This week was witness to the sad and disgusting collapse of a Middle East policy that was always more wishful thinking than careful construction. Worse, the Obama Administration tripped over itself trying to explain our strange, fruitless relationship with Egypt. In the midst of one contradictory pronouncement after another, the Administration looks more like the Keystone Kops than a competent government.
Against the backdrop of Muslim mobs storming American embassies and consulates around the Middle East (even in “moderate” Tunesia, where the embassy was torched and the black flag of Al Qaeda raised in place of the Stars and Stripes), President Obama was asked if Egypt was an American ally. His response?
“I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” said the President in an interview with Telemundo.
That’s news to the State Department, who a day later had to correct the President. Contradicting Obama, State Department Spokeswomen, Victoria Nuland maintained that Egypt is, in fact, considered an ally.
In point of fact, Egypt is considered a “major non-NATO ally” (MNNA). Just as Japan, Israel, and South Korea, Egypt has been such an ally since the 1978 Camp David Accords. It is a major recipient of American military and financial aid.
The Administration “party line” was to try and and split hairs, attempting to cover the President’s highly exposed posterior by saying “Ally” was a “term of art“; that because we have no formal NATO-like mutual defense treaty with Egypt we are not, “technically”, in “the strictest sense”, allied.
This, of course, is petty-fogging claptrap.
To her credit, Nuland looked embarrassed and uncomfortable trying to sell this curdled pablum to reporters; who pointed out that if such was the case with Egypt, than it certainly must be the case with other (former?) allies such as Japan and Israel.
To make matters worse for Obama, former President (and long-term friend of Hammas) Jimmy Carter saw fit to correct the President’s contention as well.
Speaking at Drake University in Des Moines Carter: “Egypt is an ally of the US, we know Egypt well.”
Carter should know: In the only effective moment of his entire presidency, he helped engineer the Camp David Accords that made Egypt an American ally!
You know your having a REALLY bad week when Jimmy Carter can factually take you to the woodshed!
After nearly four years on the job, shouldn’t the President know these facts? Maybe if he had played less golf (a record 100 rounds since taking office) and spent more time learning on the job, he would.
The Administration’s confusion over Egypt aside, just how involved this President really is with the handling of his own government was brought into question this week.
It took 12 hours, as mobs raged outside the embassy in Cairo; while our Benghazi Consulate was ransacked and gutted; and while our embassador to Libya was being kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and eventually murdered (along with 3 others of his entourage, including two former Navy SEALS), for Obama to appear and make a comment.
His comment? To condemn Mitt Romney!
Which brings us to the heart of the problem: Obama has no idea how to govern. He only knows how to campaign.
Instead of trying to manage the worst foreign policy week of his Presidency, Obama spent the week rapping with the likes of DJ Pimp with a Limp and attending Las Vegas high-roller fundraisers. He should be minding the store, instead of hanging out with glamour stars like Beyonce and JZ; leave rubbing-elboes with the glam crowd till after you leave office, Mr. President.
His first statement of the crises, however late in coming, should not have been to criticize his challenger.
The real question should be, what now? How do we manage this crises? After greasing the skids to help speed the exit of pro-American dictator Mubarak, and welcoming the anti-western Muslim Brotherhood into power the Obama Administration’s only plan for our deteriorating relationship with Egypt is to throw more money at them and hope for the best!
We already give Egypt $1.5 BILLION in aid; plus preferential treatment when it comes to buy advanced American weaponry (the benefits they get from being (“What, Mr. President??”) an ALLY). Despite the fact that the country is now run by the medieval Muslim Brotherhood (which is now, reportedly, CRUCIFYING regime opponents naked on trees in front of the presidential palace!), we have made no moves to put conditions on American aid. While Republicans in the Senate (namely Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky) have pushed for a halt to such aid; Democrat leader in the House, Nancy “thank god I’m not burdened with brains!” Pelosi, calls for MORE money to be sent to the thugocracy in Cairo.
The liberal approach to foreign policy is the same misguided one they use with child rearing: all reward, no consequences. As with too-coddled children, when you fail to punish bad behavior, you only get more bad behavior. We are seeing the results play out this week in the Middle East.
The Obama policy in the region has been to feed and rear the Islamist lion-cub that will, if given time and opportunity, grow to devour us.
This week, the first to be consumed was the rosy-tinted wishful-thinking that has underpinned the Obama foreign policy. What is left is the smoking ruin of our embassies, and a brutalized and dead embassador.