There are a lot of officials from the Obama administration who have competed for the title of being the “worst” of the bunch. And while figures like James Clapper, John Brennan, and Tommy Vietor come to mind, Ben Rhodes was likely the most destructive and consequential in a singular sense. The former failed novelist was thrust into the role of Obama’s top foreign policy advisor, leading to death and destruction across the Middle East and Africa, among other places.
Rhodes was also the driving force and architect of the Iran deal. At one point, he bragged about deceiving young journalists and created an echo chamber of misinformation in order to see the deal through. Of course, the media never held that against him, still treating him as a credible figure to this day. They enjoy taking their lumps I suppose.
Today, Rhodes attempted to take a shot at current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because he apparently has no shame.
.@brhodes: "Mike Pompeo seems to be looking out not just for complicating the Biden presidency but his own political interests-These things seem designed to appeal to some American voters rather than addressing pressing national interests of the United States." #AMRstaff
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) November 19, 2020
Someone should ask how empowering the Iranian Mullahs was in the interest of the United States. And when he’s done answering that question, he can tell us how turning Libya into a modern day slave state helped us out as well. Later, we could get into his failed policies in Syria and Afghanistan, the former of which has cost over half a million lives. I could keep going, but you get the idea.
The phrase “sit this one out” has never fit a man better than it fits Ben Rhodes.
FACT CHECK: the real reason @brhodes is so upset is because we brokered peace in the Middle East. He gave pallets of cash to terrorist regimes in the Middle East. Our approach worked. His didn’t.
Good foreign policy doesn’t complicate anything. https://t.co/SdPG3nDcxl
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) November 19, 2020
That’s the reality that so many in the beltway don’t want to admit exists. The Obama administration’s approach to the Middle East fit the priors of much of the foreign policy establishment, an especially ill-qualified group rife with mediocrity and meaningless credentials, but it was also an abject failure. To the extent that George W. Bush had created a less than hospitable environment in the Middle East, Obama and people like Rhodes took the region and burned it to the ground. That President Trump was able to accomplish so much in the area is a minor miracle in and of itself, and it is certainly something most of the smart set claimed simply couldn’t happen.
That a durable Arab-Israeli alliance has been brokered should be welcome news to everyone who cares about peace and saving lives. Unfortunately, too many people in D.C. stand to gain by perpetuating dumb foreign policy. Rhodes is one of those people, as he’s no doubt eyeing a return to prominence under Joe Biden, assuming Joe Biden takes the oath in January.
In the end, the grossest part of the Washington establishment remains its selective morality when it comes to foreign policy.
This idea has formed the basis of several of my past articles. And it remains true today. The selective morality of the beltway is the grossest part about it. https://t.co/Vz4GgFmJkQ
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) November 20, 2020
When lives are on the line, that should outweigh concerns about decorum. That so many people, including some on the right, decided to instead support Biden, and by proxy figures like Rhodes, is deeply damaging and disappointing. The shallowness of such is apparent, and I don’t think Biden being a “nice guy” is going to make the people who will eventually lose their lives feel any better.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)