3:10 PM, Dec 22, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry used the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Indian Ocean region as a reminder about climate change. The earthquake released huge walls of water that inundated a number of coastal regions in both Asia and Africa just before Christmas in 2004. Kerry recalls hearing the news:
I’ll never forget hearing the news of the tsunami that struck in the Indian Ocean 10 years ago. The images were gut-wrenching: entire towns razed from Indonesia to Somalia; raging waters sweeping away people’s homes; hundreds of thousands killed and many more separated from their families.
Today of all days, we pause to remember those we lost—from farmers and fishers to travelers from our own lands. I know that there are no words to express such a horrific loss. There’s no way to wipe away the pain of parents who lost a child, or children who lost their parents and were forced to assume adult responsibilities at a tender age.
We recognize the millions of people who contributed to the recovery effort. And we honor those who have continued to work in the years since to help the victims pick up the pieces and rebuild their communities. The tsunami was one of the worst we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.
However, Kerry went on to say that the tsunami "sounded a warning" about climate change as well:
It also sounded a warning. We know that many regions are already suffering historic floods and rising sea levels. And scientists have been saying for years that climate change could mean more frequent and disastrous storms, unless we stop and reverse course. Last year I visited the Philippines and saw the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. It is incomprehensible that that kind of storm – or worse – could become the norm. The time to act on climate change is now – before it’s too late to heed the warning.
On this day of reflection, we mourn with our friends in Asia and Africa who were affected by this terrible disaster. We commit to the hard work still ahead to help the region build safer, more resilient communities. And we pledge our best efforts to leave our children and grandchildren a safer and more sustainable planet. Future generations are counting on us.
Kerry did not indicate what kind of efforts could be taken to mitigate the effects of a similar tsunami in the future.
8:17 AM, Dec 22, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry, who wrote an op-ed for the Miami Herald along with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, evoked Ronald Reagan's timeless challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Berlin Wall in 1987, "Mr.
7:17 AM, Dec 18, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In John Kerry's statement on President Obama's Cuba policy changes, the secretary of state doesn't simply suggest the policies in place for five and a half decades are outdated. He seems to be suggesting they were a failure from the start. And in doing so, he apparently misstates his own age at the time President Kennedy made one of the most well known presidential addresses in our nation's history, and certainly the most notable regarding Cuba.
1:35 PM, Dec 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican senator Marco Rubio said a top State Department official was "dishonest" about the Obama administration's plans to change its policy on Cuba. Tony Blinken, the newly confirmed deputy secretary of State, told the Florida senator at his confirmation hearing in November that the administration would not unilaterally change its Cuba policy without "full consultation" with Congress. That consultation, Rubio says, never happened to his knowledge.
"He was dishonest," Rubio told THE WEEKLY STANDARD Wednesday. "He was clearly evasive."
The ‘complex’ negotiations with Iran.Dec 8, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 13 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
Predictably, President Barack Obama and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have decided to extend again the Joint Plan of Action, the interim nuclear deal they concluded in November 2013. Unlike the last extension, which was for four months, this one is for seven months; the “political” parts of the deal, Secretary of State John Kerry assures us, should be done by March, while further “technical and drafting” details may take until July.
12:05 PM, Nov 24, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Today we learned that it has been impossible to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Even a short "framework" agreement or one-pager was beyond reach. And this, despite the extension of the talks from the original deadline last spring.
8:34 AM, Nov 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Contradicting reports that Secretary of State John Kerry has delayed a trip to Vienna to join the nuclear talks with Iran, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki tweeted
1:01 PM, Nov 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of State John Kerry called today's terror attack in Jerusalem the "pure result of incitement" and called on "Palestinian leadership at every single level to condemn this in the most powerful terms." Here's video:
7:37 AM, Nov 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
President Obama told the president of China he wants to "take the relationship to a new level."
Obama, who is visiting China as part of a global summit, attended an event at the residence of Chinese president Xi Jinping Tuesday. According to the pool report, Xi told Obama he wanted to work more closely with the Americans, and the American president agreed.
9:21 AM, Nov 5, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While the nation was focused on the mid-term elections Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Johns Hopkins School
11:09 AM, Oct 29, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The belief that the prime minister of Israel is "chickenshit" is "not the administration's view," a spokesperson for the National Security Council says in a statement. Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic reported Tuesday that a "senior administration official" viewed Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, as the most frustrating foreign leader to the White House and the State Department.
11:34 AM, Oct 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
After the latest terror attack in Israel, the State Department issued the following statement urging all sides -- which would include Israel, the victims here -- to remain calm:
7:29 AM, Oct 23, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While some in Congress have warned that Russian involvement in Ukraine portends a "looming" new cold war, Obama administration officials have for the most part brushed off the comparison.