Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Advisers: Carson Doesn't Understand Foreign Policy Issues

While many of the white Christofascists of the Republican Party base have surprisingly rallied to Ben Carson (surprising because they loath a black man in the White House in general) thanks to Carson insane religiosity, the GOP debates and the growing complexities of foreign affairs issues are exposing Carson's ignorance, especially in the area of foreign policy.  Even his advisers are admitting that Carson is over his head - I'd say WAY over his head - and the question becomes whether his increasingly obvious unfitness and lack of knowledge will finally end his luster with the portion of the GOP base most out of touch from objective reality.  A piece in the New York Times looks at Carson's adviser's efforts to deal with the man's blatant ignorance.  Note that Carson's only paid foreign policy adviser is out of Liberty University, a continual embarrassment to the Commonwealth of Virginia and gathering place for Christofascist nutcases. Here are article excerpts:

Ben Carson’s remarks on foreign policy have repeatedly raised questions about his grasp of the subject, but never more seriously than in the past week, when he wrongly asserted that China had intervened militarily in Syria and then failed, on national television, to name the countries he would call on to form a coalition to fight the Islamic State.
Faced with increasing scrutiny about whether Mr. Carson, who leads in some Republican presidential polls, was capable of leading American foreign policy, two of his top advisers said in interviews that he had struggled to master the intricacies of the Middle East and national security and that intense tutoring was having little effect.

“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” said Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security. He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so “we can make him smart.”
As the deadly assaults in Paris claimed by the Islamic State reframe the presidential race, the candidates’ foreign policy credentials are suddenly under scrutiny. And Mr. Carson has attracted extra attention because his statements give rise to questions about where, as a retired neurosurgeon without government experience, he turns for information and counsel on complex global issues. 

But the briefings do not always seem to sink in, Mr. Clarridge said. After Mr. Carson struggled on “Fox News Sunday” to say whom he would call first to form a coalition against the Islamic State, Mr. Clarridge called Mr. Williams in frustration. “We need to have a conference call once a week where his guys roll out the subjects they think will be out there, and we can make him smart,” Mr. Clarridge said he told Mr. Williams.

Once written off by political insiders, Mr. Carson has rocketed to the top tier of candidates and has traded off a lead in recent polls with Donald J. Trump.

But the stress of his ascent has revealed an inexperienced political operation and a lack of connections to informed and respected advisers. Whereas Jeb Bush can call on dozens of experts from the foreign policy establishment who once worked for the administrations of his father and brother, Mr. Carson so far has only one paid national security adviser, Robert F. Dees, a retired Army general on the staff of Liberty University in Virginia.

On Facebook, where the campaign connects to its vast grass-roots army, two of his top campaign aides posted a video on Monday highlighting his “Fox News Sunday” interview with no hint of Mr. Carson’s private acknowledgment that he had performed poorly. The Facebook page included what it said was supporting evidence of Mr. Carson’s claim of Chinese involvement in Syria: a satellite image of a purported Chinese-made radar system in Syria, and a Syrian soldier posing on a Chinese-made armored vehicle.

But the effort to claim that Mr. Carson had meant only that there was Chinese-made matériel in Syria, not military personnel, was contradicted by his top Middle East adviser, Mr. Clarridge.

Carson is truly frightening and, in my view, needs a mental health care intervention.  The man is supremely confident that he knows everything and is seemingly unable to recognize his own limitations and shocking ignorance on a host of matters.  We do not need him anywhere near the White House. 

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