U.S. servicemen were killed in a suicide bombing attack in Iraq, [Democratic Party Presidential candidate John] Kerry termed the war in Iraq “catastrophic.” Still later, he referred to it in a statement as “a quagmire,” a word often applied to the U.S. conflict in Vietnam.
“I would not have done just one thing differently than the president on Iraq, I would have done everything differently than the president on Iraq. I said this from the beginning of the debate to the walk up to the war. I said, ‘Mr. President, don’t rush to war, take the time to build a legitimate coalition and have a plan to win the peace.'” [Emphasis added]
Iraq was, of course, the war Kerry supported before he opposed it … or something like that.
Then there was the time where Kerry facilitated a trip by Medea Benjamin and other Code Pink crazies to Gaza so they could meet with Hamas, a group that even the Obama administration calls terrorists, and participate in a rally against Israel. Kerry included the letter below:
December 23, 2009
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to express my strong support for members of the humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts that will be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian Territories from December 27th to January 15th. The humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts is sponsoring this visit and they plan to meet with non-governmental organizations, assess the health care system and observe human rights and trade union conditions among Israelis and Palestinians.
I respectfully request that every courtesy be given the members of the delegation during their visit. My staff has met with members of the group and is impressed with their ability, dedication and commitment to the peace process. We look forward to seeing them again upon their return and hearing about their visit.
For any questions or concerns please feel to contact Christopher Wyman in my Boston office at 617 565-8522
Thank you for cooperation in this very important matter.
John F. Kerry
Cross-posted at The Lid