Saturday, February 05, 2011

Fired Obama-Appointed Ambassador Sums Up U.S. Foreign Policy

Cynthia Stroum
President Barack Obama appointed Cynthia Stroum as ambassador to Luxembourg for no other reason than she had successfully raised a half million dollars for his 2008 presidential campaign. Stroum resigned last month after a State Department report panned her excesses and unprofessional management. Employees of the embassy who questioned Stroum's decisions were threatened with retaliatory acts. Staff at the embassy found her management style so deplorable they sought transfers to embassies in danger spots like Iraq and Afghanistan. The wealthy Seattle businesswoman had a taste for the finest of everything no matter what the cost or whether the expenditure complied with Department rules according to the report.  Here's some of what the AP is reporting:

According to an internal State Department report released Thursday, less than a week after she quit, Stroum's management of the U.S. Embassy in the tiny country was abysmal. The report says her tenure of about one year was fraught with personality conflicts, verbal abuse and questionable expenditures on travel, wine and liquor . . .

The Luxembourg embassy "has underperformed for the entirety of the current ambassador's tenure," said the report, which was prepared last fall before she resigned abruptly. "At present, due to internal problems, it plays no significant role in policy advocacy or reporting, though developments in Luxembourg are certainly of interest to Washington clients and other U.S. missions in the NATO and EU communities." . . .

At the State Department, her departure was not announced. Spokesman Mark Toner gave no hint of problems when asked about the situation. "We are grateful for her service to the United States and wish her all the best in her new endeavors," he said.

But the report paints a picture of a corrosive atmosphere at the small embassy, with the ambassador running roughshod over staff, threatening to read their e-mails, largely concerned about job-related perks and involved in improper purchases.

The situation was so bad that the inspector general recommended that the State Department dispatch medical personnel to Luxembourg to test the stress levels of embassy employees. It said at least four staffers quit or sought transfers to Iraq and Afghanistan during her tenure, unusual steps for diplomats assigned to a modern, Western European capital.

"The bulk of the mission's internal problems are linked to her leadership deficiencies, the most damaging of which is an abusive management style," the report said. "She has followed a pattern of public criticism of colleagues, including (deputies), who have not performed to her satisfaction."

"Those who have questioned or challenged some of the ambassador's actions state that they have paid a heavy price in the form of verbal abuse and been threatened with dismissal," it said.

Stroum's lack of professionalism as a U.S. Ambassador is pretty much emblematic of the way the Obama administration has conducted U.S. foreign policy. At the rate this administration is going, I'm wondering if the U.S. will even have any allies when this unqualified man is finally sent back home to Chicago where he belongs. If he is not working with the Muslim brotherhood to undermine the friendly Egyptian government so that country can fall into the hands of radical Islamists and become another American-hating country like Iran or siding with the Palestinian terrorists in all disputes with our critical ally Israel, he is selling out our greatest ally in Great Britain to the Russians by divulging their nuclear secrets so he can sign a treaty that undermines the national security interests of our country. The only thing this administration seems good at doing is throwing lavish White House parties with their celebrity friends to show off their stylish clothing and jewelry while the people of this country try to figure out how they're going to pay their taxes and bills as they suffer through the worst economic depression this country has endured since the Great Depression.

UPDATE: This faux pas by an Obama official is tough to top. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett mistook a 4-star general for a waiter when she asked him to fetch a glass of wine for her. Knowing how vengeful the Obama folks are, the general took it all on stride rather than say what he was truly thinking.

On that sad note, GE has produced a fitting tribute to our last great American president Ronald Reagan marking what would have been his 100th birthday celebration. Enjoy.

No comments: