Three seemingly unrelated events have converged in recent weeks to drive home a poignant message about the cost of hypocrisy to America’s global leadership.
This time last week, Secretary of State John Kerry found himself in the spotlight of a major world conflict. The deposed Ukrainian president had just fled into the arms of his Russian sponsors amidst of discoveries of corruption and lavish personal consumption. With the fledgling new government in Kiev encountering vocal opposition from Ukraine’s pro-Russian minority, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his forces into Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, beginning what has begun to bear all the signs of thuggish land annexation not seen since the days of the postwar Soviet Union, or even the Third Reich itself.
Secretary Kerry had the facts and the moral arguments on his side: “You just don’t, in the 21st Century, behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext,” he told CBS’s Face the Nation. Of course, in many ways he was right.
But there was a glaring problem. Our own country had just wound down decade-long war in Iraq, which we started – at the cost of more than 6,000 American and allied lives and Iraqi deaths estimated as high as one million souls – on what most observers now agree was a “trumped-up pretext.” Observers around the world – including the Russian president – took note, and Kerry’s moral high ground began to look puny at best.
Jesus Christ had a piercing question for people caught in the Secretary’s position: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3. Your judgments may be factually correct, but they are worthless coming from one in your compromised position. Continue reading