John Kerry 1971: The U.S. must beware of foreign intervention for moralistic reasons

A little morsel from the “Firing Line” archives that’s making the rounds on Twitter. Skip to 3:51 for the key bit. Quote:

It gets us into a sort of messianic enterprise whereby we have this impression that somehow we can go out and touch these other countries and change them.

Fast-forward a decade or four and now he’s running around telling people that failing to bomb Assad two years after he started slaughtering people en masse would be “one of those moments in history that will live in infamy.” Although, in fairness to Waffles, he didn’t change his mind on this recently. It’s hard to remember now but he voted to invade Iraq in 2002 before symbolically voting against it in hindsight two years later as his party’s nominee. To judge from his career arc, a guy who became a national figure for speaking out against Vietnam has grown increasingly pro-war over time, to the point where he’s now comparing Assad to Hitler and the gas attack in Damascus to Pearl Harbor. Maybe that fact will help ease the pain of anti-war liberals who narrowly missed dislodging Dubya in 2004. With Kerry steadily evolving towards interventionism, who knows what exciting military adventures we would have had in the second half of the last decade with him as president.

Then again, is the quote above really inconsistent with what we’re doing now? The point of bombing Assad isn’t to change Syria, despite John McCain’s fondest wishes, it’s to do something “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” Bloody Assad’s nose now and maybe he’ll learn that if he wants to kill children, he’ll have to go on doing it with bombs and bullets instead of gas. How moralistic is that, really?

Exit question: He sure has worked hard to lose some of that Brahmin accent, huh?

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