Two years ago, in the dog days of summer, Senator John F. Kerry told GlobalPost that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he then chaired, was going to take “a hard look at Afghanistan.”
Guess what? The committee never did take up hearings that took “a hard look” at the war or questioned its overall strategy.
Kerry’s 2009 promise to hold hearings on America’s longest war resonated because it was Kerry, who as a young leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, testified in 1971 before the very same Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was then chaired by the legendary Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas.
And, as GlobalPost’s John Aloysius Farrell wrote back in 2009, “Those hearings played an important role in focusing concerns on President Lyndon Johnson’s flawed strategy during the Vietnam War. Kerry, then a 27-year-old decorated combat veteran of that war, rose to prominence as an anti-war leader with his testimony at the committee’s hearings.”
GlobalPost CEO and co-founder Philip S. Balboni wrote a powerful opinion column encouraging Kerry to work with President Obama and his administration to hasten an end to the war.
As Balboni, who is also a Vietnam War veteran, wrote, the pointed question that Kerry put to the Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 still resonates today: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”