Friday, June 28, 2013


Posted By: IZAKOVIC [Send E-Mail]
Date: Friday, 28-Jun-2013 05:42:37
... FELL IN LOVE…..”
In Sunday’s NY Times article entitled “Following A Star, Kerry Applies Personal Touch” by Michael Gordon, the journalist captures the frenetic, disheveled approach of the new Sec State.
In essence, Kerry will attempt to solve three major foreign policy crises in one single frenetic stroke based principally on his ‘personal touch’, whatever that means?

As if the Palestinian-Israeli issue were not enough, Kerry also decided to break the “Gordonian Knot” on the Syrian Crises while at the same time ‘laying to rest’ the problems of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
I was exhausted after reading that article. I was truly in awe of ex-Sen John Kerry whose bloated sense of self has never impeded his lack of accomplishments.

But this threesome of Syria, Israel-Palestine and Afghanistan makes me wonder if wishful thinking hasn’t become pandemic in the Obama administration.
I think the most sagacious, prescient words were spoken by a statesman, Strobe Talbott, whom I have long admired and thought that he should have been the SecState several administrations ago.
Here is what Strobe, the head of the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Board and President of the Brookings Institution said about this administrations confusing foreign policy:
“If you are really going to pivot to Asia, you cannot leave the Middle East in flames. With regard to Egypt, the Arab-Israel Peace process, Syria, Iraq and Iran---all that has to be manageable”.

Who's is going to tell Kerry it ‘ain’t so’?
Kerry believes that his “personal charm” or “charisma” or “aura”—call it whatever you may want! For “self-delusion” is the privilege of the “privileged class” of which Kerry wants everyone to understand---‘he was born and bred to become SecState.’
As someone who happened to fall upon the good fortune to have served four Sec States, I can say from having been intimately involved in the Camp David Peace Accords and Paris Peace Conference on Cambodia, humility, strategy and strong leadership are all the prerequisites to a successful treaty.
BTW, at best one can only really hope to obtain one treaty at a time in one administration at a time.
The Camp David Peace Accords can be attributed to the quiet, forceful, perseverance of a President Jimmy Carter and his Sec State Cyrus Vance.
There was no grandstanding allowed!

Very talented FSOs like Frank Wisner, Chas Freeman, and many other career national security professionals from the CIA to the military were all involved in one concerted major effort to insure that Menachem Begin could trust Anwar Sadat to relinquish the Sinai in return for an ethereal peace.
Carter did it. How? To this day, it’s still a mystery to me and I think the foreign policy community as well.
Carter had none of the charisma, charm or ‘aura’ that Kerry attributes to himself. But Carter was modest, sincere, persevering and quiet.

There was no braggadocio about him or his professional team.
Also Carter never left the WH, and assigned the work to Cyrus Vance, discreet, modest, stately, and effective.

Jump decades later to an initiative that was started by Dr Richard Solomon as Assistant Sec State for East Asia and the Pacific, to bring peace to the war-torn South East Asia area--- and if possible bring some form of ‘democracy’ into Cambodia.
Solomon was supported again by a very discreet, incredibly modest but very forceful SecState James Baker.
For the most part, Sec State like Kissinger could run the entire State Dept with only three people. But he allowed the FSO’s to participate in some of his foreign policy endeavors.
But again, Sec State Kerry, everything that was done in Cambodia was done ‘step by step’. First an idea, next planning. Then strategies and tactics were developed with back-up plans. But throughout the entire three year process, not one word of ‘wishful thinking’ or ‘self-delusion’ was even tolerated.
Ergo, the Cambodian Peace Treaty was the only treaty that Sec State James Baker has presided over in his tenure.

So what’s the moral?
Shut your mouth!!
If you think that you can charm Putin, then I will be the first one to buy you a Tsarist War Bond.

I may not know Putin personally but I do know his genetic code—Stassi, KGB, FSB, and LEADER OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.
Please, Sec State Kerry, I want to see this ‘slight of hand’!
As for your ability to charm, the opthamologist Alawite leader, Bashar Assad, I really want to see that!
Bashar’s genetic code has been tried and tested in the infernos of Hafez Assad, as ruthless and cunning a warlord as I have ever had the pleasure not to meet.
But I have met the Assad regime interrogation units, and they are very, very effective in what they have to do. I did not discover anyone who had a scintillating personality or could be convinced of reason.

They pretty much held to the Maoist philosophy that “all power comes from the guns”.
Hey, if you can stop their bullets with your smile, logic and gift of persuasion---go for it, Superman!!!!
I have also fought against the Salafists, and if you can charm those rascals, good luck!
As for me, I am regressing back to the wisdom of the inane words of that one hit wonder—“Step By Step, we feel in love…”
After thirty years in national security, I found that dealing with one problem at a time was more than enough.
But claiming that you can deal with all the problems at the same time seems to me a ‘bit grandiose’ and ‘defensive’.
In other words, if you don’t accomplish one successfully, then all bets are off.
It’s called ‘a rationalization’ for FAILURE.

Good luck JK! I am sure that your ex-FSO father would be proud of you.
If your father can’t love you as much you do yourself, than who can?
My last Churchill quote for a while (promise) but it was Winston Churchill who said:
“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”

Posted by Steve Pieczenik at 10:59 AM
All images at the source.

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