January 24th, 2018

John Kerry, diplomat extraordinaire, can’t seem to retire

There are few prominent political figures in America I have disliked as much or as long as John Kerry. Even back when I was a liberal Democrat, which is when he first became well-known, something about him (or maybe many things about him) rubbed me very much the wrong way.

Kerry was actually the subject of my very first post (2004) written expressly for this blog. And there’s also this post (“John Kerry: treason then and now”) which I wrote in 2014.

In 2012 I added the following reminiscence:

…[S]trangely enough, back when I was a liberal in the 60s and 70s, something about Kerry almost instantaneously raised my hackles. He seemed a phony, self-aggrandizing, pompous, opportunistic, narcissistic windbag even back then. Or maybe especially back then.

“Especially” not because he was actually worse then, but because his extreme arrogance and air of superiority seemed particularly misplaced in such a young person.

Kerry has always fancied himself an international negotiator, even as a young man:

…[H]e met on the trip with Nguyen Thi Binh, then foreign minister of the PRG and a top negotiator at the talks. Kerry acknowledged in that testimony that even going to the peace talks as a private citizen was at the “borderline” of what was permissible under U.S. law, which forbids citizens from negotiating treaties with foreign governments.

As one might expect, neither age nor his lengthy stint as senator nor his time as Secretary of State under Obama has dimmed his desire to negotiate, even now that he’s supposedly a private citizen. If this report is true, he’s still at it, this time to undermine Trump in the Middle East:

During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President Trump’s demands.” According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House.

Kerry offered his help to the Palestinians in an effort to advance the peace process and recommended that Abbas present his own peace plan. “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” Kerry suggested. He promised to use all his contacts and all his abilities to get support for such a plan. He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.

According to the report, referring to the president, Kerry used derogatory terms and even worse. Kerry offered to help create an alternative peace initiative and promised to help garner international support, among others, of Europeans, Arab states and the international community. Kerry hinted that many in the American establishment, as well as in American intelligence, are dissatisfied with Trump’s performance and the way he leads America. He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.

Kerry may not think he has an age problem, but in that case he does have a math problem. If Kerry ran for president in 2020 and won, he would have just turned 77 years old before the inauguration. That’s quite a bit older than Trump was when he was first elected, and it’s still significantly older than Trump would be if Trump were re-elected. When you’re at that end of the age graph, every year counts more than it does at the beginning.

But age isn’t really Kerry’s problem if he wanted to run for national office. He lost in 2004 despite President Bush’s unpopularity because Kerry is widely despised, and there’s no big affection for him even among liberals.

But back to his alleged communication with Abbas through Agha. It seems to me that Kerry may be terrified at the possibility that Trump could actually broker a deal in the Middle East, something that eluded Kerry but that he had fervently hoped would be his ticket to diplomatic stardom. How dreadful, how positively unendurable, it would be if Trump—of all people—managed to do what Kerry could not do, and to get better terms for Israel into the bargain.

I have no problem believing that Kerry would do his best to prevent that from happening. It makes perfect sense: tell Abbas to hang tough and not be afraid of Trump, and then Kerry can swoop in later and use his contacts with Europe and the rest of the “international community” he knows so well to broker a much better deal for the Palestinians. As part of this proposal, he must convince Abbas that Trump is on the way out soon, so there’s no need to take his proposals seriously or to be afraid of him.

39 Responses to “John Kerry, diplomat extraordinaire, can’t seem to retire”

  1. steve walsh Says:

    Hate is such a negative, dysfunctional, and disruptive emotion that I rarely allow it in myself. John F. Kerry has always evoked that emotion in me. The only other public person that could make me feel that way was Ted Kennedy.

    Kerry is a failure as a negotiator, it would not surprise me if Trump were able to achieve what Kerry so badly desired but completely failed to deliver. Negotiating is a skill that must be learned, developed, improved, and honed. Trump has been doing and perfecting it for his entire adult life. And he’s very, very good at it.

    This story of Kerry’s discussion with Agha and messaging to Abbas illustrates his complete and utter ineptness when it comes to negotiating. He betrays that he has no power, and makes concessions for nothing in return.

    He is a fake and fraud. If this story is true he is guilty of treason.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    steve walsh:

    I believe that even if this story isn’t true, Kerry was already guilty of treason as a young man towards the end of the Vietnam War, when he met with Nguyen Thi Binh.

  3. Griffin Says:

    I’m sure all those leftists crying about the Logan Act with Flynn and others will be all over Kerry for this.

    ALL OVER HIM, I tell ya!

  4. Greg taylor Says:

    I can’t think of a person who has been active in this nation’s public that I loathe more than John Kerry. He stabbed his brothers in the back to jumpstart his political career and has actively worked to undermine this nation’s foreign policy.

  5. CW Says:

    Great post. I think you pegged Kerry just right. He is a fool with long-held delusions about his own intelligence.

  6. steve walsh Says:

    Indeed Neo, indeed.

    Here’s another appropriate descriptor for him: execrable.

  7. Baklava Says:

    Yes, I’ve read your work since 2004 and I’m better for it.

    It isn’t just John Kerry’s grating voice. It’s his content. I don’t know where he gets his attitude or for that matter where any liberal gets there hate America attitude. I know it is steeped in academic circles but my goodness does anyone grow out if it as they learn and age?

  8. Skilly Says:

    No doubt about it, this man (if you can even call him that) is a tool. He was a tool back when he was railing against servicemen in Viet Nam and he is a tool now. I mean, shouldn’t his conversations with the Palestinians be regarded as obstruction of . . . something? It really does come across as treasonable. Yes, the guy is a loathsome tool and always has been.

  9. TommyJay Says:

    Excuse me if I am being petty, but Kerry also accidentally-on-purpose married not one but two women who were multi-millionaires. The first was only worth 25 to 50M$ and developed mental health issues, so he dumped her.

    Then he moved up to Theresa Heinz who is worth $200M. I thought her wealth was greater than that. Either she had lousy investment advisors, or she is one of the few philanthropists that actually spends/donates down her wealth rather than builds it up.

  10. carl in atlanta Says:

    Can you say “Dunning–Kruger effect?”

    “Reporting for duty!” yet again, I see….

  11. Sam L. Says:

    Palis HAVE peace princples? I don’t believe it. I DON’T believe it! I don’t BELIEVE it!! Never seen hide nor hair of them.

  12. BrianE Says:

    “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” – John Kerry

    Are you sure this wasn’t an Onion piece?

  13. Oldflyer Says:

    Actually, I find Kerry competitive.

    Jane Fonda
    John Kerry
    Teddy Kennedy
    Hillary Clinton
    Chuck Schumer

    I really don’t know how I would rank them. Do Kerry and Fonda stand apart for betraying our fighting men in time of war, if not technically the country? Or does Kennedy for abandoning a young woman to die? Well, why bother with such distinctions? The other two are just sleazes grasping for power.

  14. Doug Purdie Says:

    I would also remind you and your readers when Kerry warned the upstanding and beloved Syrian dictator Assad, in early 2003, that Bush Jr. would most definitely invade Iraq. I and a great many others believe Assad then warned his buddy Saddam Hussein next door that he had better get rid of his WMD’s before said invasion.

  15. physicsguy Says:

    Just another poster child for the Baby Boomer generation. We (that is most of us, present company excluded) really are a plague upon America. We need to die off real soon. The only problem with that is we’ve infected the upcoming generations also. God help the USA.

  16. Cornhead Says:

    Kerry gave us the Iran deal. Along with Obama, Rice and Rhodes.

    All of them will be condemned by history unless Trump and Tillerson can turn it around.

  17. Barry Meislin Says:

    Of course, the big joke is that Kerry didn’t have to say anything of the sort…

    …since Abbas has never had any intention of making any kind of peace deal with Israel, unless such a “peace” deal ensures Israel’s disappearance.

    It’s all theater all the time.

    And as time goes on, the Palestinian leadership gets richer and richer, and—most importantly—Israel, which consistently gets the lion’s share of the blame for “no progress on the peace front”, becomes further and further delegitimized.

    I/P peace?

    There’s no “there” there.

    There never was.

    But it’s the perfect “negotiations” scam.

    (Right up there with JCPOA….so that it’s no wonder Kerry wants another stab at it…,)

  18. Richard Saunders Says:

    How can you guys be so down on Kerry? He’s the only one I know who ever followed his mother’s advice — “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich girl as it is with a poor one” — twice!

  19. parker Says:

    Arrogant, stupid, and traitorous is not a good way to go through life even with a string of rich wives. Trump needs a new FBI chief. I nominate Trey Gowdy. Go after these SOBs, start with Comey.

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    There are no words sufficient to adequately encompass Kerry’s loathsomeness.

    In the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Barry has the right of it.

  21. Brian Swisher Says:

    I’m pretty confident that the people in the Middle East who he’s dealing with know that he’s an idiot – they’ve dealt with him before, after all. I’m equally confident that they are happy to use him in whatever way is necessary to further their own goals

  22. Fractal Rabbit Says:

    You guys remember that classic piece of cinema ‘Die Hard’?

    John Kerry is that slimy guy Harry Ellis:

    “Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash.”

    ” Hey, business is business. You use a gun, I use a fountain pen what’s the difference? Let’s put it in my terms: you’re in a hostile takeover, you snatch us up for some green mail, but you’re not expecting some poison pill to be running around the building, am I right? Hans, *bubby*, I’m your white knight.”

    “Yeah. Now listen, John, they’re giving me a few minutes to try to talk some sense into you. I know you think you’re doing your job, John, and I can appreciate that, but, you’re just dragging this thing out. Now look, no one gets outta here until these guys can talk to the *LA* police, and that just ain’t gonna happen until you stop messin’ up the works, capisci?”

    “Hey, what am I, a method actor? Hans, babe, put away the gun, this is radio, not television.”


    That’s John Kerry .

  23. parker Says:

    Fractal Rabbit,

    Thanks for making me laugh! Die Hard, one of my favorite Christmas movies.

  24. Fractal Rabbit Says:


    If we don’t laugh, we might cry.

    I’ll leave you with my favorite Harry Ellis quote:

    [As he tries to get the terrorists’ attention]: “Hey, sprechen ze talk?”

  25. Gringo Says:

    You could become rich purchasing John Kerry for what he’s worth and selling him for what he thinks he’s worth.

  26. Sonny Wayze Says:

    I’m surprised nobody else has posted this. Even Garry Trudeau disliked him – in the early 70s!


  27. neo-neocon Says:


    John Kerry is NOT a baby boomer. He’s a member of the Silent Generation, born in 1943. Boomers are all postwar, starting in 1946.

  28. AesopFan Says:

    Sonny: When the Left loses Doonesbury…


    “The question posed to the panel was “Is the left eating itself?” Of the four panelists, Bret Weinstein was the last to give his opening statement. Two of the people preceding him (O’Neill and Kipnis) answered the question in the negative, with O’Neill arguing that the campus agitators are actually authoritarians disguising their reactionary impulses in left-wing language.
    [I left this graf in so you can all roll on the floor and laugh]

    Professor Johnston, the panelist most supportive of the campus activists, argued that the more moderate left should try to embrace the activists who are getting a lot of negative attention for their behavior.

    Bret Weinstein: Yes, the left is eating itself. At this point, Weinstein answered the central question in the affirmative. “I think there are a couple of ways to answer this question. One is yes. Another would be, ‘Yes of course it is,’” he said. Weinstein added that the answer seemed so obvious to him that he felt the need to move on to a more interesting question: Why is this happening?”

    It happens for the same reason it always does: the Left is full of idiots and the not-yet-insane can see that.

    (It’s unfortunate that Prof. W. shares a surname now loathed and abominated by the Left and everyone else.)

  29. AesopFan Says:

    Brian Swisher Says:
    January 24th, 2018 at 6:51 pm
    I’m pretty confident that the people in the Middle East who he’s dealing with know that he’s an idiot – they’ve dealt with him before, after all. I’m equally confident that they are happy to use him in whatever way is necessary to further their own goals
    * * *

  30. AesopFan Says:

    Doug Purdie Says:
    January 24th, 2018 at 5:18 pm
    I would also remind you and your readers when Kerry warned the upstanding and beloved Syrian dictator Assad, in early 2003, that Bush Jr. would most definitely invade Iraq.
    * * *
    I had forgotten that one — the man is a dire menace at every point in his life.
    Can anyone point to even one useful, productive, or good thing that he has done?

  31. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    January 24th, 2018 at 5:13 pm
    Actually, I find Kerry competitive.
    * * *
    I read through the comments at Neo’s earlier post, and agreed on all points. I thought Kerry was scum, and was very happy that the Swiftboat Vets had a hand in torpedoing his campaign.
    It is beyond execrable that the Media (indulging in fake news even then) used (and still use) the phrase “swiftboating” to suggest a fake attack on a candidate, rather than a true one.
    They really are despicable.

  32. AesopFan Says:

    Griffin Says:
    January 24th, 2018 at 3:47 pm
    I’m sure all those leftists crying about the Logan Act with Flynn and others will be all over Kerry for this.

    ALL OVER HIM, I tell ya!
    * * *
    Mueller will get right on it, I’m sure.

  33. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    Kerry really is evidence that scum rises to the surface. One wonders what the Democrats see in him, as he has really accomplished nothing of value in his entire life.

  34. physicsguy Says:

    Neo, I think you’re nitpicking a bit. 3 years is not much of a difference. And given his “service” in Vietnam and his antics after, he certainly identifies much more with Baby Boomer mentality than the silent generation.

  35. Esther Says:

    Would the Logan Act apply to this kind of unauthorized negotiation, or is there a loophole for John Kerry?

    It’s not exactly a state secret that the US is a democracy with Presidential elections every four years– but on the other hand, regular elections in a democracy might be news to the Palestinians.

  36. Romey Says:

    John F Kerry is a petty, despicable little man. His testimony before Congress, in the ’70s, made up of huge lies degrading many of our veterans is a disgrace!

    He married into wealth and deserves to be revealed for the kept man whore he seems to be.

    I, too, have a petty streak in me. Since the election in 2004, I will not buy Heintz ketchup, or any of the many condiments made by them, just to keep the profits down,

  37. Ymar Sakar Says:

    What was J Fing Kerry doing at Antarctica?

  38. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Can anyone point to even one useful, productive, or good thing that he has done?

    Skull and Bones, secret combination.

  39. Steve57 Says:

    Kerry would be a dream candidate for Trump to run against. Tell me this video wouldn’t come back to haunt Kerry.


    James Taylor Sings Live for France, with John Kerry in Paris

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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