In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


The Obama Experience Gap

One of the scarier things about the unfolding events in Egypt and throughout the Middle East is that the people in charge of dealing with it in the United States, though they are impressive characters, lack vital experience.

The Egypt crisis demands people with broad experience in foreign affairs who understand how to manage the transition in Egypt and changes in the rest of the Arab world without allowing Islamists to seize power.

But we elected a man who – whatever one thinks of his policies and personal capabilities – had no relevant experience on his resume for assuming the role of president.

Clinton and Obama hold a formal picnic to discuss the situation in Egypt.

He appointed a secretary of state whose central foreign policy qualification was dodging fictitious Serb sniper bullets. OK, there’s more than that. But Hillary Clinton was made secretary of state because of her personality and stature, and for political reasons, not because of some wide-ranging knowledge she has of foreign policy.

Clinton taunted President Obama during the campaign with the famous commercial suggesting Americans would surely want her instead of him answering the “3 am phone call” revealing a sudden world crisis. But in fact, though she had been visible in the public eye longer than him, she as a junior senator was little more qualified to get the than he to get the phone.

Actually, Bill Clinton would have been far more qualified and, at 3 am, likely to be awake anyway.

The White House national security adviser, Tom Donillon, had relatively little experience in foreign affairs before becoming deputy national security adviser and then getting the top job under Obama. He is a veteran political hack who also worked for a few years in the Clinton state department, rising to become Secretary of State Warren Christopher’s chief of staff. But he spent the decade before joining Obama’s administration amassing a fortune as a lobbyist for Fannie Mae and then several of the fat cat bankers Obama enjoys pummeling.

Talleyrand and Kissinger these people are not.

We are not a nation run by “experts,” and that is by design. The criterion for power in the United States is votes, not wisdom. But it’s safe to say the Founding Fathers, who initially said only landowners should vote, believed some solid base of knowledge would have accrued to the president and his advisers before they assumed power.

14 thoughts on “The Obama Experience Gap”

  1. Keith, excellent post.

    We are starting to see how juvenile the Obama Administration has become as crisis after crisis engulfs the Middle East. Romney was right the other day when he stated that the WH has had no *specific plan* to deal with anything that has arisen, they react to each development. There is no plan, and in essence reveals no one in charge behind the cash register. Obama, ever the professorial, blank-stare, rambling, ambling ‘guy’ has shown himself to be just a guy, just another bystander. There are no plans. No one has a clue. Everyone at State and in the WH seem to be sitting, watching t.v.

    The lack of foreign policy experience from State is beginning to show as Hillary’s lack of knowledge, inability to speak to events on the ground as well as her sincere lack of interest in human rights is clear for all to see. Unlike Bill, she talks like Obama, in an ambling gait, talking nonsense. And like former State Departments, this one remains solidly entrenched in the Arab street with only a partial whisper of support for Israel.

    Right now, everyone is home, but they are sitting on the couch and watching t.v. No one will make a decision until first … something happens. And by then its too late.

  2. Great analysis.
    The first thing that came to mind while MrO was speaking about rearranging the chairs in Egypt was “who’s going to lead if Mubarak steps down”. The only power in Egypt is the military or the Muslim groups and neither will bode well for the country or the future of the MiddleEast.

    No one in the Obama administration knows how jobs are created, how companies compete for the consumer dollar, how the military actually operates and, most telling, how much the rest of the world depends on the US for their safety, their economy and world peace.

    1. PREDICTION: After Obama is defeated in 2012, the next Republican will be in charge of setting a new policy on fighting world-wide Islamofascism. This plan will establish a new form of low-level, counter-Jihad warfare with special forces, a new doctrine for countering unstable governments, civilian / relief, etc. Our next cold war will be dedicated to defeating the myriad of Hitlers-in-a-headscarf around the Middle East.

  3. This is all up to us now? True, these people are coming off as vague boobs. But if the days of the Kissinger/CIA type manipulation, including removal, shall we say of “undesirable” leaders, is still in force, the present puppetmasters are not exactly making those strings dance.

    1. DV, I read his blog.

      There are some good points but Mr. Rubin seems to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood. MB is a terrorist group; they are openly anti-Semitic, pro-HAMAS, pro-Marxist and caustically anti-American. Sorry, but Mr. Rubin is not a conservative, he is a neo-Liberal who can’t see that the MB are modern-day Nazi’s who hide behind a claim of moderation.

      Rubin states that Turkey’s “version” of Islamization is slightly “more coture” than the Arab world. Really? Erdogan walked out of summit with Israel and then supported the pro-terrorist, Marxist, anti-American “flotilla” to Gaza.

      Turkey, like other moderates have fallen under the aegis of pan-Arab, Islamic extremism. Turkey eventually will become another Iran and in time, Egypt may as well, unless more moderate forces are at play. But the scene looks bad. Lebanon has fallen and if King Hussein were to be forced to walk, Jordan would complete the tripartite Islamofascist Pact against Israel.

      DV, the objective of the Arabs remain: Make the Middle East judenrein (Jew free).

      As Gold Meir stated in 1973, ” … we are, once again, alone. Israel is alone and now must fight for her survival.”

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