John Kerry’s Staggering Naiveté

 

AP_john_kerry_syria_nt_130830_16x9_992Secretary of State John Kerry’s mien is so European that even Europeans must find it off-putting. More disturbing, however, is his astonishing lack of knowledge about the nature of ISIS. One wonders, for example, what French president François Hollande made of Kerry’s comment that the murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo possessed “a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong.”

Kerry’s staggering moral confusion has been roundly — and rightly — criticized. This criticism, however, has missed the larger point, which is that Kerry is wrong on its merits: last week’s terrorist attack in Paris was every bit as “focused” and not at all “indiscriminate.” Don’t take my word for it, take the Islamic State’s. Two days after the attacks the Islamic State released a statement calling Paris a “capital of prostitution and obscenity.” By “obscenity,” of course, ISIS refers to things like attending sporting events, listening to rock music, and hanging out at cafes with friends sipping alcohol. As far as it is concerned, such pleasures are no less obscene than depicting Mohammed, a fact which Kerry’s ignorance disqualifies him as Secretary of State.

That more than half of the 129 victims were under the age of 30 only reinforces ISIS’s seething hatred of all things joyful. The Taliban’s ban on kite-flying is instructive here. What on earth, you may ask, us un-Islamic about flying a kite? The reason for the ban was this: one does not fly a kite for any purpose other than to have fun and — for Islamic primitives like the Taliban — that is sufficient to justify a ban. Islamists aren’t ambivalent about pleasure;  they have a seething hatred for it (with one well-known exception).

Kerry is much more than the only Democratic presidential nominee to lose the popular vote to a Republican in the last fifteen years: he is a political lifer and an elite of the first order who possesses a staggering naiveté about the lethal nature of our suicidal, homicidal, and Islamist enemy.

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  1. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    David Deeble:John Kerry’s Staggering Naiveté

    [Edited to be less personal.]

    Wrong. This is a part of a deliberate effort to destroy the United States. The problem that many Conservatives have is that they believe that Kerry and Obama have good intentions. They do not.

    • #1
  2. David Deeble Member
    David Deeble
    @DavidDeeble

    Correct insofar as I believe Kerry and Obama have good intentions, incorrect insofar as I believe they intend to destroy the United States. I took Obama at his word when he promised to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America (into a European-like social welfare state). If, by “destroy”, you mean doing what I’m sure we both have in mind for ISIS, well, then we differ.

    • #2
  3. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    David Deeble:Correct insofar as I believe Kerry and Obama have good intentions, incorrect insofar as I believe they intend to destroy the United States.

    Wow.

    • #3
  4. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    David. Not funny. Again. Are you all right? Ah silly question. . .

    • #4
  5. David Deeble Member
    David Deeble
    @DavidDeeble

    Black Prince – Hadn’t considered that – thanks for following up.

    • #5
  6. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    David Deeble:Black Prince – Hadn’t considered that – thanks for following up.

    My pleasure. I know it’s hard to believe that the United States could have a malevolent leader, but in my mind it’s the only explanation that fits the facts. We are living in very dangerous times.

    • #6
  7. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Hillary’s camp tried to muscle The Laugh Factory; an act of solidarity?

    • #7
  8. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    David Deeble: Islamists aren’t ambivalent about pleasure – they have a seething hatred for it (with one well-known exception).

    Perhaps because a certain someone they revere had certain unsavory appetites?

    Good post.

    Kerry’s staggering naivete is only surpassed by his staggering cluelessness.

    • #8
  9. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    Scott Wilmot:Kerry’s staggering naivete is only surpassed by his staggering cluelessness.

    I really have a hard time believing that anyone—especially a person with the mental wherewithal to become a United States President or Secretary of State—could be so naive and clueless, or as many Conservatives describe, willfully ignorant.

    • #9
  10. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    JC, it’s been 3 years since Bengazi, and Hillary still can’t control her anger about controversial Internet videos.

    • #10
  11. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    David Deeble: Kerry is wrong on its merits: last week’s terrorist attack in Paris was every bit as “focused” and not at all “indiscriminate.”

    I’m willing to award Kerry a quarter of a point on this.

    The Kouachi saw themselves as attacking only a legitimate target and pointed out to reporters that they didn’t kill anyone subsequent to the attack (though they did have a hostage with them at the time of their deaths). Then again, they also claimed they didn’t kill women (a lie) and it appears their friend and kinda/sorta accomplice (?) didn’t share their sad pretense of honor when he took over a kosher deli, murdered four people, and set explosives before being shot. Then there’s that business of Ahmed Merabet, the cop they executed.

    All that said, I’d bet everything I own that these guys would have condemned the attacks of a week ago.

    • #11
  12. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Believe me, John Kerry takes the latest attack on Paris really seriously. He’s considering bringing in Michael Bolton AND Neil Young.

    • #12
  13. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    In the choice between incompetence and malice, I almost always plump for incompetence.

    It is hard to see Kerry or Hillary as maliciously evil. It is easy to see them as shortsightedly pursuing their own aims and whatever the NYT tells them to think, say, and do.  That is incompetence.

    Many years ago my father sat next to Tom Foley on a cross-country flight. Foley was reading the New York Times Op-Ed page carefully, highlighting and copying notes. That is not malice. It is stupidity.

    But I can hardly take issue with those of you who think Obama is somehow a closet muslim, a Manchurian candidate backed by evil and dark forces, bent on the destruction of our world. The theory is a crazy conspiracy theory. Yet the outcomes certainly fit. And it is HARD for any of us to believe Obama can really be that stupid.

    Nevertheless, I am quite sure that he really is that stupid.

    • #13
  14. ibn Abu Member
    ibn Abu
    @ibnAbu

    I made a similar point the other day. I’m actually willing to give Kerry the benefit of the doubt and I don’t believe he was making any kind of moral justification of the Charlie Hebdo attack. But in some ways that makes it worse, not better.

    • #14
  15. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    I am pretty much convinced that John Kerry is just plain stupid.  There is little evidence to the contrary if you look at his record.

    • #15
  16. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    iWe:In the choice between incompetence and malice, I almost always plump for incompetence.

    It is hard to see Kerry or Hillary as maliciously evil. It is easy to see them as shortsightedly pursuing their own aims and whatever the NYT tells them to think, say, and do. That is incompetence.

    Many years ago my father sat next to Tom Foley on a cross-country flight. Foley was reading the New York Times Op-Ed page carefully, highlighting and copying notes. That is not malice. It is stupidity.

    But I can hardly take issue with those of you who think Obama is somehow a closet muslim, a Manchurian candidate backed by evil and dark forces, bent on the destruction of our world. The theory is a crazy conspiracy theory. Yet the outcomes certainly fit. And it is HARD for any of us to believe Obama can really be that stupid.

    Nevertheless, I am quite sure that he really is that stupid.

    I’m with you in that I think it is incompetence, not malice. Really, who could believe John Kerry or Barack Obama as the bad guys in a political thriller.? (Hillary? Yes…) But their gross incompetence is not guided by stupidity, for all these incompetent boobs are smart by standard measurements.

    It is that they are all foolish that causes the problem. Foolishness runs rampant among the educated elite. It amazes me how vapidly unaware the highly educated can be about the realities of life.

    • #16
  17. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    I think what Kerry said is fine, though badly worded. He meant the Charlie Hebdo killers were intent on killing specific people, names that they targeted individually. Whereas last week’s killers were shooting people randomly with no knowledge of their individual identities.

    • #17
  18. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Marion Evans:I think what Kerry said is fine, though badly worded. He meant the Charlie Hebdo killers were intent on killing specific people, names that they targeted individually. Whereas last week’s killers were shooting people randomly with no knowledge of their individual identities.

    Indeed, Charlie Hebdo presented a bigger threat to ISIS than the Bataclan revellers. Islam cannot stand up to mockery.

    • #18
  19. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    At least for these two clowns — Obama and Kerry — I think it is explained by their arrogance.  Hard to remember two more arrogant people.  When you are that arrogant you are unable to learn anything from anyone ergo, ignorance and naiveté.

    • #19
  20. The Question Inactive
    The Question
    @TheQuestion

    Like.

    • #20
  21. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Kerry is both arrogant and rather limited. He has always acted as if doing something contrary to the obvious interests of his own country is proof of his sophistication and transcendent intellectual greatness.  It takes a real intellectual to look past those minor superficial defects of Communist rule to see the upside.  In the same way, only a great mind like Kerry’s can discern that utter and complete capitulation to Iran is really a victory.  His typical sneering dismissal of undeniably correct criticisms reveals a habit of solipsism so complete it is almost a form of mental illness.

    Recall his many versions of the swift boat-hitting a mine story or the his personal Cambodian incursion. The absurd embellishments (e.g., the pet dog named “VC” tossed in the air from one boat to another) even at the funeral of one of his crewmates where listeners would know this was utter crap, the fictitious events “seared” in his memory and other habitual lies.  He is largely incapable of embarrassment (James Taylor in response to the earlier Paris slaughter?!!) and proceeds as if the wreckage he is leaving behind is the fault of those who notice.

    • #21
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    He is pro-communist-socialist.

    Ever since I joined Ricochet, I’ve been trying to find an article I read years ago in the Atlantic about Kerry. The reporter had interviewed him on a trip from Guatemala during the course of the Iran-Contra affair. (It was Kerry and Kennedy who accused the Reagan administration of arming the forces against the communist takeover of Guatemala.) Kerry made some creepy comment to the reporter about the poor people in Guatemala needing the communists to uplift them from poverty.

    Kerry is a sick dude. He is a bottomless pit for attention, and the communists in North Vietnam gave him a lot of it. There’s a statue of him, I read somewhere, in North Vietnam.

    The positive attention he got, the publicity he got, from his Winter Soldiers testimony went to his head and made him sick. I saw an unsettling picture of him on the steps of the Capitol at that time with Ted Kennedy’s arm around him.

    He is living in the past. Kerry’s house is, I’ve read, filled with memorabilia from his dealings in North Vietnam and the Paris Peace Talks.

    I have thought for a long time now that he is suffering from some type of as-yet-unnamed-by-psychiatrists personality disorder. It’s not that he is anti-America as much as he loves the communists-socialists.

    • #22
  23. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Tedley:JC, it’s been 3 years since Bengazi, and Hillary still can’t control her anger about controversial Internet videos.

    or comedians making fun of her……..priorities remain the same

    • #23
  24. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    The same Secretary of State John Kerry that left hostages behind in Iran while dealing with a country that continues to call for our and Israel’s demise? Or is it the fuzzy John Kerry that after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, he took James Taylor to sing You’ve Got a Friend..”

    Before that…Hilary….no wonder we’re in the state we’re in – that department hasn’t functioned since 2008.

    • #24
  25. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    MarciN:He is pro-communist-socialist.

    … The reporter had interviewed him on a trip from Guatemala during the course of the Iran-Contra affair. (It was Kerry and Kennedy who accused the Reagan administration of arming the forces against the communist takeover of Guatemala.) Kerry made some creepy comment to the reporter about the poor people in Guatemala needing the communists to uplift them from poverty.

    Kerry is a sick dude. He is a bottomless pit for attention, and the communists in North Vietnam gave him a lot of it. There’s a statue of him, I read somewhere, in North Vietnam.

    The positive attention he got, the publicity he got, from his Winter Soldiers testimony went to his head and made him sick. I saw an unsettling picture of him on the steps of the Capitol at that time with Ted Kennedy’s arm around him.

    He is living in the past. Kerry’s house is, I’ve read, filled with memorabilia from his dealings in North Vietnam and the Paris Peace Talks.

    I have thought for a long time now that he is suffering from some type of as-yet-unnamed-by-psychiatrists personality disorder. It’s not that he is anti-America as much as he loves the communists-socialists.

    He’s also a certified stupid dude, got lower grades than the well known boob, W, who bested him in the 2004 presidential election. Although, probably brighter than the current world’s smartest dude, ever.

    • #25
  26. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    Kerry is a typical rich American lefty. He’s afflicted with cultural relativism. If Americans do something wrong (Vietnam atrocities, for example), it’s because of their own evil nature or it’s the fault of the government. But if some third-world terrorist murders a bunch of innocents in Paris, or Nairobi, or Mali, it’s either because our government has driven them to acts of desperation or other causes outside their control. Thus, our government must not come down too hard on these poor unfortunates; instead we must try to understand what has driven them to such pointless conduct! It’s the worst kind of liberal snobbery to believe that third-world terrorists are not capable of independent action, but must instead be controlled by external forces. It strikes me as a form of “progressive” guilt over being rich in a rich country and being afraid to condemn those who have been raised in (relatively) less fortunate circumstances in the third world, even when they commit unspeakable acts.

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Hanlon’s Razor:

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    • #27
  28. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: I’m willing to award Kerry a quarter of a point on this.

    Listening to Jay and Mona, I feel the need to amend my earlier comment with the following:

    There is no justification for violence in response to speech, and the Kouachi brothers were vicious murderers fighting on behalf of a wicked organization in furtherance of an evil ideology.

    That Kerry even attempted to draw distinctions between their actions and the Paris attacks was indefensible. Full stop.

    • #28
  29. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: There is no justification for violence in response to speech, and the Kouachi brothers were vicious murderers fighting on behalf of a wicked organization in furtherance of an evil ideology.

    That Kerry even attempted to draw distinctions between their actions and the Paris attacks was indefensible. Full stop.

    I agree with you.  For someone who holds the position of Secretary of State of the United States, he needs to say things in public which reinforce the American way of life and view of the world, and save his half-baked analyses for the dinner table.

    • #29

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