Exclusive: President Trump’s complaint that Official Washington is trying to block his policies, including détente with Russia, is underscored by the praise heaped on a departing State Department official, writes James W Carden.
By James W Carden
It’s probably safe to wager that few people outside of Washington, and perhaps even quite a few people inside it, have ever heard of Ambassador Daniel Fried — at least not until very recently.
The longtime Ambassador, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. State Department, recently made headlines in Time, Newsweek, Reuters, Politico and NPR for a farewell speech he made to his State Department colleagues during which he took a parting shot at President Trump for the latter’s widely assumed (but yet to be acted upon) desire to come to an accommodation with Russia.
Fried’s address won praise from Establishment figures like former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken (a “powerful defense of liberal international order”), Atlantic Council executive Damon Wilson ( a “clarion call for the U.S. to believe in itself and lead [a] liberal order”) and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen (“a superb summation of everything worth fighting for to keep this planet fit for human habitation”).
Why all the excitement? Well for one, Frieds’s farewell hit the many of Establishment’s erogenous zones:
–NATO expansion as an unalloyed good: NATO and the E.U. – grew to embrace 100 million liberated Europeans… this great achievement is now under assault by Russia
–Realists just don’t “get it”: George Kennan didn’t think much of what he termed America’s moralistic-legalistic tradition. But this foreign policy exceptionalism was the heart of our Grand Strategy through two World Wars, the Cold War and the post-1989 era, and it was crowned with success.
–And then there is Fried’s tendentious (and among neoconservatives and liberal interventionists widely shared) rendering of history and his puzzling conflation of the world situations as they obtained in 1940 and…