Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obama's People: Unconfirmable, Unqualified Disasters

A recent story in the LAT noted that of Obama's 300 foreign policy advisors in the campaign, not a single one has been appointed to a cabinet level position. The story is of course notable for the information that the by-lined reporter, Paul Richter, desperately seeks to conceal from his readers.

The truth is that Obama's people have a history of extreme statements and actions, corrupt relationships, or both. This makes nearly all of them unconfirmable. Disasters waiting to happen. And not so coincidentally, his staff, larded up with these folks, a coal-dust filled silo waiting to explode. Karl Rove, in a recent Wall Street Journal Editorial, noted that Obama's staff was exceptionally crowded. He missed the obvious point, Obama's staff is crowded because his closest advisors won't pass muster on Capitol Hill. Not even by the standards of Tim Geithner ("taxes are patriotic," unless you are a connected big shot, then they are not). Noted tax evader, pleader of special privilege, and US Treasury Secretary.

For example, Paul Richter cites Richard Danzig, former Clinton Navy Secretary, and key campaign advisor on the military and national security, as a man inexplicably passed over for Defense posts in favor of Bush hold-over Robert Gates. No actual research is done as to WHY this man might not be offered a position requiring Senate confirmation.

No mention of the fact that Danzig in an interview believed that Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars held the key to stopping terror plots.

"Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security."


Danzig is noted for trying to put female sailors on nuclear submarines, a policy vociferously resisted by the Navy for obvious reasons (you can't simply discharge pregnant sailors from submarines as you can from surface ships). The fact that many female sailors get pregnant each cruise (an easy way out of the difficult environment of life at sea) escaped the man who spent not a day in the military and whose entire background is in Law. He has called for more Affirmative Action in the military, calling it a "white male bastion." This despite the fact that the military is all volunteer.

Danzig is also the CEO of Human Genome Sciences and National Semiconductor Corporations. A walking set of conflicts of interest, both are major contractors with the Defense Department.

Danzig is famous for calling the Pentagon a "communist system" and wants ad-hoc budgets made on the fly. [A guarantee for chaos only a lawyer could love.]

Any Cabinet level post for which Danzig would be nominated would entail a lengthy look at his movement from Clinton-era Navy Secretary to his posts at two companies for which, to put it mildly, he seems unqualified for excepting his influence peddling. Not to mention his anti-White male statements and positions, his repeated attempt to impose political correctness on the Navy at the expense of operational requirements, and rather lunatic statements about proper counter-terrorism policy and Iraq and much else. [Government by Winnie the Pooh.]

All this was found with just a few minutes of Google searching. Presumably Richter is not totally lazy, and knew this background well. He certainly did not wish to share this vital background information with his readers.

Richter next moves on to Ivo Daalder, Phd in Political Science from MIT. Daalder is the author of Obama's "Talk to Iran Without Preconditions" policy, and as such, raises a high stakes game over Iran policy. One that is inevitable the moment his name is put forward for Senate Confirmation. Made all the worse in that Daalder proposed in print to simply take Iran's word for it that the regime was not creating nuclear weapons material. Then there is his suggestion that any US intervention anywhere in the world needs either the UN Security Council's authorization or some ill-defined "League of Democracies."

Richter also mentions former US Ambassador to Israel, and Egypt, Daniel Kurtzer. As noted in the American Thinker, Kurtzer has a troubling background of extreme, anti-Israeli/Jewish statements: he blames Israel for the violent Palestinian terror attacks, holds the existence of Israel as provoking all Muslim terrorism, and has characterized/excused terrorism as "guerillas."

Kurtzer is a protege of pro-Palestinian, anti-Jewish figure James Baker.

Like Jimmy Carter, Kurtzer is a proponent of a comprehensive, "fix everything" Middle East Peace settlement, a path rejected by both Presidents Bush 43 and Clinton. Nominating Kurtzer will bring all these issues up, in a way that Obama certainly does not wish, raising the questions of how much Obama believes in a big bang peace settlement, blames Israel for all terrorism, and implicitly wants Israel to cease to exist to "solve" the US terrorism problem.

Richter of course does not want to tell his readers these inconvenient truths, because they paint a rather ugly portrait of the team around Obama: riddled with conflicts of interest, extreme, hard-left and anti-Israel/Jewish statements, and laughably naive views about power and America's place in the world. Even more dangerous to Richter would be his readers finding out that these are the men making informal policy through staff positions, ad-hoc and by the seat of their pants, causing a whipsaw effect in the Obama Administration. Whichever staffer had Obama's ear last, makes policy. Until it too is reversed.

George W. Bush had many faults as a leader, lack of formal process for policy making and review was not one of them. One might quibble with the results and quality of the policy, but at least the process in which it was made allowed for some open-ness, input of policy opponents, decision making by Cabinet officers approved by the Senate, and a known cadre of advisors who were hardly invisible to the Press or public attention.

By contrast, the chaos, disorganization, ineptness, and weakness of the Obama administration in handling Cabinet appointments, the bailout bill, and initial discussions with Russia over missile defense, reek of policy by unappointed, extremist, unvetted staff.

The real lesson of Richter's article is that Obama's closest advisors can't get confirmed by the Senate, and that they are loons and riddled with conflict of interest. Something that the Press in general is desperate to conceal from the public.

Eventually, however, Obama's manifest incompetence of his team, lacking any formal review and depending on chaotic, relationship based policy making, will become evident to us all. God help us.

17 comments:

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

Very perceptive. I had heard that a large number of new offices were being added to the White House, but I hadn't attached much significance to it. This is potentially a positive development for Republicans. More people in office means more clamoring for political patronage, and consequently more infighting if/when Teleprompter-Jesus's toadies feel that He is not giving them a big enough slice of the pie.

Thras said...

Roissy hasn't quite sucked out your desire to blog anymore, I see. Good for you.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

"Roissy hasn't quite sucked out your desire to blog anymore, I see. Good for you."

I don't see why he should have. I personally find Roissy's hedonism a bit much, but when he's not talking about how to "score" he makes excellent points about demographics, feminism, anti-male bias, etc.

Anonymous said...

From the article:


"The exception has been President Obama's team of campaign foreign policy advisors, who have fared poorly in the new administration's frantic job competition. The president, who ran as a liberal, has filled out his government with appointees more in the political center.


Obama had more than 300 foreign policy and military experts advising his campaign, including many original Iraq war opponents. Most held views somewhat to the left of those of his chief Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose team included more original Iraq war supporters.

But prospects for the Obama supporters dimmed when the new president gave control of the three biggest national security fiefdoms to Clinton as his new secretary of State, holdover Robert M. Gates as Defense secretary, and retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones Jr. as national security advisor.

Now, with the national security jobs nearly filled, the Clinton team is dominating the senior ranks of the State Department and the Pentagon. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has the highest-ranking job for an Obama team member, but the post has not been traditionally considered a Cabinet-level position."



Sounds like a redux of Clinton-era-establishmentariansim to me with the real liberals on the outs Whiskey.



We will all be wishing Romney or Thompson had won in a few years I imagine.

Whiskey said...

Anon -- you have to read the Rove piece as well. Obama's staffing the "real" power positions with well, White House Staff. Something he argued against during the campaign (decrying Rove's influence for example) but also providing as noted by Nine-of-Diamonds, a recipe for disaster.

Whoever talks to Obama last with the most influence sets policy, until someone else gets a hold of him. It causes great swings in policy (we can already see this) and unpredictability, often weakness or perception of same.

Since well, Truman, it's been US policy to be very predictable on key national security elements (only Carter here really deviated), so that opponents and enemies would understand clearly America's red lines and not cross them.

Notable failures at running the White House this way have been: Nixon's Plumbers Unit (stupid to say the least), Carter, Reagan's Iran-Contra initiative, Clinton's anti-terror policy.

Thanks for commenting all.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

So happy to see a new posting here!

I enjoy reading your insights and since you don't post often, I'd like to know:

Are there any other blogs that you frequently comment at besides roissy?

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that someone, like you, who links to that Michelle Malkin, is someone I should REALLY trust. How's that telemarketing job going for you, Whiskey?

Whiskey said...

First Anon -- Big Hollywood. That's about it. Posting will be a bit more regular now.

Second Anon -- Michelle Malkin? I don't ask you "trust" me on anything. I give the links. You decide. I am not a telemarkter, shrug.

WarAgainstTheMiddle said...

It's good to see you blogging again, Whiskey. I used to post comments here under the name, "OilAlternatives". Now, I posting under the name "WarAgainstTheMiddle" to promote my new blog at wargainstthemiddle.blogspot.com.

I agree that in a few years we will be wishing Romney or Thompson was President. For that matter we will be wishing Bush had a third term, or that Hillary was President.

stratomunchkin said...

Hey Whiskey, I've posted here before as "wiredgrenadier".

I've been taking an interest in US politics since the late 1990ies (well, as good as that is possible from my side of the Atlantic Ocean), and I certainly cannot remember a government during that time - be it Clinton or Bush jr. - to have started it's terms with a series of such increasingly disturbing blunders.

Now reading about people like Ivo Daalder clears the fog a bit, but hardly makes the situation any better. That's the quality of personell we'll have to deal with in the coming four years as the people who are the closest to whispering into Obama's ears.

Their great qualifications (in case you cannot see it: sarcasm) have already proven themselves when the US lost the supply routes for Afghanistan via Kyrgyzystan to a blatantly obvious bid for influence from Moscow. Voting 78-1, the parliament of Kyrgyzystan voted to evict NATO troops from its territory.

Panicked, like a chicken with no head, Obama's people have run to buy themselves a deal with Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan, and now believe they can soundly go back to sleep again. What utter naivete!

As if Islam Kamirov, old school Soviet apparatschik and loyal minion of the Kreml (which is his greatest economic partner, sole arms supplier and military supporter) would not jump ship the very moment Putin (and let's not kid ourselves, it still is Putin, not Medvedjev who is running the show) thinks it suits him! Even if their was any affinity towards the US (which there is not, seeing as NATO was evicted from Uzbekistan once before in 2005), the "...-stans" are Russian turf, which they only seceeded direct control of, but by virtue of infrastructure, economy and military supply and command realities still are in indirect control over.

And Tadjikistan, cornered between loyal Russian proxies and China, is worthless anyway once Russia decides to pull the rug from under the Uzbekistani deal.

To me that whole affairs seems like people in the Obama administration try to play this along the ideas of Habermas' theories of discussion while everybody else is busy playing "The Great Game" once again. If this is an indicator of the quality of the foreign policy of the Obama administration, well, you all know the Chinese curse: Live in interesting times.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

[Sigh] - and in charge of this affair we've got an Affirmative Action mediocrity who can't run a charitable foundation, let alone a country. He thinks he knows about international relations because he took a couple trips abroad, when he was a cokehead college student.

Plus, it's interesting that Negro-Jesus wants to send thousands more American troops to Afghanistan, just as the supply situation becomes more precarious than ever. Must be that vaunted Hah-vahd intellect of his, I suppose...

stratomunchkin said...

Well, I've taken a closer look at the central asian situation as well as at Mr. Daalder. http://nabunker.blogspot.com/2009/02/loosing-great-game.html

Comments are welcome.

Whiskey said...

Thanks all.

Yes it's distressing to see the sheer incompetence around Obama, even the Clintonites look good around them.

Stratomunchkin I will definitely take a look at your post.

Hope you enjoy my new post.

Anonymous said...

Obama's goal is to intentionally destroy the United States. That is why he is taking the positions he has so far.

The troop movements to Afghanistan is to bleed and destroy the military,

Rwe said...

Obama is a bloviator who prefers pleasant illusions before difficult realities. The gov't spending is enormous, the foreign policy approaches are neurotically weak, and the moral leadership is superficial.

Curmudgeon said...

I have read your thoughts on your blog, and I think you have hit on something. However, your "gender gap" is really a marriage gap. Married women are actually more patriot/right/conservative than single men. So the big question is: how to close that?

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