Secretary of State John Kerry sought to discredit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s view on what needs to be done to stop Iranian nuclear proliferation Wednesday — but in so doing, he set a standard that actually discredits the top national security officials in the Obama administration, himself included.
Appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kerry suggested that Netanyahu’s support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq invalidated his current position on what needs to be done to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
“The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush,” Kerry said. “We all know what happened with that decision.”
But Kerry, too, supported the 2003 Iraq war.
“I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him,” he said during a 2003 Democratic primary debate.
Vice President Joe Biden, another key member of President Obama’s national security team, voted to give Bush the authority to use force against Iraq in 2002 when he was in the Senate as well.
Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice expressed support for military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power in the lead up to the Iraq war.
“I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses,” she said in an interview with National Public Radio in November 2002. “The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it’s a question of timing and tactics… We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions.”
President Obama famously opposed the 2003 Iraq war, so Kerry’s comment didn’t end up burning his boss. But it did burn the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who also voted when in the Senate to give Bush the authority to use force in Iraq.
No word on whether Kerry plans to resign since he apparently believes his foreign policy advice should not be trusted.