BOSTON (CBS) – Interesting article in Sunday’s Globe about Secretary of State John Kerry, noting the contrast between the world view of a graduation speech he gave in 1966 to his senior class at Yale and what he told the graduates there this year.
Forty-eight years ago, amid skepticism about the country’s escalating role in the Vietnam War, Kerry, who had enlisted in the military, questioned the approach of then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and said “an excess of isolationism has become an excess of interventionism.”
But now, Kerry told the Globe, he sees things almost completely differently: “we’ve gone from an excess of interventionism probably to an excess of isolationism — an instinct to want to button up…[and] not necessarily exercise our leadership. I don’t think we can afford to do that.”
OK, you never want people in power to have closed minds, and it would be troubling if Kerry thought the same way at 70 that he did at 23.
But exactly what sort of leadership is he proposing to exercise?
We know he talked tough about Assad and his chemical weapons last year, but settled for a deal brokered by the Russians that left Assad in power and still holding some of those weapons.
He cut a deal on Iran’s nuclear program that has yet to be proven sound.
And let’s not even talk about the Middle East.
In his Yale speech this weekend Kerry said: “Diplomacy is about seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.” But in the Globe interview, he flashed a bit of myopia himself when he said “I do not view myself as the establishment.”
Listen to Jon’s commentary: