Asked whether Egypt was an ally of the United States, the president wasn’t sure. He might have wanted to figure that one out before forking over $1.5 billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

32 comments

  1. That’s what you get when a community organizer and a so-called constitutional lawyer are running the trainwreck.

    We can’t be rid of this moron soon enough.

  2. after mocking libertarians for playing solitaire in a tweet, I’m curious how you’d navigate the geopolitical chess board? how would you pacify those stone-age heathens in the Middle East to ensure access to resources and containment of Iran/China/Russia?

    from your hyperbole depicting the civil war in Syria as genocide, I’d say you’ve already sipped the kool-aid. should the US lead NATO into another regime change in Syria? that certainly would help clear a corridor for Israel to strike Iran.

    I’ve been considering throwing my vote away on a third party candidate, but after Romney’s despicable statements about the Cairo statement from the US embassy, I think I may hold my nose and go Obama. but a lot could happen between now and November, like an October surprise.

    1. Do you disagree with my assessment that the Mideast is generally filled with a bunch of “bad” guys and “worse” guys behind the levers of power? Or that large swathes of the population adhere to interpretations of Islam that would scare the living daylights out of anyone who believes in basic human rights?

      One way to not have to deal with the Middle East nearly as often would be to actually become energy independent. The United States has more than enough natural resources to make that happen. A sound energy policy, coupled with a proper missile defense shield and stronger ties to allies like Australia, Poland, etc. would solve a lot of our problems. I don’t need to pacify a bunch of nuts in the tribal regions of Pakistan if they’re relegated to killing each other.

      Hyperbole on Syria? What do you think those Russian Hinds are being used for? I’m sure they’ve mowed down plenty of civilians since they were delivered by Vlad.

      I can’t believe you’d actually side with the U.S. Embassy’s weird Tweet (one they deleted, which is telling) that apologized for a stupid YouTube video, as if that was really the cause for a bunch of Islamic jihad-scum to do their thing (e.g., destroy). If the United States went into a hidey-hole tomorrow, what do you think Russia, China and Iran would do, besides throw a big party? The libertarian notion that the world would be a better place if the United States simply disengaged from the world (as if that was even possible) is downright scary.

      When the U.S. sits back and doesn’t get involved, we’re accused of being the “evvvvil” rich country that doesn’t care. When we do seek to get involved, under the precondition that our principles are upheld, we’re told we’re trying to “police” the world. It’s a Catch 22. It’s B.S. But that’s the name of the game, I guess.

    2. yes, I disagree with your Mideast assessment. I reserve “bad” and “worse” for our political class, not an entire geographical region comprised of cultures with deeper histories than toddler America, throwing tantrums when a fraction of the violence our policies perpetrate across the globe come back to hit us.

      what’s happening in Syria is terrible, but it’s not genocide. you think the disparate groups that make up the opposition are not responsible for civilian deaths? and because those groups (which includes al-Qaeda franchise) are being funded and are given tactical support by the US and its proxies, we share responsibility for the increasing crisis in Syria. but hey, that’s geopolitics. people are just pawns.

      if you want to play that level of chess, you can’t get caught up with giving a shit about human life, otherwise those hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis might mean Americans are a barbaric, genocidal people.

    3. Notice I referenced bad and worse guys “behind the levers of power.” However, if you don’t think that large swathes of Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan are filled with populations that would lock the both of us up in a deep, dark room (or worse) for any number of reasons they usually get an infidel for … well, I can’t help you.

      You hit on an important point. Russia, China and Iran are supporting Assad’s regime. Do we just sit it out and do nothing? What’s your answer? And if we sit it out and do nothing, what level of responsibility for civilian deaths do you accept?

      I was perfectly aware that any “game” metaphor could be turned against me, but at the end of the day I still think it’s fairly accurate. We live in an imperfect world, where men will always fight for scare resources with alternative uses. And even if we did have unlimited resources, men are still fallible. They are still capable of hate and jealousy and envy … and so you will always have people in power who treat others as pawns.

      If anyone is acutely aware of being a “pawn” it is me, since I once enlisted as an infantry soldier — the ultimate “pawn”. I willingly made myself cannon fodder for our political leaders, if you want to go the cynical route. So any effort to suggest I don’t care about individuals or the pain inflicted upon them by political leaders doesn’t phase me.

      No country is without its skeletons in the closet. My problem with liberals is that they usually act as if the United States is the only country that has them. We don’t always live up to our highest ideals, but we do a damn good job. We had the bomb when no one else had it. We could have taken it all — and we didn’t. We rebuilt Europe instead. Imagine a world in which Nazi Germany or the architects of the Rape of Nanking had nukes first.

      Obama talked a lot of sh*t about Bush in 2008, and then most of it stopped when he got in office. Want to know why? It’s because he got the intelligence briefings. He knows what’s out there. Nothing like a cold dose of reality to shut up the self-righteous politician who puts himself on a pacifist moral pedestal.

  3. Hat tip to my buddy Travis on this one. Wow. Kirstin Powers. Wasn’t expecting that from her.

    “The outrage that has been expressed over the fact that Mitt Romney put out this statement has even overshadowed any kind of outrage you’d see that an al Qaeda flag has been hoisted over American embassies … the fact that an American ambassador is dead. … It’s absolutely, utterly insane the way they have elevated [Romney’s statement].”

  4. My problem with liberals is that they usually act as if the United States is the only country that has them. We don’t always live up to our highest ideals, but we do a damn good job.

    what do “we” do a damn good job of exactly? torture, wars of occupation based on lies, spying on Americans, destroying civil liberties, enriching the military-industrial complex, arming Islamic extremists, arming death squads in Latin America, creating more terrorists with drone strikes, propagandizing the American public, supporting friendly dictators, engaging in cyber warfare, flushing the constitution?

    and guess who goes along with the above laundry list? both parties.

    1. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution. The Federalist Papers. Some of the most important and beautiful documents ever created by mankind. And yet you spend your time reciting Noam Chomksy.

      Where is the German Noam Chomsky? Where is the Chinese Noam Chomsky? Where is the Iranian Noam Chomsky? Oh. Wait. They don’t exist. But instead of asking those questions you just memorize every real and perceived slight America has ever perpetrated upon the world. Congratulations.

      Ever live in Germany? I have. Their history books go something like this: “There was this guy name Hilter. He wasn’t a very nice person. The end. Moving on to America’s involvement in Vietnam…”

      Indeed. Have a nice weekend.

    2. What do the documents written during the formation of the country have anything to do with the laundry list of offenses the U.S. committed during the subsequent 200+ years? What does Noam Chomsky have to do with anything? Or Germany? What argument are you making? Is he factually incorrect? Do documents crafted by our founding fathers excuse bad behavior by subsequent governments? You’re going to have to make a more cogent argument here, Doug.

    3. Really? Are you going to insult my intelligence with questions like this? I don’t play that game with you, so I’m not sure why you do it with me. It’s quite obvious what I’m saying to anyone who reads the whole exchange.

      When you’re talking with people who feel as though it’s their mission in life to dump on every real (and imagined) “offense” the United States has committed since its inception, it’s nice to zoom out to 30,000 feet. I’d think the United States was a pretty crappy place too if all I did was read Noam Chomsky (i.e., essentially, the reading list my college professors assigned me as an undergrad).

      Do I think The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and The Federalist Papers “excuse bad behavior”? Good God, man … please. No. Of course not. Again, all I’m saying is that it would be nice if, on occasion, I met a hard core liberal who paid a little respect to the country that introduced some of the most important documents ever created, freed millions, etc. If he wants to look at the United States through a puke-stained prism, then I’m just going to present readers with rosy-red. If he wants to give Hugo Chavez talking points, then I’m going to give him Oliver North.

      Question: Should I act like your father and say things like, “You’re going to have to make a more cogent argument here, Brian”? I can if you want me to.

    4. Don’t twist what I wrote. I don’t underestimate there are religious fanatics who would love to submit me against my will to their deity. I believe Muslims they lack the means. Make sense?

      I know a right-leaning guy [ad hominem alert!] like you loves using Sharia as a scare tactic to rouse the base. As if those angry conservative/fundamentalist Muslims are going to enforce it here. Give me a break.

      No effing way. You know it. I know it. France has a rather large Muslim population and the bombings over a comic mocking Mohammed is causing them grief too. Terrorism is a fear tactic used by weak parties to cause behavior change in the stronger party. Don’t change behavior, they lose. It takes resolve. But we have to endure.

      Unfortunately, hate crimes and terrorist acts are an offshoot of religious hatred and intolerance. Kinda like Christians who blow up abortion clinics. They scare me too.

      On a side note, why fix my misspelling of Steyn and not fix my others? Noticed that.

  5. What a bunch of crap. That Lebanese rape report has been debunked. Nobody was raped. The ambassador died of smoke inhalation and good samaritans (in this case Muslims) went in, pulled him out, and drove him to the hospital where other Muslims worked on him for over an hour without knowing who he was.

    Don’t you dare try to label an entire region and religion as barbaric and primitive. Did you see the counter-protests? The images of people in the streets holding pro-US signs? You left that out in your partisan hack job rant about Obama.

    Despite what Obama said, Egypt has been our ally for some time. His gaffe was foolish and everyone, including many members of his own party, corrected him. He made a mistake. Trying to paint his foreign policy in the Middle East as poor is a crock. You’re just regurgitating the party line right now, trying to widen a crack into something it’s not.

    Let’s debunk your bullshit a bit, shall we?

    “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.”

    You know it’s more complicated than that. We wanted Gadaffi out for a long time. Of course we’ll help. Russia and China are on the UN Security Council and will veto any resolution of force. Go it alone? No. Not while China and Russia are strategic partners with Syria. Not going to happen.

    “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.”

    “We” didn’t replace anyone. The people rose up. Like a fledgling democracy usually does.

    “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.”

    That is wrong. Period. One of the reasons I am not an Obama fan. Though I agree with lizard so I too will hold my nose and vote Obama over Romney. I despise that those are my only two choices, but that’s our shitty two-party system for you.

    1. Actually, I will label large swathes of the Middle East as barbaric and primitive, because … they are.

      1. Stoning women? Check.
      2. Executing gay people? Check.
      3. Illegal to be a Christian? Check.
      4. Killing men and women who convert from Islam? Check.
      5. Killing people who “insult” Islam? Check.
      6. Outlawing “kites” under the Taliban? Check.
      7. Female genital mutilation? Check.
      8. Illegal for women to be seen outside the house? Check.
      9. Illegal for women to drive a car? Check.
      10. Using children and disabled people as suicide bombers? Check.

      Shall I go on … and on … and on?

      Yes, I dared.

    2. 11. Pull people they do not know out of burning buildings and transport them to hospitals where other people work on trying to save their lives for an hour?

      I have no illusions that there are belligerent, dangerous, primitive-minded, backwards, militant evil people in the Middle East. But I also have no illusions that we have them here too.

      P.S. More than half your is from Saudi Arabia alone, as were almost all the 9/11 terrorists. And guess who is one of our allies in the Middle East? Guess we don’t mind as long as our SUV starts for work.

    3. I’m no fan of Saudi Arabia.

      Really, you think the United States has a fraction of the nut cases found in, say, Afghanistan? Okay … Do me a favor and read up on Sharia Law.

    4. Our $43 billion Homeland security budget suggests otherwise. That can’t be all for frisking travelers at airports and keeping Mexicans on their side of the border, can it? The list of hate groups and domestic militants is rather long.

      I’ve read about Sharia law, actually. Scary stuff. Slightly more scary that Biblical Law, but I thank my lucky stars that neither are enforced in America.

    5. I cnt figure out whether Steyn is your rock, paper, or scissors? Might as well trot out the Soviet Communist threat again. I worry about the threat of a global caliphate as much as I do the tooth fairy short-changing my neice.

      And before you respond with hyperbole, let’s use logic: add up the military might and GDP’s off all Muslim nations. Lets assume they raise Salahadin from the dead an go on the warpath with their beat up pickups and RPG’s. Now look at out 700 billion+ a year military budget.

      Hahahahahahaha.

    6. Don’t twist what I wrote. I don’t underestimate there are religious fanatics who would love to submit me against my will to their deity. I believe Muslims they lack the means. Make sense?

      I know a right-leaning guy [ad hominem alert!] like you loves using Sharia as a scare tactic to rouse the base. As if those angry conservative/fundamentalist Muslims are going to enforce it here. Give me a break.

      No effing way. You know it. I know it. France has a rather large Muslim population and the bombings over a comic mocking Mohammed is causing them grief too. Terrorism is a fear tactic used by weak parties to cause behavior change in the stronger party. Don’t change behavior, they lose. It takes resolve. But we have to endure.

      Unfortunately, hate crimes and terrorist acts are an offshoot of religious hatred and intolerance. Kinda like Christians who blow up abortion clinics. They scare me too.

      On a side note, why fix my misspelling of Steyn and not fix my others? Noticed that.

    7. Steyn is an intellectual force. I love him. He’s awesomely awesome.

      So let’s compare abortion clinic bombings to deaths caused by intolerant Muslims (often funded by state actors). I’d be happy to have that debate. I almost wish we were running for office against each other.

      My point is that I believe you severely underestimate the threat posed by radical Islam.

      And I really don’t know why you act as if I talk about this to “rouse the base.” Former military guy … sister in the financial district on 9/11 … friend whose head was blown off by a sniper … friends in the intelligence community … talks about radical Islam in a way to manipulate people? Ummm, no.

  6. Speaking of a mess, what do you think about, in the future, Drones being used to replace good conservative front line soldiers that no longer want to fight for America because of the neo-liberal agenda against Ji-hadists and all of our other enemies?

    1. I’ve met a few people who work for “the government” over the years. 😉 I came close, but I failed Phase II Testing for the FBI’s Special Agent position. Don’t ask me what I did wrong. I have no clue. They don’t tell you what they’re looking for on the test and they don’t tell you what you did wrong. They just tell you that you can try again in six months if you’re interested. I started working for Heritage right afterward…so I never went back. Blessing in disguise? I think so.

    2. Interesting. I had no idea that you’d applied for a job at the FBI. Given the state of government today, I don’t think I would want to work for them in any capacity.

    3. Yep. It took them a year to call me back for Phase I testing. I passed that, I passed my “self-eval” on the physical fitness test (had to work on those sprints a bit since I was a bit older), and then a year after that they called me in for Phase II testing. I thought I aced it. It would be cool to find out why I didn’t make the cut. Oh well. If I was working for the FBI this blog would not have happened… I’m glad things turned out the way they did. No regrets on that one. I gave it my best shot and that’s all you can ever do.

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