Dec 1, 2008

The State Of State

By Jim Fletcher

Washington insiders are puzzled over Barack Obama’s reported offer of the nation’s top diplomatic post to…Hillary Clinton. The former rivals for the Democratic nomination for president are an odd match, since both thirsted so for the Oval Office. As secretary of state, Clinton would add to her resume, and secure a powerful slot in the Cabinet.

In arguably the country’s most dangerous moment in decades, our foreign policy will be formulated by a couple of old-school Chicago liberals. And Clinton’s alleged transformation from Leftist to pragmatist/moderate is, I suspect, not who she really is. For Bible prophecy students, this matters a great deal.

One can scarcely remember a secretary of state who deviated from the “James Baker School of Diplomacy,” that is, an anti-Israel stance. Among the recent chiefs at State: publicity hound Madeleine Albright, who once famously chased and begged Yasser Arafat to return to the negotiating table; Condi Rice, the Bush family friend and Soviet expert who supplemented her lack of knowledge of the Middle East with nasty, behind-the-scenes arm-twisting of Israeli prime ministers; and the end table, Warren Christopher.

Although the view would be quaintly na├»ve (or dangerous) to secular minds, the lack of biblical discernment among the various secretaries of state has only made the situation in the Middle East worse. It’s a given that no one of any consequence in Washington holds to a biblical view that the Holy Land belongs to the Jews. On the contrary, even alleged evangelicals like Rice constantly prop-up the mega-failure of land-for-peace. It boggles the mind that right up to this moment, the Oslo Delusion/Road Map continues to be peddled by otherwise smart people.

By pressuring Israel and attempting to appease the Arabs (which in reality cannot be done), successive American administrations have actually pushed peace farther back. Even the great Ronald Reagan agreed to back-door talks with the murderous PLO, and handed Hezbollah a victory in 1983 by pulling U.S. Marines out of Beirut after the bombing and murder of 242 of our troops.

For many decades, there has been a cadre of anti-Israel/anti-Jewish powerbrokers in Washington. Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was instrumental in keeping Jonathan Pollard in prison. James Baker allegedly made quite a crude remark about the Jewish vote during the term of Bush 41. In college, I once heard Baker give an address and marveled that the conservative audience was unaware of Baker’s anti-semitic leanings.

Hillary Clinton will be no different, despite her veneer of moderation. Some people will do anything to be president, and the former first lady cleverly appeared to move to the center, or even to the right at times, in her bid to become president.

Why do American politicians so routinely get it wrong when it comes to Israel? Because they do not have a biblical world view. Praying at the National Cathedral doesn’t bring it. Pandering to evangelical leaders doesn’t bring it.

Obama’s membership in the United Church of Christ guarantees that he doesn’t get it. The UCC is one of the nation’s most liberal denominations. And his secretary of state doesn’t get it, either.

Raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary Clinton was an active United Methodist. Mentored by a young youth minister, Don Jones, Hillary turned from her Goldwater leanings to become a member of the New Left, just in time to protest the Vietnam War.

Jones introduced Hillary and her classmates to the social gospel and the ideals of the Left. Sadly, they were also exposed to the theology of people like Paul Tillich, the German scholar who, shall we say, didn’t believe the Bible is the word of God. Tillich was a forerunner of such radical scholars as Marcus Borg. For them, the Bible was in some sense myth shrouded in the mystery of legend.

As a result, Hillary grew up enamored of the revolutionary views of anti-American forces. I doubt she has personal empathy for the Palestinians, but as it became popular to embrace the land-for-peace concept (so enthusiastically supported by her husband), the future senator from New York always supported a two-state solution. Can we expect her to suddenly truly support Israel once she becomes secretary of state?

The State Department for decades has been a hotbed of anti-Israel thought and action. The Arabists who are career diplomats at State set the tone, not necessarily whoever occupies the top spot. Even if a secretary of state suddenly reversed course and saw the Arab-Israeli conflict for what it is, he or she would quickly realize that this ghastly federal bureaucracy would undermine the Secretary at every turn.

So, there is no reason to believe Clinton would serve either her own country or Israel well. If her youthful experiences in liberation theology weren’t bad enough, she has been exposed to the United Methodist Church’s anti-Israel stances ever since. When Richard Wilke was bishop of Arkansas during the Clinton’s time in the governor’s mansion, the good bishop imparted his own world view to the first lady, no doubt. Wilke’s Disciple Bible Study is so riddled with liberal scholarship, it in reality bears little resemblance to a Bible study. Instead, it is an ode to radical liberal scholarship of the Bible. Jonah was a legend. The end of the world is nowhere in sight. Genesis isn’t real history. On and sickeningly on.

Hillary Clinton’s life experiences guarantee that she will not be Israel’s best friend from the State Department. But at least she’ll be in familiar company.