Mid-East scholar rejects Kerry as U.S. Secretary of State

U.S. President Barack Obama's choice of John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State has prompted experts to weigh in on the former presidential contender's suitability for the position.

Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics and chair of Mid-Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, makes a case against Kerry that includes his lack of understanding regarding chemical and biological weapons and the countries that possess them, according to EurasiaReview.com.

Zunes argues that Kerry's support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq went against his purported claims of a fundamental belief in multilateralism and international law. Kerry was briefed in 2002 by the chief U.N. weapons inspector and by prominent scholars of the region. They informed him of the consequences a war would have on the region and the likelihood that no chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons would be found.

"Kerry and his supporters claim he does not really reject international law," Zunes said, EurasiaReview.com reports. "They note that, in voting to authorize the invasion of Iraq, Kerry stated at that time that he expected President Bush 'to work with the United Nations Security Council and our allies...if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force.' He then promised that if President Bush failed to do so, 'I will be the first to speak out.' However, Senator Kerry broke that promise."

Zunes said that Kerry said he would have voted for the war in Iraq even after the Bush administration acknowledged there were no CBRN weapons to be found. Kerry said the oppressive nature of the Hussein regime and the fact that Iraq could potentially make such weapons in the future was enough for his support.

"What is disturbing about this is that there are scores of oppressive governments around the world that could conceivably pose some kind of threat at some time in the future," Zunes said, EurasiaReview.com reports. "Kerry apparently believes that the president should have the power to go after any of them right now."

Zunes ended his evaluation of Kerry by criticizing the president for choosing to further the mindset that led to the invasion, something he promised not to do while running in 2008.