The fact that UN Ambassador Susan Rice has not been struck from the short list to replace Hillary Clinton despite Rice’s active role in misleading the American people about the nature of the Benghazi debacle is a sign that the chaos that has consumed US foreign policy over the last several years will likely continue.
Rice is considered a self-centered opportunist who has set her course as a hard core Obama loyalist. She has no coherent world view or any independently developed rational basis for understanding how to wield US power. Thus, if appointed, she will likely attempt to continue the “relativist” approach that has stamped the Obama approach to international issues.
That “relativism” is a viewpoint that Obama developed in his long association with the authoritarian and neo-stalinist left. It led to his dangerous call for “engagement” without preconditions with dictatorial regimes such as that of Assad in Syria and of the mullahs in Iran. The result of that approach in the middle east and north Africa is now clear: the U.S. missed an opportunity to support the Green movement in Iran and the nascent uprising in Syria. Had we sided instead with the movements and individuals attempting to establish American-style values such as human rights and democracy we might have helped avoid the violent tragedy now unfolding in Syria and we might also have helped alter the course Iran is taking today.
With Clinton as Secretary of State there was at least some modicum of debate within the Obama regime over the direction of US policy. Despite Obama pressure, for example, to appease the Chinese over human rights issues, Clinton started to push back when she supported the effort of human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng to seek asylum in the United States. My law school will be honoring Guangcheng with an award for his brave advocacy of human rights in China this spring. Clinton was also said to be concerned that Obama snubbed the Dalai Lama – sending his aide Valerie Jarrett to India to persuade His Holiness to delay a long planned visit to the Washington.
But Rice has been a part of the Obama inner circle and was even named to the Cabinet while nominally serving under Clinton. It seems now that she, instead of being forced into retirement for her clear misstatements about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, is set to be rewarded with a promotion.