May 06, 2016

Boy Wonder

38 year old Ben Rhodes aka "Boy Wonder of the Obama White House"

**WARNING: Not an iPhone friendly blogpost but please give full attention when laptop/desktop accessible if Foreign Affairs of interest.

Just past midnight, GSL was monitoring geopolitical developments, as he always does, and came across the most startling newspaper article on the inner workings of a White House since the days just after the September 11th attacks. I knew it would cause a huge reaction in the Foreign Affairs community and it has been abuzz all day. I have been volleying messages with one journalist (although this distinction may now be very much in question) conspicuously mentioned and she is likely in DEFCON 1 aka "Cocked Pistol" mode in terms of her professional integrity but she told me she was misrepresented. That may be the case and I'll be interested in hearing her version of events.

Here is the NYT article causing all the fuss.

Here is Pulitzer Prize winning and former Wall Street Journal & Washington Post Foreign Affairs/Defense Columnist Tom Rick's rather heated reaction.

The article isn't even due to formally run until Sunday's New York Times Magazine goes to press but will be very significant to the soon to be revised assessments of the Obama Administration.

Pride goeth...?


  1. Many thanks for this link. A fascinating article. Mostly riveting stuff, but I wonder how many will read it, if at all. The time it takes for a start – and the millennials’ preference for catchy Twitter-speak or two minute sound bites tends to remove capacity for concentration and analysis of longer articles.
    Great stories emerging in this piece: Rhodes and his "mind-meld" with Obama, their preference for reason and morality (rather than real politick – but at the same time recognising its exigencies) to inform major foreign affairs and strategic policy, resulting in the brokering of recent agreements with Iran, Cuba etc. Apparently sidelining the old US foreign affairs bloc in the process. The dilemma over Syria.
    In this article we can see the intelligence and longer term vision of Obama and his special team as they seek practical solutions to Middle East problems and try to disengage from there in the effort to avoid being drawn into more wars. We also see the invasion of Iraq through Rhodes’ eyes, the terrible blunders made by a group of “morons” - in his words. He doesn’t say, but clearly one is drawn to see George W and his decision to invade Iraq as a decision made by a moron leading (?) the morons under him.
    Perhaps these days of the Obama Presidency will come to be seen as the glory days of US foreign and strategic policy. With the future of these key responsibilities appearing to hinge on a vote between the “blob” and an unguided missile? Scylla or Charybdis? A big worry. Pammie

  2. Pammie, what may not be apparent by the brilliant and wise 38yo Ben Rhodes is that nearly the entire National Security Apparatus that Genius-Level-Intellect Obama hired also supported those morons who decided to invade Iraq...based on the same Intel. Gates, Biden, Kerry, Petraeus, Panetta, Hillary Clinton (and her hubby), all were in support of those dummy American Foreign Policy Establishment types all said it was best to invade Iraq.
    Why hire them?
    Robert Gates spent 40+ years as a field officer in CIA and years with Defense Dept and had respect on both sides of the aisle yet MFA Rhodes didn't like him in his narrative because Creative Writer Grad Student Rhodes needed a complicit and mostly obedient Foreign Affairs Commmentariat to deliver their message.

    1. Pammie, thanks for weighing in....I actually have had nearly record number of page views even if few comments. The journalist, I reference in the post is putting together her defense and I'm discouraging her to play the female/victim card as her loyal friends are introducing. She's better than that...or should be.