Elliott Abrams Anywhere Near The State Department
By Sen. Rand
hope against hope that the
rumors are wrong and that President Donald Trump
will not open the State Department door to the neocons.
Crack the door to admit Elliott Abrams and the neocons
will scurry in by the hundreds.
interventionists have had us at perpetual war for 25
years. While President Trump has repeatedly stated his
belief that the Iraq War was a mistake, the neocons (all
of them Never-Trumpers) continue to maintain that the
Iraq and Libyan Wars were brilliant ideas. These are the
same people who think we must blow up half the Middle
East, then rebuild it and police it for decades.
and they should not be given a voice in this
One of the
things I like most about President Trump is his
acknowledgement that nation building does not work and
actually works against the nation building we need to do
here at home. With a $20 trillion debt, we donít have
the money to do both.
I urge him to
keep that in mind this week when he meets with Elliott
Abrams, the rumored pick for second in command to the
Secretary of State.
Abrams would be
a terrible appointment for countless reasons. He doesnít
agree with the president in so many areas of foreign
policy and he has said so repeatedly; he is a loud voice
for nation building and when asked about the
presidentís opposition to nation building, Abrams said
that Trump was absolutely wrong; and during the election
he was unequivocal in his opposition to Donald Trump,
going so far as to say, ďthe chair in which Washington
and Lincoln sat, he is not fit to sit.Ē
Why then would
the president trust him with the second most powerful
position in the State Department?
equally dismissive throughout Trumpís entire candidacy.
As a Never-Trumper, he repeatedly said he would neither
vote for Clinton nor Trump. He likened the choice to the
one the nation faced of McGovern vs. Nixon.
I voted for Rex
Tillerson for secretary of state because I believe him
to have a balanced approach to foreign policy. My hope
is that he will put forward a realist approach. I donít
see Abrams as part of any type of foreign policy
is a neoconservative too long in the tooth to change his
spots, and the president should have no reason to trust
that he would carry out a Trump agenda rather than a
But just as
importantly, Congress has good reason not to trust him ó
he was convicted of lying to Congress in his previous
for deceiving Congress over secret arms deals, better
known as the Iran-Contra scandal, show that his neocon
agenda trumps his fidelity to the rule of law. The
Constitution directs Congress to approve or disapprove
of war. It would be a mistake to appoint anyone to the
State Department who was previously convicted for
defying Congressional authority.
in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen has not and
will not work. Mr. President please, please do not open
the door to the people who sip lattes while sneering
behind your back. They are bold enough to come begging
for work while continuing to laugh and deride your every
remark concerning foreign policy. Donít let them in!
trademark is to conduct war in secret to avoid
congressional scrutiny. This is exactly what
Iran-Contra. Despite legislation that prohibited
sending arms to Nicaragua, Abrams and other neocons
surreptitiously funneled money from sultans in Brunei to
sheiks in Iran, converting the cash into weapons that
were then sent to authoritarians in Nicaragua.
supervised, covered up and defended a policy of arming a
Guatemalan government undeniably waging war against an
indigenous native population. Thousands of the
indigenous people of the Ixil region of Guatemala were
exterminated. The Guatemalan President was eventually
convicted of war crimes. Abrams was an unabashed
supporter and organizer of sending arms into this tragic
In a country of
300 million people, surely there are reasonable foreign
policy experts who have not been convicted of deceiving
Congress and actually share the presidentís foreign
policy views. I hope Secretary Rex Tillerson will
continue the search for expert assistance from
experienced, non-convicted diplomats who understand the
mistakes of the past and the challenges ahead.
Elliott Abrams is Trump's leading candidate for
deputy secretary of state
: Abrams is a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George W.
Bush administrations, and played a role in the
Iran-Contra scandal. He was convicted of withholding
information from Congress, but later pardoned by
President George H.W. Bush.
expressed in this article are solely those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
Information Clearing House.