Democrats are running on overdrive in an attempt to derail Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress. What started as an attempted Democrat caucus boycott has morphed into a halfhearted-if-vocal D minority boycott bolstered by efforts from the White House to temper enthusiasm for what is sure to be an indictment of the Administration’s current policy toward Iran.
Now, Secretary of State John Kerry has lashed out against Netanyahu’s opposition to a proposed deal between the U.S. and Iran about Iran’s budding and controversial nuclear program.
Via Talking Points Memo:
“Israel is safer today with the added time we have given and the stoppage of the advances in the nuclear program than they were before we got that agreement, which by the way the prime minister opposed,” Kerry said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. “He was wrong.”
Kerry was later asked to address Netanyahu’s criticism of a hypothetical deal with Iran as a threat to Israel.
“The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush,” Kerry replied. “We all know what happened with that decision.”
The secretary of state again pointed out that while Netanyahu opposed the interim deal reached with Iran in 2013, that accord froze the country’s nuclear program. He warned that the prime minister shouldn’t make another premature judgment about the nuclear talks going forward.
“We won’t take a backseat to anybody in our commitment to the state of Israel, but [Netanyahu] may have a judgment that just may not be correct here,” Kerry said.
Expected diplomatic bluster from a man who is nothing if not consistent in his willingness to downplay the dangers of a fully nuclear Iran.
The only problem? Kerry also supported the invasion of Iraq even as he criticized Bush’s handling of the occupation:
As a Democratic presidential primary unfolded in which the war was unpopular, Kerry kept up his criticism of Bush’s handling of the war. But he still said at a 2003 debate that he thought it was “the right decision” to disarm Hussein and that “when the president made that decision, I supported him.” In 2004, he said he would vote to authorize force all over again.
It’s clear Kerry opposed the president’s handling of the war, and perhaps the president’s decision to “go into Iraq” militarily at the time he did. He suggested diplomatic opportunities were squandered. But he did vote to authorize force, and he said later he supported the president’s decision to disarm Hussein. It was a nuanced position — one too nuanced to be summarized accurately by a claim as blunt as having “opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq.”
Hindsight is 20/20, and this type of gaffe is too expected to come as a shock; but coming from Kerry, especially given his history of support for action he now claims to have opposed, this is doubly myopic. Trying to prevent the kind of cluster that Kerry believes ensued during the occupation of Iraq is exactly what Netanyahu is trying to prevent. It’s why he opposed previous deals, and will continue to oppose this one:
Earlier this week, Netanyahu said, “This agreement, if indeed it is signed, will allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. That is, with the consent of the major powers, Iran –- which openly declares its intention to destroy the state of Israel –- will receive a license to develop the production of bombs.”
He added, “It is my obligation as Prime Minister to do everything that I can to prevent this agreement; therefore, I will go to Washington to address the American Congress because the American Congress is likely to be the final brake before the agreement between the major powers and Iran.”
Perhaps Kerry should pay a little more attention to the facts on the ground, as opposed to the narrative his own party has so carefully crafted for him to trip over.
h/t The Daily BeastDONATE
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