By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
I caught up with Sen. John Kerry this week and asked him about, among other things, the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Kerry is one of the few top government officials who can impact U.S. policy to have fought in Vietnam. He soured on the war, and came home and enlisted in the antiwar movement, which made him a hero to American liberals.
Liberals today are wary of Obama's decision to boost the number of troops in Afghanistan, and even though he is a Democratic president, several dozen members of the House have refused to vote for appropriations to fund his escalation.
That puts Kerry in a key spot. If he continues to endorse the Obama administration's handling of the war, he will lend his credibility to its efforts. On the other hand, if he emerges from the hearings as a critic of the war, he will complicate life at the White House considerably.
It was the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during the chairmanship of Democratic Sen. William Fulbright, that gave the antiwar movement its first national platform, and official credibility, during the Vietnam War, when it held oversight hearings in 1966.