President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of his foreign policy adviser Susan Rice as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is a “mind-boggling decision,” a Washington insider who has worked with Rice tells Newsmax.
Rice “was in the middle of some of the Clinton administration’s worst foreign policy disasters,” the insider disclosed.
A Rhodes scholar, 44-year-old Rice was an aide to Richard Clarke at the National Security Council in the 1990s, and was considered a “radical liberal” who favored the use of lightly armed U.N. troops as peacekeepers, said the insider, who provided this background on the nominee:
Rice and Clarke wrote “Presidential Decision Directive 25” (PDD-25), a controversial Clinton policy document that urged the use of U.N. peacekeepers as surrogates for real military forces in the mistaken belief that warring parties would respect and not fire on lightly armed U.N. forces wearing blue helmets.
This policy placed American troops at grave risk by sending them to civil war situations without adequate means to defend themselves.
It also led to fiascoes in countries including Rwanda, Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, as well as in Somalia where the “Blackhawk Down” battle occurred in 1993.
The Somalia disaster due to PDD-25 led to the complete withdrawal of U.S. and U.N. forces and played a significant role in influencing Osama bin Laden’s views on the weakness of the U.S. and his belief that terrorist attacks could induce America to retreat from the world stage.
Shortly after the Somalia fiasco, then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times calling for a Congressional role in U.N. peacekeeping decisions, noting: “As it stands now, the vote of our unelected representative to the U.N. has the power to commit billions of taxpayer dollars and to risk U.S. soldiers’ lives without any say from Congress.”
While working for Clarke, Rice supported the “unconscionable” 1994 Clinton administration decision to prevent the U.N. from taking action against the impending genocide in Rwanda that killed more than 800,000 people, the insider said.
Ironically, Rice has criticized the Bush administration for not taking stronger action to halt the genocide in Darfur.
The killing in Rwanda continued as Rice served as the NSC’s Senior Director for African Affairs from 1995 until 1997, when she became Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
In those posts Rice “oversaw extremely inept U.S. policies toward Liberia and Rwanda” and “the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Sierra Leone in 1999 who were forced to withdraw shortly after they arrived when rebels stripped them of their clothes and weapons,” said the insider, who worked with Rice when she was at the NSC.
Over Rice’s career she has been considered by some in Washington as “wildly incompetent,” according to the insider.
Newsweek magazine reported that one Africa expert who worked with Rice said: “She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. And she doesn’t tolerate dissenters.”
The insider added: “To have her head the U.S. mission to the U.N. is a mind-boggling decision. It is frightening.”
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