- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2013

What message has the Obama administration sent to the world by appointing to America’s most important diplomatic position a pair of Democratic politicos best known for their losing presidential bids? Bluntly put, the message is that competence and achievement don’t matter; only ideology and partisan politics do. This is a perception borne out by the bungling diplomatic performance of both Secretary of State John F. Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (“John Kerry’s folly at Israel’s peril,” Commentary, July 24).

On Mrs. Clinton’s watch, U.S. diplomacy enthusiastically supported the so-called Arab Spring, an exercise in willful blindness, culminating in the ongoing “Benghazigate” scandal, that need not be rehashed here. However, as the current secretary of state, Mr. Kerry’s diplomacy is a different matter. As columnist Frank Gaffney persuasively argues, Mr. Kerry’s clueless attempts to “restart” the mythical “peace process” between the Israelis and the Palestinians by bullying the former and appeasing the latter promises to produce for Israel a conventional existential threat in addition to any nuclear menace posed by Iran. Specifically, Mr. Gaffney fears that the emerging coalition of forces increasingly disfavors Israel, no matter which Islamist factions finally win out. Then it would not be impossible for these disparate Islamist actors to cooperate on an objective they share: the destruction of Israel.

Mr. Gaffney is right, but I would take it one step further. Mr. Kerry’s bungling diplomacy will not only make this nightmarish outcome more likely, it will actually promote it by pushing matters to a tipping point that should be obvious to any truly insightful diplomat. As Israel’s vulnerability increases, certainly once she is again caged within pre-1967 borders, no Arab power (or Iran) will risk being left out of the prospective final victory and resulting land grab; not even our friend Jordan, or post-Muslim-Brotherhood Egypt, or weakling Lebanon.

Nice going, Mr. Kerry — you resemble not the brilliant Prince Metternich of 1815, as you may think, but the befuddled loser of 1848.

TOM MANGIERI

Mountain Lakes, N.J.