Kerry Rips GOP Field Over Foreign Policy (UPDATED – AUDIO of Kerry’s Speech)

Senator John Kerry’s speech on terrorism and the GOP candidates foreign policy statements attracted the attention of a Boston Globe writer.

Kerry rips GOP field over foreign policy… Criticizes rhetoric as ‘scare tactics’
By Alan Wirzbicki, Globe Correspondent

Senator John F. Kerry blasted the leading Republican presidential candidates on foreign policy yesterday, saying “it should disturb all of us” that the GOP contenders are taking increasingly hawkish stances on national security issues like Iran and the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

In his speech at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, John Kerry delivered “a stinging commentary on what he described as the belligerent tone of recent Republican primary debates.”

Most of the Republican candidates seemed almost eager to use nuclear weapons preemptively” against Iran, Kerry said.

Several GOP candidates said at a debate last week in Manchester, N.H., that they would “leave all options on the table,” including military strikes, to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Earlier this spring, Senator John McCain of Arizona, singing to the tune of a Beach Boys song, “Barbara Ann,” joked at a campaign stop that he would “Bomb, bomb, bomb — Bomb, bomb Iran.”

Without mentioning him by name, Kerry also criticized former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for insisting he would double the size of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, in which terrorist suspects and enemy fighters are detained.

Kerry said he was disturbed that the proposal “is considered red meat for Republican primary voters.” A spokeswoman confirmed that the criticism was directed at Romney.

A Romney campaign spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Kerry’s remarks.

John Kerry’s speech which was delivered five months after he announced that “he would not run for the Democratic presidential nomination again in 2008 — roundly condemned the tenor of the nation’s foreign policy debates.” Kerry has remained in the forefront of the foreign policy debate, while running for re-election of his Massachusetts Senate seat.

Most discussions of foreign affairs in Washington, he said, were “full of simplistic sloganeering and calculated to scare people.”

Kerry was particularly critical of President Bush’s “war on terror” rhetoric , which he argued misleads the public by lumping together different American adversaries that have little in common into “an undifferentiated ‘they.’ ” As a result, he said, many Americans are confused about basic foreign policy issues.

Kerry cited an opinion poll from last month indicating that 29 percent of Americans still believe former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had a role in planning the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Policy makers must demand a better debate,” Kerry said during a wide-ranging speech and question-and-answer session.

Kerry also called for the Guantanamo prison to be shut down immediately and criticized Bush’s oft-stated comment that catching individual Al Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden doesn’t matter.

Alan practically took the words out of our mouths. Thank you, Mr.Wirzbicki.

The full text of Senator Kerry’s excellent speech is here. It’s a must read. Kerry has, as always been ahead of the curve on the issue of terrorism and Iraq.

UPDATE: Michael notes the Globe article and Kerry’s speech on the Moderate Voice.

UPDATE 2: The audio of Kerry’s speech is available here.

Bookmark and Share

Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kerry Rips GOP Field Over Foreign Policy (UPDATED – AUDIO of Kerry’s Speech)

  1. This was a great speech. Would have loved to have seen video of it.

    Kerry really has been ahead the curve on this issue for so many years. Great to see the Globe highlighting the speech. And great to see that Kerry will continue to lead on this issue. He’s light years ahead of the Dems running in ’08 and the Republicans are simply left behind in the dust.

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    If a man said that he wanted to be a cowboy, it would be fair to measure his sincerity to look at the kinds of horses he was willing to ride. If you got a dude that sees a buckin horse and you can tell that he can’t wait to jump on up you can be sure you got a cowboy. If he’s pretty careful to never climb on anything more wild than a horse that you put kids on so that they can ride around in a circle, why you might feel justified in looking past all those cool western clothes and labeling the guy a wannabe.

    When crippled up FDR went with Churchill to Tehran in 1943 to meet with Stalin he knew he was going to ride a buckin horse. Kennedy meeting with Khrushchev, the same thing. Things were still rocky enough in the Cold War that Reagan/Gorbachev proved that Ronnie knew that his cowboy hat wasn’t just for show. But by the time we get to Putin, well that horse is pretty tame.

    Take Nixon. He was a corner cutting son of a bitch, but when he heard that there was a buckin horse in China he didn’t hesitate. And by golly if he didn’t smooth the road for those coming after him.

    But us, we got little “cowboy” George now, with buckin horses all over the map. Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Khadafy (even Tony Blair met him), Syria, and our boy won’t meet with anyone tough. Hell, even that tame old hobby horse, the G-8, is too much for our guy. If the guy’s afraid of horses, it makes you wonder why he ever even wanted to be a cowboy at all. Because he sure ain’t one.

    And now the Republicans are trying offer up some more “all hat, no horse”. Wonderful!

  3. Information on Senator Kerry including his stances on military and foreign policy issues can be found here: Senator Kerry’s Vote Smart Profile.

    Information on Senator McCain including his stances on military and foreign policy issues can be found here: Senator McCain’s Vote Smart Profile.

    Information on Former Governor Romney’s stances on foreign policy can be found at: former Governor Romney’s Record of Speeches

  4. Javelin says:

    Senator Kerry “Line-of-the-Month” is in this gem of an audio clip:

    “The sobering reality is that in many quarters we are losing a public relations battle to a gang of currently cave-dwelling mass-murderers who have no legitimate idealogy at all.”