Skip to comments.The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru
Posted on 05/06/2016 8:42:51 AM PDT by drop 50 and fire for effect
How Ben Rhodes rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age.
Picture him as a young man, standing on the waterfront in North Williamsburg, at a polling site, on Sept. 11, 2001, which was Election Day in New York City. He saw the planes hit the towers, an unforgettable moment of sheer disbelief followed by panic and shock and lasting horror, a scene that eerily reminded him, in the aftermath, of the cover of the Don DeLillo novel Underworld.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Narrative and perception are more important to them than actual accomplishments. He was more annoyed about the news leaking of the capture of 10 sailors before the State of the Union, than the implications and consequences of that action.
They make George McGovern look like Nixon by comparison. They do not see how badly the house is burning as they debate what color to paint the walls.
A majority of Americans are ignorant of what the world is really like, both the good and the bad. We have had the most prosperous and sheltered lives of anyone in the world yet we elect leaders who work at destroying this in the interest of social justice and fairness. We have to toughen up and see what socialism actually brings (Venezuela), what living under Islam is like (Iran) and what runaway corruption and crony capitalism does (Argentina).
I read the entire thing.
There used to be a saying, “don’t trust anyone over thirty”.
Now, I’ve come to the conclusion, you shouldn’t trust ANYONE under 40. I don’t care how intelligent they are. They just don’t understand the complete consequences to his actions and opinions.
Let alone, giving someone like this POWER.
‘...an unforgettable moment of sheer disbelief followed by panic and shock and lasting horror...’
He would become an aide to a moslem president who would bow to the very moslems who perpetrated this infamy and compromise America’s military power and national security still further.
America’s utter absence of national character in the face of this whole international crisis is incomprehensible.
I did not read the whole article, but what I did is scary. It seems that the Obama administration, as shocking as it may seem, has no desire to engage with reality.
For most Americans, it is irrelevant, their ignorance has few consequences other than maybe getting in trouble while on vacation.
This goober and his boss, are true believing leftists. Their ignorance costs lives. W. Clinton only believed in himself, so he could abandon something that didn’t work and pivot on a dime.
Obama, with Rhodes as his cheerleader, think that if it is failing, they just need to double down and make it succeed. If they do pivot, it is grudgingly and as quietly as possible. Russia, China, Iran, and ISIL see this and capitalize on their amazing combination of arrogance, ignorance, and stubbornness.
I think aquamarine for that house.
Figures. 0bama's foreign policy has been based on pure fiction.
That a 30-something year old novelist is a principal foreign policy advisor in the Obama administration is insane.... but, the guy has some sharp perceptions, e.g. he nails the following position. [Rhodes] referred to the American foreign-policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties [Gates was not an Iraq war "promoter" - he just found himself having to clean up the Bush-Cheney mess] who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.
No doubt he sees clearly and articulates what he sees in ways that others do not. But even if he is Ernest Hemingway, he is not George Marshall.
Here is his other take which shows why we are in such a mess: On his first day in the West Wing, Rhodes remembers thinking how remarkably small the space was, and noticing that the same few dozen people he worked with at campaign headquarters in Chicago were now wearing suits instead of jeans.
Now that is an indictment of the whole Obama mess - the Chicago guys who worked on his campaign are the guys in the White House. I mean, we all knew this, but here we have it down in black and white in the words of a truly superb writer.
Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writers tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal.Most Soviet in practice. Surprised that the NYT has the backbone to call it startling after carrying water for this abomination for so long. Victor Frankenstein could not have built a deadlier monster.
He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials.
He is the master shaper and retailer of Obamas foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the presidents will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies.
His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations like military or diplomatic service, or even a masters degree in international relations, rather than creative writing is still startling.
Thank you for that link. Can’t believe I read that whole overwritten thing, but it was, indeed, deeply indicative of the intellectual decadence of the post-Christian ethos deconstructing its way through American institutions. Hard to decide who was more metrosexual: the author or his subject, in their delicate hair-splitting on how best to sell out everything the United States stood for until WW2 and in its immediate aftermath. Within this warm bath of smug was revealing detail of how this Administration uses propaganda, down to the ecology of viral dissemination. How coolly they destroy what took centuries to build, tapping on the keyboards of digital communications like they are merely accordianists and what they finger are just tunes. Hey, it’s a living.
Ben Rhodes writes well, and he certainly gets to the heart of it - that the foreign policy "blob" as he calls them can't get anything done. But to suggest that he got the "loyal opposition" to abandon any dissent to the Iran deal by lying is too much. The fact that a 35 year old - not just this particular 35 year old, but any 35 year old - can "rewrite the narrative" of international affairs without any vociferous opposition just shows how uncentered and unprincipled everyone else on the other side are. We learn that there are no "elder statesmen" in foreign policy. Where are the old time greats - the Marshalls, Harrimans, Achesons and Kennans. Kissenger is still around, but he sold himself out to his foreign employers way long ago. It's not that those guys are right on everything, or in fact anything. It's that there wasn't even an argument.
The counter to an Iraq centered mess of a foreign policy is not an Iran centered mess of a foreign policy, and that is what Obama pushed and sold. The opposite of engagement in a tawdry mess that goes no where is disengagement.
P.S. I forgot to write about the fact that the folks on “our side” of the aisle (well they are 5th columnists as we have learned) of course knew about Ben Rhodes, but were happy not to say anything. Just keep the pork rolling in to the uniparty. And the quickest way to get a borderless world is to pretend there are no borders, here, though it does seem that China still stands by its borders.
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