News & Politics

With U.S. Foreign Policy In a Shambles, Secretary of State Blinken Finds Something to Celebrate

Drew Angerer/Pool via AP

Those who helped us out during our long military misadventure in Afghanistan only to be left behind in Kabul know that Joe Biden’s handlers are not the most reliable people in the world, but there is one thing they can always be counted on to be, and that is tone deaf. And so on Sunday morning, Secretary of State Antony Blinken looked out on what he had wrought. He saw China emboldened, Afghanistan lost, and Iran more aggressive than ever, and he took to Twitter to give us the perfect response to all the fires he and his colleagues have started or made rage hotter than ever. He tweeted: “Humbled to reach one million Twitter followers as Secretary of State — and especially so because it means that I can share the outstanding work of our @StateDept team with so many at home and around the world. It’s a privilege. Thank you.”

The “outstanding work” of our State Department? You have to admire the man’s chutzpah. To head the State Department during Joe Biden’s dumpster fire regency for Kamala Harris, with the Taliban enjoying billions of dollars’ worth of American military equipment, and China sending increasingly threatening signals about invading Taiwan, and the Islamic Republic of Iran growing more belligerent by the way, and to claim in the face of all that and more that the department is doing “outstanding work,” takes an oddly audacious dishonesty, or a resolute determination to deny the evidence of one’s senses, or both.

Even the fact that Blinken thinks that gaining one million Twitter followers is some kind of affirmation is ridiculous in itself and raises inevitable questions about the man’s priorities. Most of his Twitter feed gives the impression that he is simply a glorified goodwill ambassador; in another tweet on Sunday, Blinken wrote: “Such a pleasure chatting with Senegalese fashion industry icons Xalil and Milcos, who are both @StateIVLP alumni. They are doing dynamic work in Dakar and exemplify the important role artisans and entrepreneurs can play in growing their economies and increasing prosperity.” I’m sure Xalil and Milcos do wonderful work, but this is the Secretary of State of the United States; you’d think he would be embarrassed to be reduced to tweeting about something as world-historical Senegalese fashion icons. But one of the many things that are beyond the capabilities of Biden’s handlers is embarrassment.

When Blinken does tweet about more pressing matters, he only underscores his own impotence. On November 19, he tweeted, “I condemn the Houthis’ detention of our staff and breach of the compound used by our Embassy in Sana’a prior to our 2015 suspension of operations. The Houthis must immediately release our staff unharmed and vacate the compound immediately.” This was over a week after the Houthis stormed the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a and even longer after they took hostages from among its staff. Why did it take Blinken so long to respond? What did he do beyond take to Twitter to issue this empty condemnation?

Nor did Blinken mention the fact that almost immediately after taking office, Biden’s handlers removed the terrorist designation that the Trump administration had placed on the Houthis. The Houthis’ storming of the U.S. Embassy came after Blinken and his colleagues had voluntarily surrendered a tool that might have restricted the Houthis’ ability to act. Instead, they were emboldened by the administration’s manifest weakness.

Related: ‘Unfit for Leadership’: GOP Congressmen Call for Blinken’s Impeachment

Blinken seems to spend a good deal of time on goodwill tours. On Thursday, he tweeted: “Met with Nigerian President @MBuhari today to discuss climate, COVID-19, and deepening our relationship. I reaffirmed the strong partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria as well as the people-to-people ties that bind us.” Blinken said nothing about the fact that the U.S. has just quietly removed Nigeria from the list of countries that are “engaging in violation of religious freedom.” Biden’s handlers did this despite the fact that, according to an August 2021 report by a Nigerian human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), “about 10 million Christians have been uprooted from their bases in Northern Nigeria in the last 12 years by Islamic Jihadists. Out of this figure, no fewer than a whopping 43,000 have been killed in at least 17,500 attacks on churches and other Christian worship programmes.” Unfortunately, Biden’s handlers turning a blind eye to Islamic jihad violence against Christians is no real surprise.

Apart from useless goodwill tours and empty bluster, there is more evidence on Blinken’s Twitter feed of the Biden administration’s real concerns. Not China, not Iran, not Afghanistan, but vapid environmentalist virtue signaling: “We must end plastic pollution in our oceans,” the Secretary of State nagged, also on Thursday. “Today we announced support for a global agreement to combat ocean plastic pollution in the February 2022 @UNEP intergovernmental negotiations. Countries, the private sector, and civil society must make progress together.”

That’s wonderful, but is that really the purview of the Secretary of State, and should it really be his concern? Whether it should or shouldn’t be, now a million people will see Blinken’s vaporings whenever he airs them on Twitter. At long last, after ten months of miserable failure and America-Last initiatives, the Biden White House has found something it can celebrate.