Bill Kristol, a leading voice of the far-right, interventionist, Neo-conservative movement, has weighed in on the ongoing debate over who should replace outgoing Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in the second Obama Administration.
Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, appeared yesterday morning on the Fox News Sunday show and—while he did not have kind words for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who has been touted as a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department—he had even less stomach for seeing Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as an alternative appointment—in the event that Rice is either not nominated by the President or confirmed by the Senate.
Susan Rice’s possible nomination for the post—which is also fourth in line of presidential succession (after the Vice President, Speaker of the House and President pro-tempore of the Senate)—has been roundly criticized by Republicans, most notably Arizona Senator, John McCain, as “not qualified” to be Secretary of State.
Rice has come under relentless attacks in the weeks following the September 11th Benghazi consulate attack, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as she was the lead administration spokesperson immediately after the attack, appearing on several talk shows.
Congressional inquiries are ongoing to get to the bottom of both the security failures that led to the attack, and the intelligence assessments which have appeared inconsistent; offering conflicting descriptions of the attack as a “spontaneous demonstration” over an anti-Muslim Internet video, while other evidence indicates it was carried out by terrorist elements which had planned the attack in advance of the video release.
While Kristol opined that Rice will likely be nominated and confirmed, he pointed out his belief that she is more ‘interventionist’ than the other leading candidate, John Kerry–who serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Republican neocons have been hyper-critical of the Obama Administration on a whole host of foreign policy issues; from a nuclear Iran, prosecution of the War in Afghanistan, leaving troops in Iraq, our involvement in Libya–which brought down the Gaddafi regime—and, most recently, our lack of direct intervention in the Syrian civil war. According to Kristol:
“I think Susan Rice has been a little more interventionist than John Kerry. John Kerry was a guy who loved the Assad regime in Syria. John Kerry has been against our intervening in every war we’ve intervened in, the first Gulf War. In Iraq, he was for it before he was against it.”
It appears that neocons like Kristol and Senate hawks like John McCain and South Carolina Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, won’t be satisfied with Susan Rice at State, nor would they be comfortable with someone like John Kerry overseeing our foreign policy. They would rather see a more belligerent, interventionist America…and that is—indeed—a frightening prospect.
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