Some of the best entertainment of last week was furnished by Fox and C-Span, namely, the Senate-committee hearings for State secretary Clinton vis-à-vis the Benghazi massacre and Senator Kerry vis-à-vis his nomination to succeed Clinton. The Senators and witnesses made their speeches, all of them reading their remarks, even the answers to questions.
I didn’t partake of either completely but heard/saw enough to know that the hearings were virtually useless with regard to anything substantive being learned. The democrat senators were in congratulatory mode and the republicans attempted to be in attack mode but their hearts didn’t seem to be in it. The Benghazi thing was a cover-up by Clinton and Obama of such magnitude that she could do little more than just say that efforts were being made to see that such a thing (the attack, not the cover-up) would not happen again.
The senators went easy on Kerry, whose appointment is assured, and whose job actually means very little, as has been the case with Clinton, whose countless miles of travel (112 nations?) elicited oohs and aahs exponentially. One remembers that soon after Clinton was confirmed in 2009 Obama appointed Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell as special envoys to Afghanistan/Pakistan and the Middle East, respectively, completely bypassing her as a significant player in the most important problem-areas.
The fact: Obama is a micromanager and will make all decisions. Kerry, as did Clinton, will live on plush Air Force planes and have a great time doing photo-ops here and there and everywhere.
Clinton and Kerry share the distinction for getting it wrong on Syria. According to Newsmax of 11 May 2011 (via The Cable), Kerry indicated to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on 16 March 2011 that in his judgment Syria was no lost cause and would embrace a legitimate relationship with the U.S. and the West and the economic opportunity that comes with that. Not long after that, he said, “I've always said the top goal of Assad is to perpetuate his own regime.” Another case of “I did this before I did that,” with reference to his approach to the Iraq War? Go figure! Kerry – lost ball in tall weeds!
According to CNSNews.com of 28 March 2011, Clinton said that visiting lawmakers regarded Assad as a reformer and that, therefore, the U.S. will not intervene on behalf of Syrian civilians. Both could not have been more wrong about Assad; however, the U.S. has not meddled, at least as far as is known. Regardless of any bluster Kerry might make, despite goading by Senators McCain and Graham, this country is not likely to get in that mess, though Obama has dispatched troops to Syria-neighbor Turkey. It seems that neither he, Clinton nor Kerry remember the American Revolution, in which the citizens/colonists did to King George what Syrian citizens have been doing to Assad and paying a frightful cost. Let ’em settle it.
As a result of the grandiose Arab Spring of 2011 (Obama’s shameful contribution, the unprovoked blindsiding attack on Libya), the Middle East, especially Libya, is a cauldron of violence and unrest, the most recent example in Egypt, where Tahrir Square has again become the focal point of potential revolution. For his part, Obama has just sent over some fighter jets to Head Honcho Morsi, who is delivering the government into the hands of the dreaded Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. policy is and will remain under Kerry/Obama in a shambles vis-à-vis the Middle East.
This is from The Daily Caller via Wickileaked of 29 November 2010: “On a February trip to the Middle East, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) told Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem as part of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and that he was ‘shocked’ by what he saw on a visit to Gaza.” The Golan Heights forms a critical defense area/facility for Israel. Kerry is obviously pro-Hamas and probably is not disturbed by Iran’s threat to Israel, not realizing that the threat applies to every country in the region and ultimately to the U.S.
Could this approach refer to what Obama meant when he said to the then-Russian president last year when he thought he was off-mike that he would have more “flexibility” once he was reelected? He’s made it plain that he expects to govern through executive orders, which is what he did concerning his unilateral attack on Libya – no Congressional consultation. Kerry explained why when asked about it by Senator Paul. His answer was that the Constitutional process would have been too slow and Libyans (like the Syrians now) were killing each other. Kerry, too, possesses so much “flexibility” that as the Foreign Relations Committee chairman then and thus the one to call out the president, he made no fuss, perhaps with an eye to the future.
And so it goes.