- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Kerry cruises through confirmation hearing for secretary of state
Sen. John F. Kerry breezed through the hearing Thursday on his nomination as the Obama administration’s new secretary of state, facing few tough questions and vowing to mind the image the U.S. projects in a post-9/11 world.
He is likely to be approved easily by the Foreign Relations Committee and soon thereafter by the full Senate, taking over from Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is retiring after four years at the helm of the department.
Mr. Kerry portrayed himself as a staunch advocate of American power, but also a statesman concerned about America’s image as an empire too eager to resort to military tactics in a “complicated and ever more dangerous world.”
“Every one of us here knows that American foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone,” the Massachusetts Democrat told the committee during four hours of hearings.
“We cannot allow the extraordinary good we do to save and change lives to be eclipsed entirely by the role we have had to play since Sept. 11 — a role that was thrust upon us.”
The hearing opened with a bipartisan bang, when Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, appeared alongside Mrs. Clinton and freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, to formally introduce Mr. Kerry to the panel.
“He and I have been friends for quite a long time now,” said Mr. McCain, who added that while he and Mr. Kerry have had “political differences” over the years, their friendship is “based in mutual respect.”
“I commend his nomination to you without reservation,” Mr. McCain said.
Mr. Kerry homed in on Iran during the hearing, saying the U.S. has an “extraordinary interest” in stopping the global proliferation of nuclear weapons. He said that includes trying to “resolve the questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.”
“The president has made it definitive: We will do what we must do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Kerry said. “I repeat here today: Our policy is not containment. It is prevention. And the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance.”
On Syria, he defended his belief that Syrian President Bashar Assad had the potential to be a reformer before he began using his army against his own citizens in a civil war that has killed an estimated 60,000 people.
Mr. Kerry’s shifting positions on Syria have bothered some senators — especially Republicans who criticize the Obama administration for failing to do more to support Syrian rebels fighting for Mr. Assad’s ouster.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor rejoined The Washington Times in 2011 as the State Department correspondent.
As a freelance journalist, Taylor’s work was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Fund For Investigative Journalism, and his stories appeared in a variety publications, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to Salon, Reason, Prospect Magazine of London, the Daily Star of Beirut, the ...
- U.S., Chinese diplomats talk air defense zone ahead of Biden visit
- State mulling whether to invite Iran to upcoming Syria talks
- Election strengthens Honduran military's hand
- U.S. B-52 bombers buzz China's expanded airspace as dispute with Japan escalates
- Obama defends Iran nuclear deal, attacks critics for 'bluster'
Latest Blog Entries
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
White House pets gone wild!