DAN RATHER ON THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR DIPLOMACY AND OUR VALUES

By Harry C. Blaney III

Another strong voice against the gutting of the Department of State, diplomacy, and our Foreign Service Dan Rather.  Dangerous is not strong enough to describe what is taking place. It is a crime and we all need to say so to our representatives and ask their help to stop it. I have never is over 50 years of active foreign affairs engagement have I seen America so weakened and counterproductive abroad and indeed destructive of all that is good than under Trump. This must stop. Dan Rather says it all and to the point!

Dan Rather (Post on his Facebook page):

I try to stay steady. I try to remain calm. But of all the things stuck in my craw these surreal days, the willful and deliberate decimation of the United States Department of State by President Trump and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a turn of events that is both bewildering and so obviously dangerous that it begs for reason in an age already plagued by a striking lack of reason.

This is an attack on the very health and security of the United States. It undermines our political, cultural, economic, and moral power around the globe. Yes our military forces are important and yes the aircraft carriers and fleets of tanks and airplanes are impressive. And yes the courage and dedication of our fighting men and women are impressive. But so too is the courage and dedication of our diplomatic corp who wield words and the power of persuasion to further our national interests, along with the aspirations of peace and justice. Their budget is but a fraction of our defense budget, but dollar for dollar they do more than almost anyone I can think of to make America what it has been, what it is, and what I believe we hope it to be.

There should be a bipartisan outcry against this undermining of American values. We have had strong diplomats from across the political spectrum. And as the world becomes ever-more complicated and difficult to navigate, we need leadership not empty rhetoric.

Make no mistake, our allies are watching with great unease. And our adversaries are salivating at our shortsightedness, and frankly, stupidity.

 

One thought on “DAN RATHER ON THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR DIPLOMACY AND OUR VALUES

  1. Harry C. Blaney III December 2, 2017 / 8:32 PM

    As an up-date here is an Excerpt From NY Times Article 11/30 2017 by Antony J. Blinken former Deputy Secretary of State shows the deep damage that Trump and Tillerson has done to American engagement in the world stage and on our security.

    “Mr. Tillerson, who has clashed with President Trump and may be fired soon, has presided over the hollowing out of the State Department. The exodus of senior and rising Foreign Service officers will debilitate American diplomacy for a generation. It’s hard to imagine doing more damage to an institution and less good for America’s standing in the world in such a short period of time. Meanwhile, Mr. Tillerson’s sound instincts on the substance of foreign policy were routinely undermined by Mr. Trump and his incontinent Twitter feed.

    Mr. Tillerson’s obsession with downsizing our diplomacy has colored his time at the State Department. Instead of defending the department against the White House’s proposed 30 percent budget cut, he embraced it. Fortunately, Congress stopped — for now — the gutting of our diplomatic, democracy and development programs. Mr. Tillerson imposed a hiring freeze, canceled programs to diversify the department’s personnel, left empty dozens of the most senior positions requiring Senate confirmation and encouraged officers to leave by dangling $25,000 buyouts.

    Equally damaging, Mr. Tillerson’s insular management style alienated or marginalized many of the department’s most experienced hands. He and the small team around him seemed to view foreign policy professionals as the enemy — a “deep state” opposed to Mr. Trump’s agenda. In this they were profoundly wrong. Over the past 25 years, I’ve worked closely with hundreds of Foreign Service officers and civil servants through Democratic and Republican administrations. To a person, they take pride in checking their personal beliefs at the department’s door and working for the success of whatever administration they serve. I could not tell you the political affiliation of any of the officers with whom I served.” ……………….

    “Mr. Trump repeatedly rejected his secretary of state’s advice, embarrassed him with public contradictions and gutted his credibility with foreign governments. If, as reported, Mr. Tillerson intentionally kept a low public profile to spend time with the boss and went along with the State Department’s deconstruction to curry his favor, that strategy backfired miserably.

    In the end, it is because they are so out of sync on substance that Mr. Trump has apparently decided on Rexit. Mr. Trump is entitled to senior advisers who reflect his views. He is now likely to get it if, as reported, Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, moves over to the State Department and Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, succeeds him at the C.I.A.

    Both are whip smart, ideological — and deeply partisan. Both encourage, and flatter, Mr. Trump’s instincts. Mr. Pompeo lacks foreign policy experience, and Mr. Cotton has no deep ties to the intelligence community. But both are perceived as being close to Mr. Trump, so they will at least be taken seriously by their bureaucracies and their foreign counterparts.

    We can expect a focus on hard-power solutions to every problem, a fixation on confronting Iran and an even more aggressive pursuit of “America First.” At least Mr. Tillerson tried to check Mr. Trump’s worst excesses. Now we may see them fully unleashed.”

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