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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Does John Kerry speak for the Obama administration?

I ask because in a question and answer session held while he was visiting Turkey this week, Mr. Kerry was asked a pointed question regarding reapproachment between Turkey and Israel (in the wake of the Gaza Flotilla raid).

In his response, the Amemrican Secretary of State, who presumably speaks for the U.S. adminsitration, said:

"I have just been through the week of Boston and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence and something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you. It affects a community, it affects a country. We’re very sensitive to that."  Source

Let's parce that, shall we?

First, who are the victims of violence in the cases in which he is drawing a parellel?

That would be a) those who were killeed or injured in the Boston Marathon bombing and; b) those who were killed or injured in the IDF raid of the blockade runner MV Mavi Marmara.

So, unless I'm mistaken, that would leave both the Boston Marathon bombers and the IDF Commandos as the perpetrators of "violence [where] something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you".

Have I missed anything?

So far I haven't seen or heard of any attempt at clarification from anyone in the U.S. government.

Posted by David Bogner on April 23, 2013 | Permalink


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I was horrified yesterday when I heard about Kerry's statement. In effect, he places the armed terrorists aboard the Mavi Marmara who were attempting to run Israel's legitimate blockade of Gaza on the same plane as the innocent, unarmed civilians who were killed and maimed by the jihadist bombing at the Boston Marathon. It is a comment of jaw-droppingly shocking stupidity and insensitivity.

Kerry needs to be called out on this one. Big time. In a more righteous world, Obama would fire him, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting.

Posted by: Elisson | Apr 23, 2013 7:02:07 PM

He was essentially saying that the activists were as innocent as the marathon spectators. Someone needs to remind him that the activists knew well that they were attempting to break a legal blockade aimed at curtailing weapon shipments used for terrorism. And that their families were hardly surprised at the ensuing Israeli interdiction. Whereas spectators and runners assembling to celebrate personal accomplishments, and a family-friendly event often used to raise money for humanitarian causes, were hardly in a war zone. The ensuing carnage in Boston was unexpected, brutal, criminal, and beyond horrifying. Using this analogy is a huge insult to the marathon victims and families, not to mention a wrongheaded indictment of Israel's foreign policy. This bizarre comparison is so far beyond the typical moral equivalency espoused by ignoramuses, that there's not much to say except: "Really??!! Did you really just say that??!!"

Posted by: Ari | Apr 24, 2013 3:58:45 AM

I'm going to paraphrase Mark Twain:

First of all, John Kerry is a blithering idiot.

Second of all, John Kerry is a U.S. Secretary of State.

But I repeat myself.

(Apologies to George Shultz, the only non-blithering-idiot SecState of my lifetime.)

Posted by: psachya | Apr 24, 2013 2:11:59 PM

Im not sure I understand all of the indignation.. or confusion... It was clear what tack he was going to take from the get go.. none of this "new ineptitude".. same old same old... why raise your blood pressure...hes just follwoing a script..

Posted by: shabtai | Apr 24, 2013 4:00:01 PM

I read it a bit differently. I think he invokes Boston as a way of saying "shut up, we've just been through worse." I think it is a stretch, at any rate to assume he is establishing the kind of detailed correlation you are reading in, rather, I think he is saying "yeah, losing people sucks - regardless of how - and we are acutely aware of that at this moment." I do not think he is establishing moral equivalence.

I think that the reason there isn't outcry is that Israel's security depends, to some degree, on a stabilized Syria, and that stabilizing Syria may depend on a coalition that includes Turkey and Israel. I think that this is the reason that Obama asked for, and Bibi agreed to, the rapprochement in the first place, and that Kerry is making the requisite diplomatic noises to effect that.

Posted by: Rich | Apr 25, 2013 2:25:11 AM

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