John Kerry was an clueless Secretary of State — witness his various Geneva “negotiations” over the Syrian civil war that, oh by the way, didn’t include any of the key players — duh. He calls for negotiation in Geneva and no one comes. That’s called talking to yourself and thinking it “diplomacy”.
Then there was the Chamberlain-like, “peace in our time” Iranian deal that he engineered, which was the big giveaway in order to get any kind of agreement, so that he could claim “success”. No one told Kerry that you have to be willing to walk away from the table in order to get a good deal — you can’t be too eager or give that impression.
Now he is being a disastrous ex-Secretary of State and actually interfering in our foreign policy with respect to Iran — his first experience dealing with Iran wasn’t bad enough, it seems. These former office-holders should learn how to fade away gracefully, but apparently that is asking to much.
But I guess my lingering question has to do with how we fill this position of Secretary of State? It seems to be reserved as a political plum, that is to say, it’s given as a prize to some former senator or other, as if election to political office is the appropriate background and sufficient training for diplomacy. But why would some political hack necessarily have the best qualifications for leadership in international affairs?
Remember Henry Kissinger, with that marvelous gravelly voice? Whatever you might say about Kissinger, he wasn’t some off-the-wall political hack, but someone who actual knew something about negotiating, foreign affairs, and diplomacy, with enough gravitas that even our adversaries listened his every word with rapt attention. Seems to me we should get back to that model for making this very critical appointment — appointing someone as Secretary of State who has actual claims as a diplomat. Doesn’t that make more sense? Or are we going to continue giving away the position to ex-Senators as a booby prize — ex-Senators with zero qualifications for the job?
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