Kerry's Ibrahim Stumble
John Kerry always believed he was qualified to be President of the United States. While I grant he certainly had a far better résumé than the current office holder, there was little in that résumé to instill confidence in any careful observer that he had the courage, the integrity, the character to occupy this lofty perch. The lack of these three elements are evident in the current president and we are all suffering the consequences.
Our introduction to John Kerry came with his gaining national recognition by claiming to be throwing his own medals over the White House fence, while throwing someone else's medals instead and carefully preserving his own to proudly show decades later when confronted by his very own claims.
Even the Washington Post has questioned Kerry's veracity in recounting his feats involving the swift boat story of behind-enemy-lines Vietnam (or was it Cambodia?) heroism that may have been every bit as borrowed as the medals he threw over the fence.
Now, for better or for worse, John Kerry has become the Secretary of State, the leader and manager of a department that may be rivaled in inefficiency and incompetence only by the Department of the Treasury. He takes over a department that was led for four years by someone else who thought she was qualified to be president, only to prove that she was not qualified even to run a single department. It is fashionable to praise Hillary Clinton, to claim she is one of the most admired women in the world, along with professional talk show guest, Michelle Obama, but the record speaks for itself. There is the fiasco at Benghazi where we have no explanation for 1) why the ambassador was at a consulate, rather than at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli; 2) why the consulate, in a dangerous area of a country just emerging from a revolutionary upheaval, was not properly protected; 3) who gave the orders to prevent military help from coming to the aid of the consulate for the seven hours those Americans were under siege; 4) why were no F-16's dispatched to the area to clear out the area around the consulate to allow the escape of our endangered "family" -- so described by both Clinton and Obama; 5) why the State Department and the Administration have steadfastly refused to answer any of these questions, stonewalling Congress, the media and the American people on this very sensitive matter.
There is the fiasco involving Israel's capital since 1948, Jerusalem. In September, 2012, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell refused to acknowledge the city as the capital of Israel upon being questioned by a reporter. Whether or not the State Department believes Israel should surrender a piece of its capital to a "nation" that never existed before and certainly not at the time Jerusalem was made the capital of Israel has nothing to do with the fact that it is undeniably the capital of Israel, supposedly one of our closest allies -- at least until January 20, 2009.
There is the little publicized incident involving the refusal of the embassy in Greece to grant safe haven to Father Christiaan Kappes of Indianapolis, claiming he never asked for safe haven, and then changing their story several times (remember Benghazi and the "spontaneous revolution, oops, intentional Al Qaeda action, no, come to think of it, spontaneous, umm, ok, maybe not" cause of the incident?) before finally semi-admitting a mistake.
There have been numerous failures of intelligence, including virtually every nation involved in the Arab Spring, the identity and purpose of Mohamed Morsi and his backers, the Al Qaeda connections and control of the Syrian rebels, and the absolute failure to get in front of any of these situations.
In short, the Department under Hilary Clinton has been an embarrassing mess more stained with controversy than Monica Lewinsky's blue dress.
Now, we have the initial fiasco on John Kerry's watch. The State Department was scheduled to award Secretary of State Kerry's International Women of Courage Award to Samira Ibrahim, with famed Dancing Queen Michelle Obama in attendance. Without bothering to research her background (remember, this is the Department of State, the accumulator and repository of all international "intelligence") the State Department, during Obama's self-proclaimed sequestration ruination, already paid in full for Ms. Ibrahim to travel to the United States to receive this award, and of course, has already covered her expenses to return her to the rock from under which they found her. On the eve of the award, people outside the State Department, people who actually have intelligence, discovered that Ms. Ibrahim, about to be honored by John Kerry and his State Department, was virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic, that she frequently quoted Hitler and stated that virtually every problem everywhere in the world (which presumably would include North Korea, Darfur, Iran and every nation involved in the Arab Spring, all of whom, last time I checked, with the exception of North Korea, were in Moslem hands) was the absolute and unilateral fault of the Jews. She called the murder of Jews in Bulgaria "a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news" and hoped, on the anniversary of 9-11 that "every year" would see the burning of America.
There is not much to like about John Kerry. Not bothering to check into Ibrahim's background before presenting her with such an illustrious award does not add positively to his résumé. He appears at the outset of his term as Secretary of State to be no more fit for this position than he would have been to be president. We can hope that this will be a lesson for Kerry that will cause him to grow immediately in his nascent role. We can hope that Kerry will prove to be better than Clinton. That is, after all, not setting the highest of bars. History is filled with people who have grown into their positions. Obama has not. Perhaps Kerry will. For the sake of the security of our nation, its strength, and the respect of the world, which shrank rapidly through the first four years of the Obama presidency, let us hope that he does.