Sen. John McCain should listen to his fellow Neocon, Robert Kagan: Stop scapegoating Susan Rice


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Neocon war monger and cheerleader for the Iraq war, Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution and contributing columnist for the Neocon Washington Post, writes Scapegoating Susan Rice does U.S. no good:

The president should know that there are Republicans willing to work
with him in addressing these crises and that he will be stronger
overseas if he has broad support at home. But Republicans also need to
do their part to show that the partisan sniping of the recent campaign
season is over and that they know it is time to get serious again. One
place to start would be to back off their promises to oppose the nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as secretary of state.

I say this not because I carry a particular brief for Rice. Both she and Sen. John Kerry
(D-Mass.), the two people most often mentioned for the position, are
well-qualified. Were the president to choose either of them, the Senate
should vote to confirm.

But the idea that Rice should be disqualified because of statements she made on television
in the days after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in
Benghazi, Libya, strikes me as unfair. It seems pretty clear now that
she based her statements on information the CIA provided at the time.
That information proved erroneous, and why the CIA was giving faulty
information to senior administration officials remains unclear. I
haven’t seen persuasive evidence to support the theory that Rice’s
statements were part of a coverup to hide a terrorist attack. The fact
that Rice was working from information provided by the CIA would seem to
undercut such a theory.

In any case, the big questions concerning the Benghazi attack are not
about what administration officials said or didn’t say in the first few
days that followed. Any further investigations ought to focus on why the
attack came as such a surprise, why our personnel weren’t better
protected and, most important, what we need to do to ensure that our
diplomats in the field can continue doing their vital work in reasonable

* * *

But none of this was under the purview of the U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations. It seems a big reach to suggest that Susan Rice, of all
people, should be barred from another job in the Obama administration
because of what happened in Benghazi.

With so many potential
crises staring us in the face in 2013, the country doesn’t need a nasty
fight over who said what when or a brutal confirmation battle that may
result in a new secretary of state wounded from the start by a partisan
Senate vote. It’s hard to see what national interest would be served by
such a spectacle at a time when many around the world wonder whether the United States can get its act together.

* * *

Republicans should let this one go and save their energies for the real problems looming before us.

In other words, stop making a cartoonish spectacle of yourself, Johnny. Time to ride off into the sunset.