by Todd Jackson
The United States is beset with an Administration determined to bow to the rest of the world. Now that UN Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name without even having been nominated for President Obama’s Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has emerged as the leading fallback choice to take the slot. Aside from being a Democrat, Kerry’s most obvious similarity to both Rice, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the President himself is a history of efforts to humble America on the world stage. It could well be said that the President has created an entirely new position, Anti-Secretary of State. For that position John Kerry is thoroughly qualified.
It still isn’t clear who made up the charge that the September 11 attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, which led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three security personnel, was caused by a crowd of Muslims righteously outraged by a video deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammed. The first version of the CIA talking points Rice received made specific reference to “attacks.” This was changed to “demonstrations.” A specific reference to the attackers’ having “ties to al Qaeda” was removed. This line was repeated by Rice on five talk show appearances the weekend after the attack. The “video excuse” was also used by Secretary Clinton and by the President himself in his speech at the UN.
All of this took place despite the Administration’s knowledge that the attack was the work of well-armed, well-organized terrorists.
John Kerry’s public career began apologizing for America. He first came to the public eye as the Left’s favorite Vietnam vet, the one who threw his medals away, and who testified against his fellow soldiers. This must be distinguished from testifying against the war itself, which is any citizen’s right, and, if it reflects his belief’s, an ex-soldier’s duty. It was Kerry’s choice to tell Congress, the nation, and the world, that his fellow soldiers
they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam
A continuity of spirit runs between Kerry’s 1971 testimony before the Fulbright Committee and the Benghazi “video excuse.” That continuity has other important nodes. These include the President’s Mideast “apology tour,” in which Obama visited Cairo and other capitols in the Muslim world speaking of how America had been “arrogant.” They include the President’s silence when the youth of Iran rose up in protest against the mullahs, representing the same values we Americans ostensibly support. They include the shabby treatment shown Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the return of the bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
They include the undercutting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek coupled with passivity in the face of a new Islamist regime currently rising in Egypt, together with silence at the persecution of that country’s ancient Coptic Christians, the last descendents of the ancient Egyptians. Perhaps most ominously, they include the wee-hours arrest of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Coptic Christian who made the “infamous” video, Innocence of Muslims.
The Right media, meanwhile, has been errant in attacking the Obama Administration in particular for these numerous obeisances. The documentary 2016: Obama’s America effectively argues that Obama was raised in a family environment in which anti-Americanism, and anti-Westernism generally, was part of the very atmosphere. His was an upbringing few Americans share, and, with its exotic images of Kenya and Indonesia, suggests the exotic. However, the documentary misses the larger picture: that Obama was elected, and now re-elected, by the American people, and that this is possible because his views have become normal. They reflect the view of mainstream America. Indeed, they reflect the view of American institutional authority – of major media, and of the academic world from kindergarten through graduate school. The President is not a secret Muslim, nor some sort of Manchurian candidate waiting to spring a foreign agenda upon our unsuspecting citizenry. To think so isn’t just to be overcome with rage, it’s to take the easy way out. The truth is that this President is as American as apple pie.
What his reelection reflects is a collapse of American self-confidence. More than half this country has an attitude in which this country is a problem to be solved. When we are attacked, our instinct is to assume our guilt. When peoples around the world stand up for values such as freedom of speech, we hold those values as no better than those of those who would crush them. We presume that immigrants will not conform to an American cultural commons – whatever could that be? – but will explore the culture they left behind while we stand on the sidelines and celebrate diversity. If the nations they came from are poor, that poverty is our fault. We are dying from the inside out.
Two cheers, then, for the presumptive Anti-Secretary of State. His nomination will sail through the Senate nearly unopposed, and why shouldn’t he? He doesn’t just reflect the President he serves. He reflects us.