President Elect Barack Obama has rounded out his national security team by nominating Susan Rice to be Ambassador to the United Nations. It is an interesting choice, considering Rice’s relationship to Secretary of State Nominee Hillary Clinton.
Susan Rice served in various capacities in the Clinton administration, including assistant secretary of state for African affairs. Susan Rice has advised Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Barack Obama on foreign policy issues.
Susan Rice earned the ire of the Clinton people by offering her services to Barack Obama during the primary campaign. How Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton will now work together to serve the foreign policy agenda of Barack Obama is unclear.
Susan Rice’s tenure in the Clinton administration has proven to be quite controversial. According to both Mansoor Ijaz and Richard Miniter, the author of Losing Bin Laden, Susan Rice was instrumental in blowing a chance to apprehend Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. Her objections to dealing with the Sudan, which was anxious to rid itself of Bin Laden, seem to stem from her disquiet over the persecution of Christians in the Southern Sudan and hence doubts of the Sudanese government’s credibility. Still manly analysts suggest that Susan Rice may well have scuttled the chance to grab the leader of Al Qaeda, which likely would have forestalled the 9/11 attacks.
Susan Rice also seems to be obsessed with the Clinton administration’s failure to intervene in the massacre in Rwanda which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Susan Rice will apparently step up efforts to intervene in the killings in the Darfur region of the Sudan, including military intervention if necessary. Rice, as UN Ambassador, will likely advocate a larger role for that world body in stopping such genocides.
Writer Claudia Rosett was very blunt in her assessment of the Susan Rice nomination:
“This is a train wreck waiting to happen – the main question being whether, when the train goes off the rails, Rice will be trying to drive the UN engine, or hanging on for dear life to the caboose. Oh – and the other big question being just how much a bigger role for the UN will cost the average American, not only in terms of money tossed down the UN spider holes, but also in terms of lives endangered, damage to the American economy, freedom curtailed, and support to those who would inflict on the U.S. the kind of carnage we have just witnessed in Bombay.”
Rosett also suggests a certain inconsistency in Susan Rice’s views on genocide. Rice was a fierce critic of the Iraq War, for instance, even though the liberation of Iraq stopped the mass killings of Iraqis, including Iraqi Kurds, by the Saddam Hussein. Susan Rice’s views on the mass starvation going on in North Korea are also unclear.
The UN is a swamp of corruption, appeasement of terrorism and tyranny, and sheer incompetence. The post of UN ambassador needs someone of the caliber of a John Bolton or the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, willing to take on the UN bureaucrats and represent American interests. It will not need someone like Susan Rice, who will be under the misconception that the UN can do anything worthwhile to stop atrocities like Dafur and who will, in any case, have personal and political issues with her President’s Secretary of State.
Sources: Choice for U.N. Backs Action Against Mass Killings, Peter Baker, New York Times, November 30th, 2008
Another Clinton Terror War Bungler in Key Kerry Post, Newsmax.com, July 29th, 2004
Awaiting Susan Rice at the UN, Claudia Rosett, Pajamas Media, December 1st, 2008