The hand of Ben Rhodes in the Obama officials' call to Europe to expel American diplomats?
Ben Rhodes, former National Security Council Deputy Advisor, creative writing major, keeper of President Obama's legacy, (particularly on the Iran deal), and now shadow National Security Advisor, ought to be explaining himself these days.
How is it that two of his colleagues at the NSC, Steve Simon and Jonathan Stevenson, have called on Europe to expel American diplomats as a means of showing their displeasure with President Trump's pullout of the Iran deal?
Sure, there's no obvious link between the two foreign policy establishmentarians and the talkative Rhodes, but that's what happened, with this op-ed here:
“The European Union could, for instance, announce the withdrawal of member-states’ ambassadors from the United States. Isn’t this what states do when diplomatic partners breach solemn agreements, expose them to security risks and threaten to wreak havoc on their economies? That is, after all, what the administration is threatening to do by courting the risk of a Middle Eastern war and applying secondary sanctions to European companies,” they argued. “Depending on the American response, European capitals might even follow up with expulsion of American ambassadors.”
In other words, Rhodes' colleagues, or minions, perhaps, given that Rhodes outranked them, want their vaunted State Department diplomats to be as badly treated as Russia's diplomats. Disrupted. Thrown out. Booted as persona non grata. So much for the Democrats' crocodile tears about really really really caring about the long-suffering Foreign Service, which must bear the dreadful indignity of serving under President Trump. Frankly, I've never seen anything like this - this calling on our allies to throw out American diplomats.
When it serves their political purposes, turns out Obama officials are perfectly comfortable egging America's top allies on to throw them out. Russia's RT News, with its supposed mission to disrupt, couldn't do better than that one.
Rhodes, it should be noted, has a measure of responsibility, not so much because he can show some obvious links between the two men, one of whom ran some operations at the NSC just shortly before 9/11 and both of whom had Benghazi on their beat when Benghazi happened, but pretty much because he's engaged in this same sort of activism of manipulating the press full time, first during his time at the NSC, when he declared that reporters "know nothing," and now with his shadow National Security Council, called National Security Action. Egging the Europeans on to undercut Trump is just his speed. And he's not for nothing known as the master of the "narrative."
Now this outrageous piece has appeared, and in a paper that's supposed to be part of the respectable establishment. Maybe there is a link between the two men and Rhodes anyway.
Foreign Policy maven Tom Ricks, who wrote this impressively memorable commentary on Rhodes awhile back, thinks that some of the things Stevenson has written, could easily be mistaken for the dreck written by Ben Rhodes.
Here’s the part that really got me. Veteran Long Marchers may recall that I was pretty pro-Obama, albeit with some qualms about his foreign policy. But this paragraph makes me gag:
Obama’s NSC, which essentially laid out the foreign policy agenda for the State and Defense Departments to implement, opened the White House to occasionally justified charges of micromanagement and control-freakery. But the larger reality was that international affairs had become too complex and the news cycle too fast to allow US foreign policy to proceed without centralized, top-down supervision. The merits of this approach were manifest in a number of accomplishments and initiatives, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, the strategic rebalancing toward Asia, and, perhaps most notably, the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal.
Ricks really wrote that. If nothing else, it suggests a commonality of stupidity in the axis of Obama. And now we see not just a shadow National Security Council doing some backseat driving, we see the whole phenomenon devolving to egging on of divisions among America's allies, and quite possibly much worse as former Secretary of State John Kerry conducts his freelance diplomacy with America's worst enemies. Rhodes can take credit for all of it.