Where did John Hanoi Kerry become radicalized?
“Where did John Hanoi Kerry become radicalized?”
Like Father, Like Son—John Kerry’s Dangerous Worldview
Richard J. Kerry was a career diplomat in the U.S. State Department, serving through World War II and the Cold War. As a mid-level diplomat, the elder Kerry represented American interests in various European cities, even as young John attended boarding schools in Switzerland and the United States.
Richard Kerry’s understanding of foreign policy and diplomacy was not generally available to the public until 1990, when he released Star-Spangled Mirror, his treatise on American foreign policy.
Reading this book is like reading John Kerry’s mind. In this case, Richard Kerry is truly the father of his son, for Senator John Kerry echoes many of the themes articulated in Star-Spangled Mirror, and these themes have emerged as key issues in the 2004 presidential campaign.
During the Cold War, Richard Kerry became a major critic of America’s dominant foreign policy establishment, though this was hidden from public view during his years of public service. In Star-Spangled Mirror, he offered a critique of American idealism as a driving force in foreign policy. As he explained, “Americans are inclined to see the world and foreign affairs in black and white.” As a nation, we are prone to see our view of the world as driven by a desire for the application of universal principles like liberty, justice, and representative democracy. Richard Kerry saw this as naive and dangerous. In his view, many nations of the world should be seen as inhospitable to democracy, and unready for liberty.
As he laid out his diplomatic approach and view of the world, Richard Kerry distanced himself from hard-line anti-Communists like Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Dulles’s diplomatic war against “godless Communism” was lamented as evidence of the late Secretary of State’s “intensely moralistic outlook.”
Echoes of Richard Kerry’s understanding of the world can be heard in virtually every comment made by his son on topics related to foreign policy. When Senator John Kerry attacks President George W. Bush for his identification of an “axis of evil,” one hears the refrain of Richard Kerry’s critique of “excessive moralism.” When Richard Kerry dismissed John Foster Dulles’ “ample moralism” by rejecting his statement that “neutralism is immoral,” we can hear John Kerry’s dismissal of President Bush’s public statement to the world, “you are either with us or with the terrorists.”
During the Cold War, Richard Kerry saw the United States as potentially more dangerous and destabilizing than the Soviet Union. “The assumptions that Marxist governments outside the Soviet orbit are under Soviet control, and that conflict and disorder are produced by Soviet intrigue are,” he argued, “essential to maintain the moral distinction Americans make between their own power and that of their adversary, the division of the world in accordance with that distinction, and the illusion that those who are not captives of the evil power will adhere to our preferred beliefs. It might be disproportionate to say that if the Soviets did not exist we would have to invent them, but we certainly have invented a part of their intentions and activities which is essential to our political faith.”
I think we should defer to Mr. Kerry’s expertise. He should know all there is to know about becoming radicalized.