Secretary of State John Kerry told senators Tuesday during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on U.S. military involvement in Syria that “this is not the time for armchair isolationism.”

Kerry expanded on that remark by saying “this is not the time to be spectators to slaughter. Neither our country or our conscience can afford the cost of silence.”

Then Kerry brought up some history in his effort to generate congressional support for U.S. attacks on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's military capabilities.

“We have spoken up against unspeakable horror many times in the past,” Kerry said. “Now we must stand up and act.”

Funny he should say that, considering how he spoke out against the Iraq war in 2003 (after voting for it initially), despite Saddam Hussein's well-known record of atrocities, including the use of chemical weapons, against his own people. In fact, Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign was essentially based on opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Then there was that whole thing about testifying against the Vietnam war in 1971. But things are different now, right?