In the wake of the Paris massacre, John Kerry went out and made a fool of himself. There’s nothing new there, but I did want to comment on something I did and to explain why I did it — or more accurately, why I didn’t do something that every other commentator did. My point in writing this is to prove that I’m not quite the half-wit people may have assumed I am.
Let me begin with Kerry’s words:
In the last days, obviously, that has been particularly put to the test. 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.
Everybody and his uncle latched onto the first part of that paragraph, in which Kerry seemed to say that satirical journalists and Jews were legitimate terrorist targets. I went in a different direction and focused on the second part where, in keeping with the Democrat-party line, Kerry again denied that massacres — whether ten months ago or a week ago — have anything to do with Islam. It occurred to me later that some readers might have thought I was stupid, careless, or otherwise deficient for not lambasting Kerry for his bizarre statement about legitimate and illegitimate terrorist attacks.
All I can say is that I’m not as stupid as I look. I actually had an analytical framework that I’d completely clicked through by the time I sat down and wrote. I’d processed Kerry’s remarks, and concluded that the most important part was his denial about Islam’s role. Everything else was just Kerry’s generosity in giving us an opportunity to see his obtuse brain working through a problem.