Monday afternoon at the fights: Rand Paul goes after John FN Kerry for Obama's F-16 gifts to EgyptThere was a lot to watch when Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) questioned Senator John FN Kerry (D-Ma) at the latter's confirmation hearing to be US Secretary of State.This might be the highlight.
Let's go to the videotape.
Barry Rubin comments:
In the hands of a good realpolitik statesman, this balance would be managed well. For example, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger would have kept the Egyptian government off-balance and made it understand that Washington was doing it a favor by providing aid. In other words, leverage would be used.
But in Kerry’s hands, leverage is tossed away. He is so afraid of using power or being tough that he throws away leverage, believing there can be no risk of problems. The recipient must not be intimidated or pressed to change but shown that America is its friend and not the imperialist bully that people like Kerry and President Barack Obama see when they look back at U.S. history.
Precisely the same problem was displayed notably in two other recent cases (though readers can probably add more):
–When the Palestinian Authority (PA) approached the UN seeking membership and recognition as a state, the Bush Administration made it clear to the UN and allies that there would be a strong price to pay in U.S. support and donations. The PA backed down. With Obama opposing the same thing but not playing any trump cards, America’s “friends” almost unanimously voted against Washington’s position and it suffered a serious loss whose costs (including the permanent destruction of the “peace process”) have not yet been counted.
–When it was suggested to Kerry that U.S. aid to Pakistan be held up until it released a political prisoner, a doctor who helped America locate Usama bin Ladin and who is now in prison and reportedly has been tortured, Kerry refused.
America must be the one humiliated; the feelings of other countries cannot be hurt.
He also missed an opportunity to point out that arms were sold to some countries precisely because they had made peace with Israel and other countries because they supported U.S. policy generally despite being very anti-Israel. Arms were not given, however, to countries led by anti-American revolutionary Islamist groups that also openly declared their support for genocide of Israel and all Jews generally.
Kerry: “Better yet, until we are at that moment, where that might be achievable, maybe it’d be better to try and make peace.”
Wow, again. This is the mentality that has repeatedly crippled U.S. Middle East policy. It goes like this:
–We want peace.
–Therefore, we should not evaluate what policies are most likely to succeed but merely those that can allow us to say that peace remains possible. For example, even if the PA rejects talks for four years, we shouldn’t criticize or pressure it because that might make peace less likely, etc.
-It might work so we can’t “give up” but we must “keep trying” even though this period is not conducive to progress and even while other U.S. policies (especially backing toward Islamists) actually makes peace even more impossible to achieve.Ouch.
Kerry isn’t just wrong, he’s totally clueless. And as just about the most openly arrogant man in American public life he will never let reality penetrate through his ideological armor.