Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kerry and Khatami at World Economic Forum in Davos

John Kerry was a speaker at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos. While in attendance, Kerry made several harsh comments about the current US Administration, US diplomacy and foreign policy, the US Military, and the American people. His comments have drawn a lot of criticism.

Below is a partial transcript of the event at which Kerry spoke. It was a panel discussion on the Future of the Middle East. The panel was chaired by David Ignatius, Associate Editor and Columnist, The Washington Post. Also speaking were: Adil Abd al-Mahdi, Vice-President of Iraq; Abdullah Gül, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1997-2005); John F. Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts; and Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif, Prime Minister of Egypt.

I have decided to post Khatami's speech separately.

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT (gathered from webcast by yours truly)

John Kerry: I, I think, uh I happen to- uh look I am speaking as a Democrat also, and it is no secret through the last Presidential race that I have deep, abiding differences with this administration and its approach. I agree with Amre Moussa that we have opened Pandora's Box - I'm not sure I'd call it "gates of hell" but what we did was - and, and Prime Minister uh Nazif said it would be good if we didn't think of this and define ourselves in the context of the sectarian, the Shia and Sunni and so forth.

But the truth is we have to - deal with the reality that is on the table. The fundamental differences between these sects and those interests are not being addressed. And I think that uhm ehm uhm Mr. Vice President (Adil Abh al-Mahdi), you would agree with me.

What I hear is that both sides believe they can win, and as long as both sides believe they can win and the United states is providing a kind of security blanket against a full explosion they are going to exploit that situation and that's what they are doing.

And so the oil revenues issue has been on the table for three years. We are no clo- it is not resolved. The fundamentals of the Constitution with respect to federalism are not resolved. And unless those issues can be compromised and resolved, I don't care how many troops are put in. Iraq is not going to be pacified.

Now we are currently responsible. Uh. The absence of lilugitimate diplomacy is a disgrace. Quick flights in by a Secrtary of State are not diplomacy. There should be a special envoy. Maybe a joint, bi-partisan, special envoy. Why not a President Clinton together with a Republican of high abiluh-ability, and bring them together and and and really work the processes. Because I think you have to have a new security arrangement for the middle east. I think you ought to reduce the American troop presence as fast as possible because I think its exacerbating the situation. And we have to address, obviously, the middle east peace processes.


After each panel member addressed the future of the Middle East, apparently questions were asked from the audience (unfortunately not available on webcast, and I can't find a transcript).

It has been widely reported that Senator Kerry continued his tirade of negative comments saying the Bush administration has caused the United States to become "a sort of international pariah."

Kerry is reported as saying "When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy,"


"So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East — in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today"


"We need to do a better job of protecting our interests, because after all, that's what diplomacy is about," ... "But you have to do it in a context of the reality, not your lens but the reality of those other cultures and histories." Kerry criticized what he called the "unfortunate habit" of Americans to see the world "exclusively through an American lens."

Update: (all text in this color not part of original article) I have posted a few video's below of Kerry's comments. These quotes are a little more complete than the ones above:

Kerry: "Americans have an unfortunate habit of seeing the world and other people exclusively through an American lens, and judging their aspirations through that lens."

Kerry: "We should engage. We should have been more supportive in other ways. We should be less engaged in this neocon rhetoric of regime change and more involved in uh building relationships and living up to our own values so that people make a different judgement about us."

This is causing quite a response in the blogosphere. Pictures of Kerry and Khatami are circulating around.

Found Initially on little green footballs
Kerry recently announced he would not be seeking the Democrat nomination in the 2008 presidential election. Between these recent comments and comments he made about US troops a few months back, it seems clear why he is staying out of the race.

Kerry's comments about the troops/botched joke from a few months back:

Kerry's recent comments, condensed:
"we have opened Pandora's Box"

"unless those (2 domestic Iraqi) issues can be compromised and resolved, I don't care how many troops are put in. Iraq is not going to be pacified."

"we are currently responsible... The absence of (legitimate) diplomacy is a disgrace. Quick flights in by a Secretary of State are not diplomacy."

"I think you ought to reduce the American troop presence as fast as possible because I think it(American troop's presence)'s exacerbating the situation."

Bush Administration has caused U.S. to become "a sort of international pariah."

"we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards"

"we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy"

Americans see world "exclusively through an American lens."

For slow connections:

For faster connections (or more patient people)

No comments: