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Hillary being hobbled already

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By Robert E. Beckner

Sometimes in life we get an opportunity to “put a shot across the bow” of someone, usually a politician, and hopefully be able to do so in a somewhat humorous way. We can do this because it’s America and we are each entitled to our own opinion, to the left, right or wherever. This shot is centered on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, not one of my favorite people.

From what is going on in the White House and in Washington, D.C., even a casual observer of politics can see that Hillary’s job description is dissolving under her feet. She is losing power already, power she thought she acquired with her new job. But just by looking at what has happened since her signing on with the president as his chief cabinet officer tells it all.

The first sign was Vice President Biden visiting Afghanistan right before the inauguration and moving to establish “foreign policy” as his turf. His other action, to be serving as senior counsel to the president, his insistence that he must meet alone with the president once a week, and that he will be especially instrumental in helping on urgent foreign policy matters and being known as “at home” in many lands. He will serve as the globe-trotter and message bearer for his boss. All of these, as well as other signs are clearly leaving Hillary in the role of backup.

You can add Richard Holbrook, a former Balkan negotiator and U.N. ambassador, who has now been named as a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Holbrook, who has direct access to the president, among others, considers Hillary an outsider, who was an adversary in the campaign. All those will be soaking up some of the power Hillary sought.

The name of former Senator George Mitchell, the real negotiator of the Irish Peace Accords, has been appointed to be the administration’s point man on Arab-Israel negotiations. Another female, Samantha Powers, the president’s former campaign aide, who once called Hillary a “monster,” has been appointed to the National Security Council (NSC) as Director of Multilateral Affairs. Here is another person who tried to dethrone Hillary during the campaign. Can the two of them be at least civil and forget the bitterness? Not likely.

The list goes on, General James L. Jones, the president’s new national security advisor, wants to eliminate “back channels” to the president and to grow the NSC role in the current world situation. Seems like all these individuals are eroding Hillary’s power. Just remember, the Secretary of State’s job is not statutory and doesn’t flow from the prestige of the post’s occupant.

Then we come to Susan Rice, the new United Nations ambassador. She insisted on and got a cabinet rank for her portfolio and should have the same kind of access to the president that she had as his chief foreign policy adviser during the campaign. She is another one who will have to try hard to get along with Hillary. Any bets?

You read about all these new individuals and how they have fit into the president’s circle, and all you can see is Hillary surrounded by people who are at best strangers and at most enemies. There has been historically, competition between Secretary of State and national security advisors so we can expect to see this role go up a notch or two, perhaps in bitterness.

The power of the Secretary of State comes directly from the president but Hillary does not have the inside track to the president. Rice, Powers and Jones all have superior access. Holbrook and Mitchell will have more immediate information about the world’s trouble spots.

So what is Hillary going to do? She is the Secretary of State of what? Seems like the world has been spoken for. What’s left? There are old North Korea and China hands in the government who will monopolize those threats of trouble.

Speaking of China, Hillary was recently there and was practically bowing down to the Chinese leaders, while asking, or you could say begging, for China to loan America more money. It was a shameful sight to behold.

The final question for Hillary – are you already sorry for giving up your safe New York Senate seat and its power and recognition?

Since we are on the subject of the State Department and foreign affairs, it seems that Americans have forgotten already about the threats against America, being interested instead in the dominant economy news. Give Biden credit; before he was elected he said the new president would be “tested” within six months. It didn’t take that long. The foreign affairs were insulted within three weeks.

Then begins the serious “tests.” U.S. Special Envoy Holbrook visits Pakistan and immediately the country partially surrenders to the Taliban and al-Qaida, by allowing them complete control of the northwestern area of their country. They now can impose “sharia (Muslim) law” and to do what they want, including continuing their attacks on American forces in neighboring Afghanistan. The U.S. can’t accept this and should immediately punish the Pakistani government.

Then we find that because Vladimir Putin doesn’t like the idea of the country of Kyragyestan thinking of accepting our invitation for them into NATO, Putin puts the fear of god in them and they do what he tells them to which is to close down our air base, the one that supplies NATO forces in Afghanistan. This is a huge step which must be addressed. Will the president address this?

The third insult comes from Iran, while the Mullahs continue to talk about our new president they continue to fast track nuclear weapons. The Institute for Science and International Security says Iran could have weapon grade nuclear material this year. This appears to be an urgent situation which our president should respond to quickly, before the genie gets out of the bottle and all bets are off.

The final insult comes from North Korea, their leader Kim Jong II threatens to have a nuclear “long range” test missile to go aloft soon – to celebrate his 67th birthday.

Am I wrong or has the entire world gone nuts?

Robert E. Beckner lives in Majestic Oaks with his wife, Sarah. He is a retired private investigator and insurance adjuster. He has also been a photographer and served with the Military Police in the Marine Corps.