The Architects Of Our "Smart Diplomacy"
” If there was one constant through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appearances before congressional committees Wednesday, it was that lawmakers fell all over themselves heaping praise on her for the job she has done. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was typical, saying: “Madame Secretary, you have represented us with tremendous strength and poise. You have won us friends.”
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., gushed, “We don’t have time to give a full listing of the achievements you deserve credit for.” And Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., began his remarks by saying that he shares the “tremendous respect” of his colleagues for the job she has done.
What on Earth are they referring to? American foreign policy under Secretary Clinton has been one disaster after another. She may not deserve blame for all of them — or even most of them — but it defies common sense to call her tenure a success.
Let us review the record. “
U.S. declines support for Asian allies in sea disputes with increasingly aggressive China
“The comments by Locklear reflect the
Obama administration’s policy of
“leading from behind” rather than
assertively. That posture has troubled
states in Asia that rely on the United
States and its naval power to
maintain stability, free and open
commerce, and transit.
The comments regarding Japan also
are unusual because the United
States has a mutual defense treaty
with Tokyo. However, the
administration was slow to invoke
the treaty as part of the Japan-China
Illustration By Gary Varvel
” Just when I thought the Petraeus story couldn’t get any weirder, along comes a story in the Wall Street Journal reporting that an FBI official allegedly sent shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who has emerged as a key player in this increasingly bizarre drama: “
” So that’s strange. But here’s what is truly weird: The emails in question don’t seem to be a big deal.Wired‘s Kim Zetter says they “reportedly told Kelley to ‘back off’ and ‘stay away’ from the unnamed man.” According to the Journal:
The accusatory emails, according to officials, were sent anonymously to an account shared by Ms. Kelley and her husband. Ms. Broadwell allegedly used a variety of email addresses to send the harassing messages to Ms. Kelley, officials said.
One asked if Ms. Kelley’s husband was aware of her actions, according to officials. In another, the anonymous writer claimed to have watched Ms. Kelley touching “him” provocatively underneath a table, the officials said.
A Daily Beast story cites a source “who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community” characterizing the emails as “More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch.’”
Either way, that doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that merits an FBI investigation, bureau officials’insistence notwithstanding.
One more thing: The New York Daily News spoke with Broadwell’s father, Paul Krantz, who told the paper: “This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out.”
“There is a lot more that is going to come out,” said Krantz, claiming he was not allowed to elaborate. “You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.”
I suspect we’ll know more soon — and I wonder if what we learn will reflect well on the FBI.”
This case gets more odiferous by the day .
And Again , We Ask , Who Is Jill Kelley ?
” Former United Nations Ambassador and senior Mitt Romney campaign surrogate John Bolton ripped into President Barack Obama’s foreign policy at the National Museum for American Jewish History in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Bolton told the auditorium, packed with approximately 200 attendees, that Obama has adopted a submissive “Mother, may I?” approach to diplomacy, in the vain hope that other nations will return the favor.
“The tragedy of the Arab Spring is, in part, our government didn’t understand what was at work there,” Bolton said. “And we saw the tragedy play out in the most tragic way in Benghazi.” “
” During Monday night’s third and final presidential debate, President Barack Obama denied the charge by Republican nominee Mitt Romney that Obama had gone on a global “apology tour” after assuming office.
But a collection of clips of the president, assembled by the nonpartisan conservative group Young America’s Foundation, undercuts Obama’s denial. “
Update: Insta-polls coming in
” Doesn’t matter who won the battle, says Ron Fournier. What matters is who won the war:
Mitt Romney wins. That’s not to say he won Monday night’s debate or the presidential campaign, but it’s safe to say he won an important chapter: The debate season…
There are ample reasons for both Obama and Romney to feel optimistic about their chances Nov. 6. But through his own steady performances and a spectacular first-debate failure by the incumbent, Romney has cleared an important hurdle: A near-decisive number of Americans believe that he is a viable alternative to Obama, an incumbent saddled with a weak economy and a pessimistic national mood.
Another point made more than once in the national tweet scrum tonight was that it sometimes felt like Romney was the incumbent and Obama the angry, occasionally snide challenger. “
” Obama was very aggressive throughout the debate–perhaps still trying to compensate for his lackluster first debate–using every single question to attack his opponent’s record and policies. That approach may have backfired, as it allowed Romney to strike a calmer, more stable posture. Romney’s apparent strategy was to give up scoring points on particular issues in favor of appealing to war-weary, politics-weary moderate voters.
But that did not mean Romney failed to fight–and fight he did, particularly on the issue of Iran, which he stressed repeatedly as the biggest threat to the U.S. and the greatest failure of the Obama administration. He also repulsed some of Obama’s attacks–when given the opportunity by a moderator who once again showed far greater favor to the incumbent–and occasionally used some of them to pivot to his favored policy points.”
“ In the past several weeks, Mitt Romney has gained ground in polls both nationally and in key swing states on the back of his first debate performance. Romney’s surge has been based around his strength on economic issues, which are going to be key to determining the outcome of the election. From the early going of tonight’s foreign policy debate, it was clear that Romney was aiming to run out the clock. He wanted to demonstrate a basic fluency on foreign policy so he could pass the commander in chief test, without looking like somebody who was itching to start more wars.”
“Unfortunately, in nowhere in the world is America’s influence greater today than it was four years ago.”
“When the president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that’s a frightening thing.”
“Well, first of all, it’s not government that makes business successful. It’s not government investments that makes businesses grow and hire people.”
Someone seems to be playing politics with national security
‘This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” That’s what President Obama was overheard telling then Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev in March on an open microphone when he thought he was speaking privately.The exchange is worth recalling with the weekend story that the White House has agreed “in principle” to a bilateral meeting with Iran on its nuclear weapons program—after the election.
A White House spokesman immediately denied the New York Times report “that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-
on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections.”
” On ABC’s “This Week,” former White House green jobs czar Van Jones called his old boss a “towering figure in foreign policy: You’ve got somebody with a Nobel Peace Prize and he killed bin Laden.” The administration has also leaked details of the raid and cooperated in the making of a Hollywood movie on the raid that is due later this year.
Those of us at The Washington Examiner fist-pumped like everyone else when we heard the news that the SEALs had taken out bin Laden. But is this a grand foreign policy triumph for the ages? We don’t think so, especially given recent events. And one successful assassination does not a coherent foreign policy make. “
” I suspect, although we will know for sure tomorrow night, that President Obama will claim organizational incompetence in connection with acknowledging that the Libya jihadist operation was, well, a planned jihadist operation.
The Associated Press reports how quickly confirmation came that this was not a spontaneous mob action. The AP tells us that within 24 hours of the attack “the CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington that there were eyewitness reports that the attack was carried out by militants.” However, the report continues, “It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went. The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.” “
” Here’s how he might play this when Benghazi comes up (or he brings it up himself)…“It’s all well and good that Secretary Clinton is taking responsibility but my leadership experience has taught me that only the person at the top of the organization is truly responsible. President Obama is at the top of the Executive Branch and he’s ducking responsibility. I’d like to know if the President agrees with the Secretary and if he does, why hasn’t he asked for her resignation? If he doesn’t agree, why doesn’t he say who is responsible? Most importantly, why hasn’t he taken responsibility from Day 1. Harry Truman didn’t say the buck stopped at the Department of State, it stopped at his desk in the Oval Office.”
And then it will get ugly for Obama when Romney adds, “And who does the President blame for the failure of his policies to get this economy going? The Secretary of the Treasury? Maybe he blames you the voters for not paying enough in taxes. This country needs a President who accepts the responsibility that comes with the job and doesn’t blame his subordinates.”
Obama will have no answer to any of that. “
“This Administration Has Been Malicious & Reckless With the Truth!”
Are they capable of doing anything else ?