Abysmal confirmation hearing performances by Obama Administration nominees to be the U.S. Ambassadors to Argentina, Hungary, and Norway have recently made the public aware of the ambassadorial nomination process. Under the U.S. Constitution, the President gets to nominate potential ambassadorial nominees to foreign countries subject to Senate advice and consent. Traditionally, a solid majority of U.S. Ambassadors have served in the U.S. Foreign Service which is the State Department’s corps of diplomatic professionals. In addition, approximately 30% of U.S. Ambassadors have been political appointees who are allied to the President of the day due to their generous campaign contributions or other services rendered to bring about the President’s election.
These three Obama Administration nominees, who are all political appointees due to their financial generosity to Obama presidential campaigns, failed miserably to answer basic questions about the countries they are slated to represent us in. The Norway Ambassador nominee, responding to questions from Senator John McCain, could not identify one of the political parties which was part of Norway’s coalition government and launched into an infantile leftist diversity cult diatribe against this party because they favor restricting immigration to Norway. Tthis same dimwitted nominee also failed to understand Norway’s government structure by claiming it had a President when, in fact, Norway is a constitutional monarchy whose chief political leader is the Prime Minister. Many foreign service ambassadors work well but some foreign service professionals are bureaucratic sycophants who are prone to appease foreign countries instead of decisively advocating for U.S. economic, political, and strategic interests as well as protecting the safety of American citizens traveling in these countries. Some political appointees, may have intellectual, political, and social skills that enable them to advance U.S. interests in these countries beyond the ability of tradition bound foreign service career appointees.
I don’t agree with the claims of some critics of these nominees that you have to visit these countries and know their languages to be effective ambassadors. What is important is that these potential ambassadors dedicate themselves to learning the historical and contemporary factors that make these countries what they are and that they never forget they are representing the United States and should proudly promote our interests in these countries. Ambassadorial nominees are supposedly given extensive training prior to their confirmation hearings and presenting their credentials to foreign country leaders. It sure looks like these three nominees played hooky from school and they are very reflective of the poor educational performance standards of the Obama Administration and liberal educational theory in which self-esteem and diversity are prized over actual learning, retention of material learned, and the ability to effectively think and communicate knowledge learned.
There are a variety of freely available and credible Internet resources ambassadorial nominees can consult before facing their Senate confirmation hearing. These include numerous reports and publications such as succinct fact sheets on U.S. relations with these countries, Country Commercial Guides detailing business, regulatory, and tax conditions within these countries, reports on individual country human rights, religious freedom, narcotics control, and trafficking in persons policies, their United Nations voting practices including how often they voted with or against the U.S., and the incredible Foreign Relations of the United States providing detailed historical documentation on U.S. foreign policy toward these countries.
The Commerce Dept’s export.gov/ provides voluminous information on country economic practices and potential export opportunities for U.S. businesses, the CIA World Factbook is a superlative quick reference resource, the Agriculture Dept’s Foreign Agricultural Service tracks agricultural trends and developments in foreign countries and potential opportunities for U.S. agricultural exporters, the Energy Dept’s Energy Information Administration provides a treasure of energy information and data, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Minerals Program Minerals Yearbooks provides detailed analysis about foreign country natural resources and relevant indigenous country policies, numerous government studies analyze military trends in these countries, and the Library of Congress’ Country Studies series provide detailed and succinct historical analyses of these countries.
Ambassadorial nominees also have access to numerous scholarly works on trends and developments in these countries through blogs, think-tank analyses, international government organization reports, foreign national government reports and websites, and searches on Amazon.com can find a variety of books of divergent perspectives on these countries. Unfortunately, in the John Kerry and Barack Obama foreign policy world, loyalty to “change you can believe in” and delusional diplomatic pursuits such as promoting climate change hysteria, advocating for sexual perversion on U.S. embassy websites, and pursuing the suicidal delusion of a two-state Palestinean-Israeli “peace treaty” are more important than having basic knowledge and competence about international affairs and the factors sculpting the foreign and domestic policies of the countries the U.S. has diplomatic relations with. We should have diplomats who have the intestinal fortitude and moral courage to stand up to thugs such as Vladimir Putin, Bashir Assad, Kim Jong Il, and Hassan Rouhani. We should have diplomats who know that credible military force and the willingness to use such force to achieve our strategic interests are more important than pathetically cultivating the favor of cocktail party cognoscenti in Washington, DC, New York City, or the capitals of foreign nations. Unfortunately, our foreign policy is now lead by dimwits such as Barack Obama and John Kerry who repeatedly fail to understand that the most decisive issues in world affairs are decided by brute force instead of multicultural consensus building based on international human values.