Susan Rice, best known for claiming the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous reaction to an Internet film and that Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction, today outlined the Obama Administration’s national security strategy:
But, too often, what’s missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective. Yes, there’s a lot going on. Still, while the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or the Cold War. We can’t afford to be buffeted by alarmism and an instantaneous news cycle. We must continue to do the hard work of leading a complex and rapidly evolving world, of seizing opportunities, and of winning the future for our children.
I find it interesting that Rice that acknowledges that WWII was an existential threat. Yet consider what Winston Churchill said in the British House of Commons in November 1936:
Our Amendment in November 1934 was the culmination of a long series of efforts by private Members and by the Conservative party in the country to warn His Majesty’s Government of the dangers to Europe and to this country which were coming upon us through the vast process of German rearmament then already in full swing. The speech which I made on that occasion was much censured as being alarmist by leading Conservative newspapers (italics mine), and I remember that Mr Lloyd George congratulated the Prime Minister, who was then Lord President, on having so satisfactorily demolished my extravagant fears.
Churchill would continue to be called an alarmist as this this speech wass made nearly two years before Neville Chamberlain proclaimed “peace for our time” following the Munich Agreement with Hitler. Well, we know how that turned out.
I find it equally interesting that Rice considered the Cold War an existential threat. After all it was Jimmy Carter who said early in his presidency that “we are now free of that inordinate fear of communism”. When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “an evil empire”, Anthony Lewis of The New York Times called Reagan’s speech “primitive” and “dangerous”. Well, Reagan’s speech is one of the most memorable in American history while Lewis’ article has been relegated to the ash heap of history.
So it’s easy for Susan Rice to say WWII and the Cold War were existential threats. But it wasn’t so easy for Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan.
Susan Rice wouldn’t know an existential threat if it screamed “Allahu Akbar!” at her.