The Mideast has been a basket case long before President Obama took office. It’s a place where you can still find women being stoned, executions of gay people, and bizarre meltdowns of large swathes of the population over cartoon drawings. It wasn’t too long ago that the Taliban brought women to soccer stadiums and blew off their head with semi-automatic rifles, and on a sunny Spring afternoon you could hear a child say, “It’s such a nice day outside. I’d fly a kite, but it’s against the law.”
Given that, I’m willing to cut any American president a little slack when it comes to dealing with irrational nut jobs with a deep-seated desire to remain in the stone age. However, that is no excuse for having a bad foreign policy, which is the case with Mr. Obama. At best, I consider it “Finger Painting Foreign Policy,” in which he takes a globular mess, rubs his hands in it, makes a bigger mess and then smiles with what he’s accomplished — while the media likens him to Jackson Pollock. An example of his thought processes might go something like this:
“I’ll use military might with this guy over here in Libya on “humanitarian grounds,” but not this guy over here in Syria who commits genocide while the United Nations watches with its thumb up its butt. I’ll support the ouster of this guy whose been our ally in Egypt for decades so we can replace him with … a bunch of guys who maybe, sorta could be good guys or maybe sorta could be really bad guys. I’m going to kill a whole lot of civilians with drones, but tell everyone I’m not killing a whole lot of civilians with drones.”
Don’t believe it? Let’s look at the President’s most recent interview with Telemundo, in which he said: “I don’t think that we would consider [Egypt] an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.” When you elect a Lawyer in Chief or a Professor in Chief, those are the sorts of answers you get. Unfortunately, the United States needs a Commander in Chief, one who knows that defenseless ambassadors in an unstable Islamic country need Marines before they’re apparently raped and murdered — not after. The better answer (from a Democrat’s perspective), would have been to say, “Yes, Egypt is still an ally,” but to then acknowledge that there are elements within the new regime that are trying to undermine that status, and that the United States will do everything within its power to strengthen Egypt’s saner-heads coalition.
What President Obama did when asked to give an answer that was either ‘A’ or ‘B’ was to respond with ‘Z4.’ Those are the mixed signals that Mitt Romney talked about, and the mixed signals that produced one of the most uncomfortable State Department press conferences in a long, long time.
Even NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, has to shake his head and “sit down”:
“Yeah, I almost had to sit down when I heard that. For the last forty years, the United States has had two main allies in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the other ally in the Middle East being Israel. For the President to come out and say, well, he’s not exactly sure if Egypt is an ally any more but it’s not an enemy, that is a significant change in the perspective of Washington toward this country, the biggest country in the Arab world. It makes one wonder, well, was it worth it? Was it worth supporting the Arab Spring, supporting the demonstrations here in Tahrir Square, when now in Tahrir Square there are clashes going on behind me right in front of the US embassy?”
President Obama is in over his head on foreign policy, and the nation is drowning in debt. But hey, he’s promised to add 100,000 teachers in his second term. (I’m not sure if that number includes the Chicago teachers who have been on strike or not.)
Like I said — finger painting.