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Rice Unsuited

Susan RiceAnyone taking the trouble to read Susan Rice’s bio will be duly impressed with her credentials, experience and scholarship. Still, with all due respect I must disabuse such person of the notion these qualify her to be Secretary of State.

Her primary focus/discipline from the start of her career has been African affairs. She gave her several dissertations on this, and has served in various capacities addressing the African continent.

She did not work her way up in the State Dept, going through ranks as it were, nor did she stray from her specialty of Afrocentric issues. Instead, she was selected at an early stage in her career for a post in the Clinton administration, and used that spring board along with other connections/affiliations to achieve her current post as UN Ambassador.

Bright, youthful, well educated, black & female all work to her credit, creating a pedigree of capability and accomplishment, but I must argue it isn’t enough. Her statecraft is limited, doesn’t have a big-picture overview, rests too heavily on her academics and stream of momentary political postings and not nearly enough on actual experience in the field or proven competencies in the management of diplomatic affairs. Her skill & acumen to think on her feet while addressing difficult situations is highly suspect: witness Benghazi.

Here we have an individual who spent 20 odd years steeped in African affairs, yet seems to have been caught completely off-guard with the Benghazi tragedy; seems to have allowed herself to be used as a spokesperson or front, spinning a highly questionable version of that event. Was this her normal area of purview and expertise, in the most earliest moments following that incident?

It appears she laid aside her mantle of diplomacy and day-to-day foreign affairs representation, and embarked down the road of public relations. She did this not from a worldly perspective, nor an African one, nor even a Libyan one. She did it from the White House’s perspective which, by her own admission, was preliminary and incomplete.

Why spin the story with such air of authority and imprimatur of office, over and over, while in doubt as to its credibility? Why put her reputation and good name on the line to such extent, and on such a tragic, potentially monumental foreign policy catastrophe, if she had reservations concerning accuracy?

I’ve replayed her briefings over and over in my head, and find no aspect of doubt or hesitation. Just the opposite: candor, firmness and sincerity. She either believed what she was saying, or thought if she said it effectively and convincingly, people would believe it for no better reason than she was a highly placed official in this government; a senior diplomat in a most prestigious post.

Consider: if she was a specialist, an expert in African affairs, wouldn’t she have known about the prior terrorist incidents that had taken place recently in and around Benghazi? Wouldn’t she have understood there remained the possibility this was a premeditated terrorist attack?

Consider: if she had any doubt or disbelief as to the veracity of her story, wouldn’t she have peppered it with caveats as to other possibilities besides a spontaneous mob riot?

Consider: if she was a thorough and professional diplomatic officer, would she simply give a partyline without double checking it, without  giving immediate corrections as they became known?

Consider: if she’s a career diplomat, a person of deep vocation and purpose, would she allow herself to be used so cheaply in this fashion, simply for loyalty to this president? Would she allow herself to believe him unconditionally? Would she willingly become part of a coverup for purely political reasons? Would she be vulnerable for becoming unwillingly a part, meaning would there be any way for the president and/or his people to pull the wool over her eyes?

Consider: if she’s mature, professional and incorruptible, could she be duped by their story? Could they convince her the exigency of the moment demanded extreme measures, that damage control must be run to preserve the image of the president and protect his building momentum toward re-election?

I submit she is culpable in all these regards. She is first and foremost a loyal functionary of this administration. She is ambitious before professional, and willing to bear false witness when to her advantage.

She is the product of a privileged life, advantaged by Affirmative Action, sheltered by scholasticism and brethrenship, promoted by kindred spirits and fellow ideologues who care for loyalty and obedience first, more than judgement and professionalism.

She is too young, inexperienced, narrow in perspective and too susceptible of compromise to be of requisite value in such an important, powerful post as Secretary of State. Finally, if innocent of all this, she is extraordinarily naïve and street-dumb to have become victimized within this process; an apparent neophyte among pros.

Hillary ClintonEven so and given all of this she is still better qualified than Hillary Clinton, who’s appointment was purely political. Obama’s  judgement  and Clinton’s travesty of fitness for this post both contributed greatly to our current state of affairs. Susan Rice would be an improvement, yes, but still an inadequacy as to the overall best interests of the country.

If she is not held accountable for her actions and deeds following the Benghazi tragedy, in an effort to determine her suitability for maintaining her current post, let alone consideration for this bigger one, the political process/reality will subordinate any concept of fitness, any idea of worthiness, any notion of being qualified and deserving of office.


Any excuse or substitute in lieu of such finding will be the mechanics of governmental decrepitude, bereft of worth and nobility. The People will suffer the increasingly amateurish excesses of unbridled ambition, undisciplined power. Woe be us, and woe be our country.

You’ve been reading Shaneview

I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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