John Kerry

Unites States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate since 2021

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is a politician, former Massachusetts Senator, Democratic Party's nominee for President in 2004, son of Richard John Kerry and Rosemary Isabel Forbes, husband of Teresa Heinz Kerry. From 2013 to 2017, he served as the 68th United States Secretary of State.

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

Quotes edit

  • There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant [William] Calley, are war criminals.
  • We must recognize that there is no indication that Saddam Hussein has any intention of relenting. So we have an obligation of enormous consequence, an obligation to guarantee that Saddam Hussein cannot ignore the United Nations. He cannot be permitted to go unobserved and unimpeded toward his horrific objective of amassing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
    • Speech to the floor of the Senate, Congressional Record, November 9, 1997 [1]
  • If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act.
    • New York Times op-ed, September 6, 2002 [2]
  • If you don't believe...Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me.
    •, February 11, 2003 [4]
  • I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.
    • Democratic Presidential Debate May 13, 2003 [5]
  • I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. I knew we had to hold him accountable. There's never been a doubt about that. But I also know that if we had done this with a sufficient number of troops, if we had done this in a globalized way, if we had brought more people to the table, we might have caught Saddam Hussein sooner. We might have had less loss of life. We would be in a stronger position today with respect to what we're doing.
    • 14 December 2003, Fox News Sunday
  • We're going to keep pounding. These guys [Bush Administration] are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary.
    • Kerry uttered these words, not knowing there was a microphone recording it March 12, 2004
  • I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it. ... Joe [Biden] and I brought an amendment to the $87 billion, and we said, `This should be paid for now, not adding to the deficit'.... The president said no; the Republicans voted no.
    • San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2004 pE2
  • America must always be the world's paramount military power, but we can magnify our power through alliances.
    • May 27, 2004 [6]
  • I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty.
    • Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004 [7]
  • It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Sept 6, 2004 [8]
  • There is some schedule showing what you (need) to do to get Iraqis standing up and defending themselves which is now suddenly beginning to happen, so there are some signs of progress.
    • September 27, 2005 [9]
  • We're here to talk about education. But I want to say something before that....You know, education, if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
  • KERRY: I have had conversations with leaders.
KERRY: Yes, recently.
KERRY: That‘s not your business. It‘s mine. Are you a Democrat, a Republican? What are you? Are you a registered Republican?
KERRY: Are you a Republican? You answer the question. Did you vote for George Bush? Did you vote for George Bush?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for George Bush and I...
KERRY: Thank you.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE sits while booed by crowd)
  • We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or truth or what's happening.
    • September 27, 2010. [10]
  • So my judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it.
  • What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Make no mistake, President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people.
    • Syria chemical attack undeniable, says John Kerry, August 26, 2013[11]
  • There's something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they're really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn't to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That's not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What's the platform? What's the grievance? That we're not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it's indiscriminate. They kill Shia. They kill Yezidis. They kill Christians. They kill Druze. They kill Ismaili. They kill anybody who isn't them and doesn't pledge to be that. And they carry with them the greatest public display of misogyny that I've ever seen, not to mention a false claim regarding Islam. It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism — I mean, you name it.
    And that's why when some people — I even had a member of my own family email me and say, “More bombs aren’t the solution,” they said. Well, in principle, no. In principle, if you can educate and change people and provide jobs and make a difference if that's what they want, sure. But in this case, that's not what's happening. This is just raw terror to set up a caliphate to expand and expand and spread one notion of how you live and who you have to be. That is the antithesis of everything that brought our countries together — why Lafayette came to America to help us find liberty, and all of the evolutions of the struggles of France, the governments, to find the liberte, egalite, fraternite, and make it real in life every day. And all of that peacefulness was shattered in the span of an hour-plus on Friday night when people were going about their normal business. And they purposefully chose a concert, chose restaurants, chose places where people engage in social dialogue and exchange, and they object to that too.
    So this is not a situation where we have a choice. We have been at war with these guys since last year. President Obama said that very clearly. And every single country — not just in the region, but around the world — is opposed to what they are doing to the norms of human behavior and the standards by which we try to live.
  • Years ago when I left college, I went to war. And I learned in war the price that is paid when diplomacy fails. And I made a decision that if I ever was lucky enough to be in a position to make a difference, I would try to do so.
    • On finalizing the Iran Deal [12]
  • Regrettably, some seem to believe that the US friendship means the US must accept any policy regardless all our interests, our own words, our own position, our own principles, even after urging again and again that the policy must change... Friends need to tell each other the hard truth and friendships require mutual respect.
    • On UNSC resolution 2334, Kerry Blasts Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu — (December 2016)

Misattributed edit

  • "Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?" What Kerry actually said at a campaign rally in Milwaukee was: "There isn't one of us here who doesn't like NASCAR and who isn't a fan."

Quotes about Kerry edit

  • I think we need people with stronger ideals than John Kerry or Bill Clinton. I think we need people with more courage and vision. It's a shame we have had people who are so damn weak.
  • In September 2013, a month after Obama backed down from launching strikes against Assad to punish him for using chemical weapons, he and President Rouhani spoke on the phone while they were both at the UN General Assembly. The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, and the US secretary of state, John Kerry, sat down for a tête-à-tête. It was the highest level of contact between the two countries since 1979. The Saudis were shocked and felt deeply betrayed. They had long since moved on from the era of détente in the 1990s and had a particular aversion to back channels between Iran and the United States. They’d felt betrayed before by such talks, and it made them feel deeply insecure about their place in the Middle East and their role as America’s top ally in the Arab world. The Saudi-US alliance, based on oil for security, had its limitations, and the relationship had been sorely tested by events like the September 11 attacks. Meanwhile, there were policymakers in Washington who felt Iran held more promise of turning into a democracy than a desert kingdom with an absolute monarchy. The Saudis were apoplectic when they heard such musings. The Obama administration also believed that if a deal could be reached while the reformers were in power, an improved economy would further strengthen the reformers and show how much the hardliners had failed the people.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • John Kerry has likened the threat of climate change to a "weapon of mass destruction," and it's a fair analogy. But if climate change poses risks on par with nuclear war, then why are we not responding with the seriousness that that comparison implies? Why aren't we ordering companies to stop putting our future at risk, instead of bribing and cajoling them? Why are we gambling?
    • Naomi Klein This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014)
  • unless we pay our climate debt, and quickly, we may well find ourselves living in a world of climate rage. "Privately, we already hear the simmering resentment of diplomats whose countries bear the costs of our emissions," Senator John Kerry observed recently. "I can tell you from my own experience: It is real, and it is prevalent. It's not hard to see how this could crystallize into a virulent, dangerous, public anti-Americanism. That's a threat too. Remember: The very places least responsible for climate change and least equipped to deal with its impacts will be among the very worst affected." That, in a nutshell, is the argument for climate debt.
  • John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he'll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home. John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option, but it should never be the first option.
  • This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them, and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad.

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