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Saturday, 12 October 2019
The Marie Yovanovitch Imbroglio
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by Gary Fouse

Marie Yovanovitch is the latest figure to pop up in the Democrats' never-ending quest to remove President Trump from office. Ms Yovanovitch is a career US State Department Foreign Service officer who has served as our ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and most recently, Ukraine. She was appointed to the Kiev post in 2016 by President Obama and recalled by President Trump in May of this year over allegations that she was openly critical of Trump's policies and actions in the Hunter/Joe Biden fiasco. Today, she testified behind closed doors before Congress. Closed testimony or not, her opening statement has already been leaked to the press.

So now comes Ms Yovanovitch claiming that she was canned from her position as ambassador by a vindictive President Trump because she had reportedly criticized him.

So what?

First of all, one needs to understand how ambassadorships work in the first place. An ambassadorship is a prized political plum-at least as far as the more desirable posts of duty are concerned. They routinely go to the well-connected fat cats who contribute to a president's campaign or offer other forms of support. Oft-times they are given to prominent politicians who have decided they want a change of scenery. As stated, the plum jobs in places like Paris or Rome, go to the wealthy or well-connected. For places like Kyrgyzstan, Armenia or Ukraine, they can be doled out to career Foreign Service officers who have worked their way up the ladder.

Regardless of post, it is crucial to remember that the job of an embassy anywhere in the world is to represent the policies of the current administration. If a new administration comes into office, and the current ambassador is of a different party than the incoming president, they can expect to be replaced. Similarly, if an ambassador anywhere is working at cross purposes with the president, they will be gone in no time. In short, it is a political position.

When I was stationed in Bangkok in the 1970s with DEA, the ambassador was Charles Whitehouse. If that name sounds familiar, Ambassador Whitehouse was the father of none other than Sheldon Whitehouse, current Democrat senator from Rhode Island. In the 1980s, when I was stationed in Milan, the ambassador in Rome was Maxwell Rabb, who had been a player in the Eisenhower administration and was a well-connected lawyer. The president at the time was Ronald Reagan.

The bottom line is this: The Democrats  can complain all they want about the circumstances under which Yovanovitch was replaced, but once again, Trump had just as much right to replace her as he had to replace the FBI director. In other words, it's another non-issue.

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Posted on 10/12/2019 4:08 AM by Gary Fouse
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