Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump and a senior adviser in the administration, was supposed to be the person in charge of Middle East peace, and yet the region is more conflicted and in flames than ever before.
MSNBC host Joy Reid wondered the same thing Saturday morning on her show, asking national security expert Malcolm Nance:
“But Malcolm, we have Jared! Jared’s job was to solve all the Middle East problems. He is besties with the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. He is pitching loan ideas to Qatar. So where is Jared?”
An amused Nance replied:
“Well, to be honest, who cares? Because he is not a player in this. What has happened here — our diplomacy is a giant vacuum, not just in the Middle East, but around the world. Many ambassadors have not been appointed and virtually no undersecretaries are sitting in their positions.”
Nance then said something that should serve as a warning to all of us when it comes to the hurlyburly inner workings of the Trump administration:
“That means [Defense Secretary] General Mattis and the Defense Department are the de facto diplomats in this engagement. They are speaking and doing diplomacy with a hammer. And if that’s the case, then we’re going to be fighting these wars a very long time.”
Fellow MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin echoed those concerns, telling Reid:
“We don’t have an ambassador in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. In addition to the fact that we do not have a secretary of state. So you don’t even have the diplomatic foot soldiers waking up in capitals of Arab cities saying to the governments, ‘Here is what we need from you and here is what we can offer to you to get on board.’
“There’s a diplomatic vacuum.”
So what do we have? Well, we have a mentally unstable president who is being squeezed on all sides by scandals of his own creation, and we’re trying to solve problems with the blunt instrument of the U.S. military. We did the same thing during the administration of George W. Bush, and that turned out really well, didn’t it?
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