To read Susan Rices Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For is like walking through a lost paradise. This country of fortune houses an American president who has intelligence, empathy, who knows how to surround himself with loyal and competent staff, who work tirelessly for democracy despite the stubborn opposition of party political opponents.
Autobiography takes us on the inside of events we know from the outside. Rice grew up with African-American parents who set high standards of community engagement.
The parents' marital petition and later divorce also provided heartfelt lessons, and the result was an ambitious youngster who knew a lot about negotiating techniques from the start and who one day faced a like-minded senator by the name Barack Obama. The first time Obama asked her for advice, the answer was: "You praise Reagan too much and Bill Clinton too little."
When Obama started his campaign as the Democratic presidential candidate, he joined Susan Rice on the team. She has been there ever since. Which UN ambassador. As the president's security adviser.
Exposed to black campaign
Both the lessons from his childhood home, which taught Susan to put emotions in the drawer when needed, and colleagues' unconditional support should come especially well in the job of UN ambassador. On September 11, 2012, the United States Legation was in Benghazi libya the attack and four employees killed, including the ambassador. The following Sunday, Rice appeared in five major TV interview programs to discuss the attacks.
She followed the CIA's directives: Whether the attacks were terrorism linked to Al Qaeda was premature to make a statement. Later, the information was updated, the initial suspicions confirmed, and Rice became the target of a long-running swearing-in campaign by the Obama administration's Republican opponents and their media backers. She had "deliberately led the people behind the light". Rice was a "liar" and "unfit to perform his duties".
"Edward Snowden's image should be in dictionaries along with the definition of 'traitor'."
Many Republicans, including the senator John McCain, publicly insisted that Susan Rice – a possible candidate for the post of Secretary of State following Hillary Clinton's resignation – should not, under any circumstances, get that post. Rice realized that her candidacy would extend and increase the persecution, further hurting Obama, herself and her family. She resigned, to the president's regret, and John Kerry became Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Prolonged tug of war
If domestic politics for the Obama administration could seem like Sisyphus climbing, foreign policy was more of an outback. Contact with Iran demanded intense diplomacy. Obama wanted to demonstrate sympathy for the Iranian people; at the same time, it was necessary to address issues such as nuclear weapons and Iran's support for terrorism.
It was a prolonged tug of war with a reluctant Iran.
In January 2010, Rice began negotiations with P5 + 1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, Russia, England, USA plus Germany). It lasted for months. Iran was not a topic where Europeans would be ruled by the United States. Rice had to balance Washington's anxiety with Europe's confidence.
"No one has ever won the doubt of America's long-term capacity for growth, change and renewal."
The comparative advantage of the United States was their ability to overcome the dislike of China and Russia. Foreign Minister Clinton put extra pressure on Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov. Then protests emerged from rotating members of the Security Council, Brazil and Turkey, both with strong business interests in Iran, both with selfish leaders. Eventually they had to give up. UN Security Council Resolution 1929 was confirmed in June 2010. This opened to the Nuclear Weapons Agreement, with Hassan Rouhani as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's successor. Economic pressure was the only way to go to get Iran to the negotiating table. In 2015, the parties finally signed a nuclear agreement. Where it stands today is another story. Regardless, the Iran connection until 2017 is an example of foreign policy and international cooperation in stellar class.
Fearless and tough
Here's how President Obama introduced Susan Rice to the job of national security adviser: “She is fearless; She is tough. She is an excellent tennis player and pretty good at basketball… she sometimes uses her elbow, but she gets things done. ”
It should come in handy. Not least when a leakage case of formidable dimensions fell down on the desk. Edward Snowden.
The learning curve had been steep. Twenty years earlier, when Susan began her political career as a 20-year-old, the internet was for the few, CNN was the only cable news channel, and smartphones an unknown word. Suddenly the world learned that United States spied on his friends. A technological and political bomb.
Rice writes: "The Snowden leak caused great damage to US national security, including our ability to detect and prevent terrorism."
A rare furious Obama demanded that we immediately "repair all the mistakes we inherited (from previous administrations)". This led to countless reforms, with the aim of establishing new trust both nationally and internationally. Rice is relentless: "Snowden's image should stand in dictionaries along with the definition of 'traitor'."
Cuba, on the other hand, was an undisputed success story. It included silent diplomacy, the release of political prisoners and the lifting of sanctions. In December 2014, President Obama announced that he was ending over 50 years of failed Cuba politics.
The United States now lives in a nightmare-like "day after" world. Still, Susan Rice is optimistic: "No one has ever won the doubt of America's long-term capacity for growth, change and renewal. It would be foolish to start now. "