Secretary of State Kerry Shows He Doesn’t Have a Clue About How Foreign Policy Works

Lucky for them, they didn’t have to answer to Morsi’s and his colleagues’ anti-American statements. I can't figure out why more use hasn't been made of the strongly anti-American statements (including support for terrorist attacks on Americans, and rejoicing about the alleged downfall of the United States due to Obama's leadership) repeatedly made by Brotherhood leaders. 

Kerry [continuing]:  "We have critical interests with Egypt. Critical interests. Egypt has thus far supported and lives by the peace agreement with Israel, and has taken steps to start to deal with the problem of security in the Sinai. Those are vital to us, and to our national interests, and to the security of Israel ... ”

Yes, the United States does have critical interests with Egypt. Yet how can these interests be best maintained? Remember that Kerry previously insisted that the critical interests the United States had with Syria could be best maintained by rewarding the anti-American dictatorship of President Bashar al-Assad.

Has Egypt so far supported and lived by the peace agreement with Israel, etc.? Well, technically yes, though in a real sense the Egyptian government has not yet begun to govern in its full framework. For example, parliament has not convened yet. Moreover, the government has only acted cosmetically to deal with the security problem in the Sinai, reportedly making a deal with the Salafist terrorists to leave them alone if they cooled it -- for a while.

What Kerry suggests, but doesn’t prove, is that U.S. interests are best maintained by not criticizing or pressuring Egypt’s government. The only alternative to Obama policy is not breaking with Egypt, but using traditional diplomatic methods to get what the United States should want.

Kerry: “The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone that you don’t completely agree with doesn’t give us permission to walk away from their election ... ”

Wow. This is truly ignorant. Just because Egyptians -- or anyone else -- elected a government does not mean that U.S. policy must accept whatever that government does.

Yet I think Kerry and Obama actually believe that it does mean that.

Moreover, the Brotherhood didn’t just win but had U.S. backing. It was the party Obama favored. And now, of course, the regime has killed dozens of Egyptians in anti-government riots. It has also jammed through an ultimately anti-democratic constitution. The money and weapons the United States gives the Brotherhood government will help it consolidate power, buy off dissent, and be able to repress the population. Is that what U.S. interests require? The consolidation of an Islamist regime in Egypt?  

(I don’t have space now to give the explanation as to why the idea Obama didn’t have any such leverage is flatly wrong, but have done so in previous articles.)

Rand Paul: “This has been our problem with our foreign policy for decades -- Republican and Democrat. We funded bin Laden, we funded the [Afghan] Muhjahideen. We were in favor of radical jihad because they were the enemy of our enemy. We’ve done this so often. I see these weapons coming back to threaten Israel. ... Why not just not give weapons to Israel’s enemies [to try and prevent a potential arms race]? That might save us a lot of money and might make it safer for Israel.”

Senator Paul is not exactly right here. It is not true -- in fact it is an anti-American slander -- to say that the United States funded bin Laden. It did support Afghan Islamist forces, but has not backed other Islamist revolutionary groups to any serious extent in the last four decades or so.

What Obama is doing is largely unprecedented.

Paul also missed an opportunity to point out that arms were sold to some countries precisely because they had made peace with Israel, and other countries because they supported U.S. policy generally despite being very anti-Israel. Arms were not given, however, to countries led by anti-American revolutionary Islamist groups that also openly declared their support for genocide of Israel and all Jews generally.

Kerry: “Better yet, until we are at that moment, where that might be achievable, maybe it’d be better to try and make peace.”

Wow, again. This is the mentality that has repeatedly crippled U.S. Middle East policy. It goes like this:

-- We want peace.

-- Therefore, we should not evaluate what policies are most likely to succeed, but merely those that can allow us to say that peace remains possible.

For example, even if the PA rejects talks for four years, we shouldn’t criticize or pressure it because that might make peace less likely, etc.

-- It might work so we can’t “give up,” we must “keep trying.” Even though this period is not conducive to progress, and even while other U.S. policies (especially backing of Islamists) actually make peace even more impossible to achieve.