Towards the end of a four-hour hearing, John Kerry invoked American soldiers who died on the beaches of Normandy in World War II, suggesting that America has a similar responsibility to intervene in Syria.
“Have you ever been to the cemetery in France above those beaches?” Kerry asked the House Foreign Affairs Committee this afternoon, in an attempt to convince members to approve military action. “Why’d those guys have to go do that? Because we were standing up with people for a set of values and fighting for freedom.”
The secretary of state regretted that the world was not as simple as it was in the days of the Cold War when he was growing up, saying that “when the Berlin Wall fell, so did all of the things that tampened down a lot of sectarian, religious and other kinds of conflict in the world.” He attributed 9/11 to the unleashing of these forces, saying that the attacks “happened because there were ungoverned spaces in which people who wanted to fight the West” were able to do so.
Kerry assured the committee that the U.S. does have “direct interests” in Syria, namely the country’s credibility in response to chemical attacks.
“No country has liberated as much land or fought as many battles as the United States of America and turned around and given it back to the people who live there and who can own it and run it,” he said. “We are the indispensable nation.”