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New U.S. Secretary of State ends Bush legacy

New U.S. Secretary of State ends Bush legacy

Senator Kerry is likely to be succeeded by Senator Robert Menendez as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

U.S. President Barack Obama decided to fully refresh his administration, with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) nominated as the Secretary of State and Chuck Hagel, former Republican Senator from Nebraska as the Secretary of Defense. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and, perhaps, Attorney General Eric Holder will also be replaced.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Obama’s nomination of his next Secretary of State put an end to George W. Bush’s legacy. Hillary Clinton and diplomats of the old “Wilson” school she surrounded herself with kept talking about the historical mission of the U.S. and the need to disseminate U.S. values. Meanwhile, the American society has long ceased to demonstrate enthusiasm about such considerations. Unlike Clinton, Rice, and Albright Senator Kerry believes that diplomacy can achieve anything, and military force Bush father and son were so keen on, is not necessary at all. These two brought the U.S. into long-term interreligious and interethnic clashes, from Afghanistan to Iraq. The current administration will hardly insist on an intervention into Syria or even launch of hostilities against Iran.

Meanwhile, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) hailed the nomination of Senator Kerry as the Secretary of State.

“We welcome President Obama’s nomination of Senator Kerry – a legislator with a three decade-long record of support for Armenia and a legacy of advocacy for the foreign policy priorities of Armenian Americans – as our nation’s next Secretary of State,” ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian said. “We look forward to continuing to work constructively with Senator Kerry, now in his new role at the Department of State, as we seek to lift Turkey’s gag-rule on American recognition of the Armenian Genocide, strengthen U.S.-Armenia ties, and put in place freedom-based solutions that provide security to the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh,” Hamparian stated.

The Armenian community has certain hopes for Senator Kerry; however, a key factor is the Secretary of State will not necessarily be a supporter of the Armenian Diaspora. Kerry will hardly try to please Baku the way his predecessors did; nor will he ruin relations with Turkey for the sake of Armenia and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Time will show, though; predicting the moves of the new administration is not an easy task.

Senator Kerry was first elected to the Senate in 1984. He succeeded now-Vice President Joe Biden as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. Over the years, Senator Kerry has been a strong advocate for Congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, cosponsoring many resolutions to end U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denial of this still unpunished crime. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, he pressed ambassadorial nominee to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone about U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s blockade of Armenia. He is not currently a cosponsor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

In the early 1990s, Senator Kerry was a vocal leader in support of Senate adoption of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, which restricted U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan until it lifted its blockades and stopped its aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Earlier this year, Chairman Kerry was “shocked and appalled” at Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s pardon, praise and promotion of convicted Azerbaijani axe-murderer Ramil Safarov.

Senator Kerry will likely be succeeded by Senator Robert Menendez as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ANCA reports.

“Odnako” magazine quotes U.S. political scientist Harlan Ullman as saying that all key positions related to foreign policy are now given to senators who have once slammed the policy of George W. Bush. “Obama-Biden-Kerry-Hagel link can work very smoothly and produce a real coup,” Ullman said.

“During Obama’s first term, the U.S. already started to yield its positions on the world arena. “One power cannot dominate the world, and those criticising the U.S. for a unilateral approach should overcome the anti-Americanism which had too often justified collective inaction,”” the U.S. president declared at a UN General Assembly meeting in 2009. Many experts are now comparing the United States with the British Empire during its decline, when London started shifting a part of its responsibility for global issues off to other players,” Ullman said.

John Kerry is an American aristocrat, heir of the Forbes family. The first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop is a direct Kerry forbear. Kerry studied at Yale University and was member of the influential Skull and Bones secret society. His second wife Teresa Heinz is owner of a food empire with assets worth more than $3 bln.

Kerry chaired the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs from 1991 to 1993. In 1994 the Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Kerry and fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain that called for an end to the existing trade embargo against Vietnam; in 1995, President Bill Clinton normalized diplomatic relations with the country of Vietnam.

Kerry has advocated China’s accession to WTO and once said at the Congress that the Chinese top officials, despite maintaining authoritarian traditions, have nothing in common with the “Red Plague”. To this, Republican Jesse Helms responded: “You may call it whatever you wish, but a duck will always remain a duck.”

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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