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John Kerry's rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence...

•, Robert Fisk

John Kerry is becoming more and more like William McGonagall, the "worst poet in the world" whose horror at the 1879 Tay Bridge railway disaster yielded the imperishable observation that it "will be remember'd for a very long time".

Like McGonagall's verse, Kerry's attempts to explain America's crusade against its latest evil enemy are so awful, they are addictive. Just when you think that Kerry's lame explanation to American politicians of Obama's Iraqi crusade – "[Isis] has to be defeated, plain and simple, end of story" – can't get any more childish, it does.

For sheer infantilisme – the French word captures it best – I dare readers to wade through the following claptrap without a snort of disbelief. "I want to make sure that by the time we're done here today, I've heard from you, I know what you're thinking," quoth Kerry to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, "and you've heard from me and you know what we're thinking, what the [Obama] administration is thinking, and that you have a clear understanding of what it is that we have done so far, of how we see this and how, hopefully, we can come to see it together, what we're doing now and of where we go next." It was all very complex, he said – and will also, no doubt, "be remembered for a very long time".

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