State Department Secretary John Kerry has provided a vehement and passionate counterpart to Obama’s half-hearted and distracted advocacy for a strike on Syria. The modern Kerry might want to take some tips from 1970s Kerry, who denounced the Vietnam War, and in this video, goes so far as to say “moralism” has guided foreign policy since the founding, but should do so no longer.
From about the 3:55 time mark:
Well I don’t think that the United States, and I think this is the biggest problem about Vietnam, can necessarily apply moral, moralisms to its commitments around the world. And I think this is one of the great fallacies of our foreign policy at the present moment. Interventionism as well as globalism — both stem from the same kind of moralism. And in a certain sense I think that moralism can be very defeating for the United States in its undertakings. It gets us into a kind of messianic enterprise, whereby we have this impression that somehow we can go out and touch these other countries and change them.
He then continues to say such moralism will come back to haunt us.
… we have found, especially in Vietnam, that we have not been able to apply these changes quite as quickly or as sweepingly as we thought.
— Michael F. Cannon (@mfcannon) September 5, 2013