Posts Tagged ‘Susan Rice’

Samantha Powers and Susan Rice to prepare a new witches’ brew

June 5, 2013

Throughout his first term, President Obama relied on three White House witches to prepare a foul foreign policy brew. That foul brew served to bring down two stalwart U.S. Allies, Colonel Gaddafi in Libya and President Mubarak in Egypt, pushing both countries into the hands of Islamic fundamentalist governance. That brew betrayed an American consulate in Benghazi and the witches then lied repeatedly about the nature of the terrorist attack. Then Witch One (Hillary Clinton) deserted her post in pursuance of presidential status, while Witch Two (Samantha Powers) took time out as her husband, Cass Sunstein, returned to Harvard University. Only Witch Three (Susan Rice) remained, her reputation seemingly irreparably damaged by her brazen public lies about Benghazi.

Barack Obama seemingly cannot live without at least two of those witches. Susan Rice could not secure Senate confirmation for any new post requiring such action. So she will assume the position of national security adviser, a position that does not require a Senate vote. Samantha Powers, who won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for a book entitled: A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide will now assume Susan Rice’s position as United Nations Ambassador.

What kind of message do these appointments signal to a watching world about American foreign policy? Barack Obama is making absolutely sure that Americans will live in interesting times throughout the remainder of his incumbency. When China’s Premier, Xi Jinping meets with Barack Obama in California later this week, no doubt he will proffer his congratulations:

‘May you live in interesting times’ is a Chinese curse.

From Susan Rice to Barack Obama: an allegory about betrayal of trust

December 14, 2012

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising,

I heard a young maid sing in the valley below.

Oh, don’t deceive me. Oh never leave me

How could you use a poor maiden so?

Remember the vows that you made to me truly,

Remember how tenderly you nestled close to me.

Gay is the garland, fresh are the roses

I’ve culled from the garden, to bind over thee.

Here I now wander alone as I wonder

Why did you leave me to sigh and complain.

I ask of the roses, why should I be forsaken,

Why must I here in sorrow remain?

How could you slight so pretty a girl who loves you,

A pretty girl who loves you so clearly and warm?

Though love’s folly is surely but a fancy,

Still it should prove to me sweeter than your scorn.

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising,

I heard a young maid sing in the valley below.

Oh, don’t deceive me, Oh never leave me.

How could you use a poor maiden so?

(English folk song)

‘I  lied for you about Benghazi. And now you betray me’


Susan Rice: Diplomat from Hell

December 4, 2012

1. Member National Security Council April 1994

The Rwanda genocide began in April 1994. Susan Rice then served as a member of President Clinton’s National Security Council.  The Clinton administration went to great lengths to avoid any involvement in this episode.  Susan Rice offered appalling words of advice in Slick Willie’s ear:

‘At an interagency teleconference in late April (1994)’ writes Samantha Power in her book, ‘A Problem From Hell’, Ms. Rice “stunned a few officials present when she asked, ‘If we use the word “genocide” and are seen as doing nothing, what will the effect be on the November [congressional] election?’. Bret Stephens, ‘Failing Up With Susan Rice’, The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2012

2. Assistant Secretary for Africa 1997

While serving as Assistant Secretary for Africa in the Clinton administration in 1997, Susan Rice cozied up to some of the most corrupt and ruthless strongmen in Africa:

“The best account of Ms. Rice’s time in that office comes from a 2000 article in Current History by Peter Rosenblum of Columbia University. Ms. Rice was the architect of a policy that invested heavily in a new crop of African leaders – Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia; Isaias Afewerki  in Eritrea; Yoweri Museveni in Uganda; Paul Kagame in Rwanda – presumed to be more progressive minded than their predecessors…the leaders in whom she invested her faith would all become typical African strongmen, with human-rights records to match.” Bret Stephens, ibid.

3.  Assistant Secretary for Africa 1998

In May 1998, Susan Rice was sent to mediate a peace plan between warring Ethiopia and Eritrea. Bear in mind that the leaders of these two nations were members of her investment list of outstanding African leaders. Rice announced the terms of a plan agreed upon only by Ethiopia, announcing that Eritrea would simply have to accept it.  Isaias Afewerki understandably  responded angrily, rejecting the plan and heaping abuse on  Rice. Shortly afterwards, war broke out between the two countries, a war in which 100,000 souls would perish.

“Susan Rice was summoned back to Washington in early June after the negotiations collapsed. Insiders agree that the secretary of state (Madeleine Albright) was furious.  According to one, Rice was essentially ‘put on probation,’ kept in Washington where the secretary could keep an eye on her. ‘Susan had misread ther situation completely,’ according to one State Department insider, who observed the conflict with Albright. ‘She came in like a scoutmaster, lecturing them on how to behave and having a public tantrum when they didn’t act the way she wanted.'” Bret Stephens, ibid.

And this is the Witch from Hell that Barack Obama would vault into the office of Secretary of State?


U.S. diplomacy will not thrive on a witch’s brew of brown rice

November 18, 2012

Susan Rice is nothing if not an unquestioning transmitter of messages that emanate from President Barack Obama. So when the president asked her to provide media cover for the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate  the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations went out on a media spree to blame the event falsely on a video that ridiculed the  Great Prophet.

Challenged last week by Republican  Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to the effect that they would attempt to block any nomination of Susan Rice for the position of Secretary of State, President Obama responded with a typically unpleasant  hissy fit:

“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.  For them to go after the U.N. ambassador…and besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.  And, you know, we’re after an election now.”

If President Obama persists in nominating Susan Rice for the position of Secretary of State, he will make yet another serious mis-judgment of character. And Benghazi is not the deciding issue in this assessment.

Successful diplomats have to exude attractive personalities and sensitivity as to the concerns of those with whom they must attempt to deal. Susan Rice does not possess such stellar qualities. She is  labeled ‘witch’ with good reason:

“Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies – on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad. …Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, Rice appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses.  Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults.  Among those she has insulted is the woman she would replace at State.  Rice condemned Clinton’s Iraq and Iran positions, asking for an ‘explanation of how and why she got those critical judgments wrong.  She mocked a McCain trip to Iraq (‘strolling around in a flak jacket’), called his policies ‘reckless’ and said ‘his tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later. It is dangerous’. Dana Milbank, ‘The wrong person to fight for’, The Washington Post, November 18, 2012

For President Obama to press for Susan Rice would be equivalent to a President Romney pressing for John Bolton as Secretary of State. Neither person is remotely diplomatic. The media would be swarming all over a Bolton nomination. So why are they so silent over  Susan Rice?  Broomsticks anyone?

At least John Bolton has the benefit that he understands the real-political  nature of the world that surrounds the United States.  Susan Rice does not have a clue. She is a one of Obama’s three witches flying blindly in a world inhabited, not by sycophantic ravens, but by hostile hawks.

Benghazi: who knew what, and when?

October 20, 2012

On the morning of  September 19, 2012, Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, publicly testified before the Senate that Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Since that moment, no one in the Obama administration has challenged that determination.  So the American people now know with high probability, the true nature of that attack.

However, for a period of eight days, from 3.40 pm on September 11, 2012, when the American consulate in Benghazi was first rocked by gunfire and explosions, the American people were incorrectly informed about the nature of that attack.  They were told repeatedly by the President of the United States, by his press mouthpiece, Jay Carney, and by his stooge in the United Nations, Susan Rice, that the Benghazi consulate attack  was a spontaneous outgrowth of a protest over an anti-Islam video.

Within the Obama administration, four key individuals bear responsibility for this eight-day mis-interpretation: Barack Obama (President), Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State), Leon Panetta (Secretary of Defense) and David Petraeous (C.I.A. Director).  So, if any outright lies occurred over Benghazigate,  in the sense of public denial of the known truth, we can immediately finger the potential suspects. Of course, and in any event, the buck stops with the President because if any of his appointees withheld such information, that is a serious blot on his selection ability.

As with Watergate, it is crucially important to define the timeline of the unfolding tragedy. James Rosen (The Wall Street Journal,October 20, 2012) distinguishes three relevant time-lines.

The first time-line encompasses the pre-period before the attack, when lax security procedures for the consulate and its annexes opened up an avenue for terrorists to exploit. Who knew what and when about this prior situation. Did the C.I.A. fail to retrieve evidence of the plot?  Or did the C.I.A. warn the Department of State, only to be rebuffed in its request for increased security. Why was the evidence not gathered, not reported upon and/or not acted on? How much did Obama know? This is the really important issue. Four Americans died because of this intelligence failure.

The second time-line encompasses the five or six hours on the evening of September 11, when the attacks transpired. What really happened to Ambassador Stevens that night and how vulnerable were the U.S. diplomatic corps bravely serving at 275 installations across the world on the eleventh anniversary of September 11, 2001?  Why was the rescue effort so lame and so ineffectual. Why were Black Hawks not moved instantaneously to the scene to mow the invaders down and to remove the terror at its source? Who made that fateful decision? And who knew that the decision had been made? And why did they not speak out immediately to the American people?

The third Benghazi timeline – the one that has fostered charges of a cover-up -stretches across those eight days from 3.40 pm on September 11, 2012. If indeed it turns out that the White House engaged in an eight day cover-up over Benghazigate the ostensible motivation bears a striking similarity to that of all the president’s men in Watergate, except in this case two women are involved.

As with Richard Nixon in 1972, Barack Obama faces a rendezvous with the electorate in 2012. Obama’s rendezvous will be much closer than that of Richard Nixon. If Obama indeed has lied to the public about Benghazigate, it would be well for him to lose the election. Richard Nixon learned the hard way that an election victory forged on an important lie can wreck one’s reputation. It would be far worse for Americans if the first black president of the United States were to be removed from office during his second term because he failed to learn the lessons of history.

Hat Tip: James Rosen, ‘The Three Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About’, The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2012


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