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Thursday, December 27, 2012

WaPo endorses Kerry, but....

Here's some rather curious language in the Washington Post's endorsement of John F.N. Kerry for Secretary of State.
As secretary of state, Mr. Kerry would find himself most often carrying out policies forged at the White House rather than implementing his own vision. The senator is known for his conviction that the United States should do more to broker an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, but that worthy goal is looking more remote than ever as hard-liners on both sides gain ascendancy. A better focus for the next secretary would be trying to shape the direction of the turbulent Arab Middle East — starting with Syria, where U.S. leadership has been woefully lacking.
Mr. Kerry shares one of Mr. Obama’s greatest weaknesses: an excessive faith in the potential benefits of “engagement” with rogue regimes and dictators. In particular, Mr. Kerry’s repeated attempts to foster a dialogue with Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad offer a case study of how such diplomacy can go wrong. The cynical Mr. Assad convinced Mr. Kerry that he was a “reformer” who sought peace with Israel — conclusions that, as the past 18 months have shown, could not have been more wrong.
Mr. Kerry’s dedication to dialogue even with U.S. enemies makes some sense for a secretary of state. But Mr. Obama’s new Cabinet could also benefit from the balance provided in the first term by figures such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Robert M. Gates, who took a more skeptical view of “engagement” and favored steps such as the surge of troops in Afghanistan.
So who is going to provide the balance? Sadly, I see little balance in this administration, which seems to be following an Islamist agenda. 

By the way, I thought Hillary Clinton was responsible for tagging Assad as a 'reformer.'

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