Kerry’s gaffes are more subtle than Biden. Where Biden just says crazy things, Kerry says incredibly inconvenient things that blow up in his face. That’s how Russia ended up in charge of Obama’s Syria policy because Kerry said something stupid.
Now Kerry accidentally proved that the Iran deal is just like the disastrous North Korean deal while trying to disprove it. If Lurch had a brain, he would have just claimed that the two were different because Obama Inc. was going to be extra special vigilant. Unfortunately for him, he tried to argue the facts.
And, bizarrely, for a senator who was around during all the North Korean debates, not only did he get the facts wrong, but they proved the opposite of what he claimed they did.
Interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kerry was asked, “A lot of people say Iran is just going to be North Korea – a country that agrees to stop its nuclear ambitions in order to get sanctions lifted and then secretly goes ahead and continues with its program. Why do you think Iran is not North Korea?”
“Well, there are many reasons why it’s not,” Kerry replied. He listed four:
–Iran is “a member of the NPT [nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty].”
–The Iranians “have engaged in a negotiation.”
–The Iranians “have committed to have daily inspections of certain facilities; they have committed to restrict their activities with those inspections taking place.”
–The Iranians “have publicly committed that they are not going to build a nuclear weapon.”
In contrast to Iran, he added, “North Korea already has, and has tested, [nuclear weapons] and will not declare a policy of denuclearization. So there are many different things that lead one to at least say that we ought to be exploring and testing the possibility of a diplomatic solution” with Iran.
None of these factors really matter much. Anyone can sign a worthless treaty, make statements negotiate or commit to inspections that will then either not be carried out or sabotaged.
The best proof of that is that North Korea…
–North Korea was also “a member of the NPT.” (It had threatened in 1993 to withdraw from the treaty, but reversed the decision before the withdrawal became legally effective three months later. The North Korean regime did eventually made good on that threat, but only in 2003, three months after the Bush administration confronted it with evidence that it had been violating the Agreed Framework by carrying out covert uranium-enrichment activity. The 1994 agreement then speedily unraveled.)
–The North Koreans also had “engaged in a negotiation.” (The Agreed Framework was signed after four months of bilateral talks with the U.S., launched after a visit to Pyongyang by former President Carter, acting in an unofficial capacity.)
–The North Koreans also “publicly committed that they are not going to build a nuclear weapon.” (Under the “South-North Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” signed in 1991, Pyongyang undertook not to “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons.” That declaration was cemented in the Agreed Framework.)
That’s what we call three points of correspondence.
Kerry is trying to compare North Korea, as it is today, and Iran as it is today, but the valid comparison is to contrast the countries at the comparative points of nuclearization.
Only one of the four reason cited by Kerry was arguably accurate: Unlike the deal with Iran, the Agreed Framework wording did not stipulate “daily inspections” of North Korean nuclear facilities. But it did allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to “monitor” a freeze in specified nuclear facilities, and to carry out “ad hoc and routine inspections” of facilities not subject to a freeze.
In short, Kerry jumped on a deal with Iran, without remembering that the same process led to North Korea going nuclear even though he was in the senate at the time.
Does Botox kill brain cells?