Jake Sullivan and the Unavoidable Destruction of Western Civilization

Surely US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan must, like Dwight D Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, be hiding a brilliant, cynical calculating genius mind behind that idiot facade? Surely such successive foreign policy catastrophes as the alienation of Saudi Arabia, the humiliating surprise fall of all Afghanistan in a week to the Taliban back in 2021 and now Europe's bloodiest, most fearful war in nearly a century since World War II in Ukraine must be parts of a Greater, Grander Master Plan? Surely it cannot really be that bad?

Or even if Sullivan really is that hapless and that dumb, there must be Sinister Powerful, Mysterious Figures behind his back pulling his strings? Henry Kissinger, still dynamically running the World at Age 100 no doubt, or Hillary Clinton, rising from her years of sodden drunkenness in her cups? Perhaps the preserved mummies of Zbigniew Brzezinski, David Rockefeller and Madeleine Albright have been dusted off and reanimated with new servomotors?

But no. There are no Sinister Masterminds. Or Brilliant Puppet Masters. If there were, things would not be remotely so bad as they are. And, therefore, conditions are guaranteed to get far, far worse.

As Winston Churchill memorably told Britain’s House of Commons on the eve of World War II, no one is in charge of the Clattering Train. Death is in charge of the Clattering Train.

Churchill was condemning Britain’s Neville Chamberlain-Lord Halifax government that was determined to give Adolf Hitler everything he demanded. They were confident the Fuhrer would keep his word and make no more territorial claims in Europe.

The late Lord Robert Boothby said that it took Chamberlain, Halifax and their friends less than a decade to reduce the most powerful, prosperous, widespread empire the world had ever known to the brink of total destruction. It took the Romans two hundred years of highly enjoyable decadence, Boothby continued, to achieve the same result.

Now Sullivan and his colleagues in the Biden administration look certain to exceed even Chamberlain and Halifax’s record.

But how can this be? When one looks at the public figure of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan one sees, a tongue-tied, incoherent nonentity who unnervingly resembles Rowan Atkinson’s famous comic character Mr. Bean.

Yet turn from this unforgettable image to Sullivan’s resume, his CV, and one would surely conclude he has to be a genius! A Pericles or Churchill for sure.

For what do we find? This guy was not just born with a golden spoon in his mouth: All his life and career, he has had a platinum tureen up his anus.

Sullivan was a star student in international studies at Yale University. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to Magdalen College at Oxford University where the legendary Christian writer C S Lewis and Sir Henry Tizard, the great British strategist of science, once ruled the roost. Sullivan was a managing editor of the Oxford International Review. He completed a doctorate back at Yale and was editor of its law journal and daily newspaper. He was even a Coca Cola Scholar debate champion! Who can argue with that?

After all this, the appointments went from strength to strength, He was chief counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar, which may explain why her presidential ambitions proved such a risible joke. He was a senior fellow at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace (which, no doubt, helps explain why so much of the human race is still helplessly at war). In 2016, he was Hillary Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser in her election campaign. He later said he felt major responsibility for her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump. On March 24, 2022, former President Trump sued him along with Mrs. Clinton alleging a conspiracy by her campaign to invent the Russian collusion scandal. Judges dismissed the suit as frivolous. Well, of course they did.

As we look at this remarkable record, certain shapes begin to emerge from the mists, the wind and the darkness, much like the continent of Antarctica beyond the dark horizon did to Captain James Cook a quarter of a millennium ago.

Here is a man associated with failure and political fiasco where-ever he goes. Yet he is never fired, never ridiculed, never sent to the farthest edges of civilized society be it Tierra Del Fuego or Newark where it can be assumed he can only do no more real harm.

Instead, Sullivan rises effortlessly, remorselessly from one disaster and failure to another without breaking stride. He thrives on failure. Only success is an elusive stranger to him.

Surely, then, it must be the man’s pheromones, his charm, his wit or ability to escape a monumental disaster with a witty throwaway line (Churchill was brilliant at that) that is the secret of his survival and even more improbable continued personal success. But no, there is none. Sullivan has all the charisma and attractive wit of a dead sponge. 

However, here at last is the True Secret to the remarkable Rise of Jake Sullivan: The people who raised him up: Yale University, Amy Klobuchar, Secretary of States Hillary Clinton and Antony Blinken, the legal eminent academics, President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden are all as Dumb and Dumber as he is. They, like the eminent “geniuses” who led America needlessly into the quagmires of Vietnam 60 years ago, believe themselves to be – and have conned at least half the country into believing – they are what David Halberstam christened “The Best and Brightest” whereas they were, are and always will be “The Worst and Dimmest.”

And that is why no one holds any of Jake Sullivan’s consistent, unending litany of stupidity, bungles and catastrophic failures against him. Some unanticipated, overlooked freak success would cost him his eminence and his job. However, as long he stays a Loser, as long as he stays Mr. Bean, blissfully fully oblivious to his own ineptitude, he is invincible, unstoppable, untouchable.

Until, of course, the thermonuclear weapons come raining down.

Martin Sieff is a Senior Fellow of the American University in Moscow and former Managing Editor, International Affairs for United Press International. He has received three Pulitzer Prize nominations for International Reporting. He is the author so far of seven published books and has reported from 70 countries and a dozen wars.