Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in to testify to the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Ambassadors Who Can Be Easily Intimidated Have No Place in America’s State Department.
As I watched the “testimony” of former U.S Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, I couldn’t help but wonder how she ever got her job. She was obviously well-coached and herded via Democrat questioning, in the direction Congressman Schiff wanted her to go.
However, from her answers, it also seemed that former Ambassador Yovanovitch not only had a weak understanding of her role as an ambassador, she also consistently gave off the impression she was not anybody to be seriously reckoned with.
I lost count of the many times she stated that she “felt intimidated” by President Trump’s tweets regarding her poor performance throughout her career as a State Department employee. I also lost count as to how many times she “felt devastated” or “hurt” by her removal as the President’s personal representative to Ukraine.
I’m evidently not the only one who believes this…side note—I absolutely hate it when other authors beat me to the punch—in this case, Chuck de Caro of American Greatness, did so in grand fashion by penning this stellar assessment of ambassadors past, comparing them to the weak performance of Marie Yovanovitch. With this teaser, he sets the tone for his entire article
Well-coached former Ukraine envoy Marie Yovanovitch says she finds the president’s tweets “very intimidating.” Now imagine her in the face of a real crisis.
de Caro leads off with:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was busy leading the witness, former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, when she spoke the precise words he was trying to elicit: “Very intimidating.”
Upon hearing that emotional reaction to a presidential tweet, one might wonder just how much the State Department standard for what counts as “intimidating” and “not intimidating” has changed over the decades.
de Caro goes on to describe major world events and tough, decisive responses by a number of hard bitten U.S Ambassadors. This is the response I thought the most of:
Twenty-one years later another American diplomat, deputy U.N. ambassador Charles Lichenstein, was not intimidated at the height of another crisis that could have led to nuclear war: The downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007, where the Soviets shot down an airliner and killed all 269 people on board, including a United States congressman.
Incensed, the states of New York and New Jersey denied landing rights to Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko for the next General Assembly meeting. The feds offered landing rights at McGuire Air Force Base, but the Soviets turned that down and proceeded to question whether the United Nations should be in the United States.
Lichenstein’s response is that I would have expected of a real, no kiddin’ U.S Ambassador:
Lichenstein, severely perturbed, pointedly declared that if U.N. member nations felt “they are not being treated with the hostly consideration that is their due,” they might think about “removing themselves and this organization from the soil of the United States. We will put no impediment in your way . . . The members of the U.S. mission to the United Nations will be down at the dockside waving you a fond farewell as you sail off into the sunset.”
He then offered his resignation, which President Reagan declined to accept.
Compare that to the mewling about hurt feelings over policy disputes that was the “testimony” offered by Yovanovitch at the urging of the Democrats…and more than a few Republicans.
In the mein of “Great minds think like mine,” de Caro leaves us with this pithy rejoinder (emphasis mine)
While there may be those who may think this only applauds the steadfastness of males in the State Department, one could easily retort with two words: Jeanne Kirkpatrick.
Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.
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