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The Consequences of Obama's Bungled Mideast Policy ^ | September 17, 2012 | Michael Barone

Posted on 09/17/2012 1:17:38 AM PDT by Kaslin

In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered Tuesday. Earlier that day, protesters in Egypt stormed the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag.

It was "the day the roof fell in," proclaimed blogger and historian Walter Russell Mead. Barack Obama's "efforts to reconcile the U.S. and moderate Islamism -- in part by distancing the U.S. from Israel -- have angered Israel without reducing Islamist bitterness against the United States."

In other words, his Middle East policies are in shambles. His assumption that a president "who doesn't look like other presidents" would endear America to Arabs has been proven unfounded.

So have other assumptions. Like the idea that Iran's mullah regime would negotiate with us if we uttered soothing words and turned a cold eye on Iranian dissidents, as Obama did in June 2009.

And the idea that creating distance between the United States and Israel would lead to a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama came to office believing that America had a lot to apologize for. For the "tension" between the U.S. and the Muslim world that "has been fed" by colonialism and the Cold War, as he said in his June 2009 "New Beginning" speech in Cairo.

There, he implicitly contrasted George W. Bush's emphasis on universal human rights by admitting that "America does not presume to know what is best for everyone."

Since the 9/11/12 attacks on America, Muslims have been protesting over much of the world, from Tunisia to Yemen to Bangladesh, and in some cases, have been assaulting our embassies.

The ostensible reason for the protests is a video produced by someone in the United States criticizing the Prophet Muhammad. But that's obviously just a pretext, used by Islamist terrorist organizers to whip up frenzy in nations with large numbers of angry unemployed young men.

Unfortunately, some of our government officials have taken the complaints about the video seriously. Before the attack, the Cairo embassy issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."

When Mitt Romney condemned that statement, he was widely criticized by mainstream media. But his judgment was confirmed when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ordered the statement taken down.

Even so, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the protests were directed at the video rather than the United States -- wishful thinking. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the FBI was sent to Los Angeles to track down the video maker. The Los Angeles Times reported that the State Department asked YouTube whether the offending video violated its terms of service.

As Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers wrote, "Our leaders shouldn't let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the U.S. government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband."

It's also disturbing that Obama, after his brief statement deploring the Benghazi murders (and not mentioning the attack on the Cairo embassy), immediately embarked on a four-hour plane ride to campaign in Las Vegas.

In an interview there with Telemundo, Obama said Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy. Later, the State Department spokesman conceded that Egypt is officially an ally under a 1989 law.

That's an unforced error for an incumbent president, one who has criticized his opponent's lack of foreign policy experience.

But perhaps it's not surprising. American Enterprise Institute's Marc Thiessen revealed last week that Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings. He reads the reports instead. His last in-person briefing before 9/11/12 was on Sept. 5.

It's not clear why security efforts failed in Benghazi and the Libyan government's assurances that it will protect our diplomats in the future seems sincere.

And Obama did find time for a reportedly "tense" phone conversation with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who then made a public statement denouncing the attacks. But on the phone, Morsi reportedly asked Obama to "put an end to such behavior" -- i.e., suppress the video. Did the president explain that we have a First Amendment that prevents government from doing such things?

Under settled principles of international law, attacks on diplomats by, or permitted by, governments can be considered acts of war. The threat of such attacks deserves a more stern response than a campaign trip to Vegas, a misstatement of settled policy and skipped intelligence briefings.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: barackobama; egypt; foreignpolicy; intelligence; jaycarney; middleeast; mohamedmorsi; muslims

1 posted on 09/17/2012 1:17:42 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

As much as Obama’s policy is idiotic, so was Bush’s.

There is absolutely zero point in trying to “nation build” in the middle east. The people are beyond stupid - they’re medieval. They have a fondness for modern electronics and appliances, but their thinking is trapped in the era of, oh, the 1500’s by the western calendar.

These people are never going to read John Locke, or Hume, or Smith or any of that stuff. They’re going to memorize the Qu’ran, the Hadith and so on, and they’re going to bang their heads on the ground five times a day. Anyone who questions that way of life is a kafir, an infidel, and is to be slaughtered.

The problem with the middle east is Muslims. The solution is to kill them. The sooner we realize that and quit trying to befriend them, the sooner we’ll start making progress.

Sadly, the GOP is infested with Bushites, who believe this “Islam is a religion of peace” pablum. It isn’t. The historical evidence proving that it isn’t is abundant, even in the Arabs’ own writings. Islam is a doctrine of bloody conquest and submission, and the Ivy League educated politicrats in DC just don’t want to admit that the Orientalist nonsense they’ve been taught it utter twaddle.

What people should do is read Ibn Khaldun’s works and notice how little has changed in the hundreds of years since he wrote them.

2 posted on 09/17/2012 1:26:40 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave

Attempting to appease moslems will not work.

3 posted on 09/17/2012 1:28:20 AM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
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To: Kaslin

His domestic policies are a disaster. His foreign policy is a disaster. What can we conclude from his disastrous term of office? Let’s re-elect Obama say Democrats because he’s a nice guy. He means well. Well, those sure are convincing arguments. (snicker)

4 posted on 09/17/2012 3:02:52 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Kaslin

Obama has not “bungled” things in the Mid East; what’s happening is exactly what he planned.

5 posted on 09/17/2012 3:30:53 AM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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To: Kaslin

The ME riots need perspective. The Arab Spring was just the beginning of political turmoil in multiple nations; however, the number of uprisings and the size of the area involved - needs to be compared to the 1992 Los Angeles riots and number of murders (53).

Containing the protesters/rioters should be easily managable by police and military personnel in those nations affected.

Repairing the US image and restoring respect in the ME is another issue.

6 posted on 09/17/2012 4:05:43 AM PDT by sodpoodle
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To: Kaslin
Sodomite Ambassador Stevens was a prime backer and facilitator of the overthrow of the stable Gaddaffi regime. His rabid pit bull turned on him and in the end, he got it in the end.

How's that Arab spring thing workin' out for ya?

7 posted on 09/17/2012 4:13:00 AM PDT by Mormon Cricket
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To: Kaslin

Appeasement is taken by Islam as a sign of Weakness.

They are right.

Obama is weak.He is determined to make our country weak.

Our weakness will cause our destruction.

8 posted on 09/17/2012 4:52:23 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: MayflowerMadam
9 posted on 09/17/2012 4:56:11 AM PDT by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: Kaslin

People are angry about the murder of our ambassador. Many at work who are normally apolitical are speaking up about what they’d like to see happen. They want action, not words, and this is not redounding to Obama’s benefit.

Every day that goes by without some punitive or retaliatory action, Obama’s brand is damaged. “Cut off the money” seems to be first choice. People are just beginning to feel helpless, which means the anger will be redirected toward Obama.

10 posted on 09/17/2012 5:05:42 AM PDT by wayoverontheright
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To: NVDave

Spot on post, NVDave. There is NO point in trying to build ANYTHING in the M/E. The unwashed, uncivilized vermin there destroy everything like a wave of locusts.

Trying to befriend them? LOL -what a joke. They hate us, and will always hate us. Well I am fine with that because they offer NOTHING to benefit our way of life. We have enough friends. Stop wasting OUR money on aid to these savages, and rebuild our military so we can respond swiftly and decisively when they act up.

Check back in 20,000 years and they will be EXACTLY as they are today: primitive, angry, ignorant, hateful, cowardly, oppressive of their women, toiling in the damn sand and contributing nothing to the world but violence.

11 posted on 09/17/2012 5:21:12 AM PDT by Mich Patriot (One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it. Ronald Reagan)
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To: wayoverontheright
Many at work are ANGRY""""

I sure hope you are doing your part to keep them that way! I am not being sarcastic, put more fuel on their fire every chance you get.

Maybe some "devils advocate" type suggestions would also work in the right moment.

12 posted on 09/17/2012 7:00:18 AM PDT by annieokie (O)
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To: Kaslin
If our State Department really felt compelled to apologize to the world community for every stupid and/or offensive remark or media from an American, regardless how obscure, then they'd be doing nothing but making apologies.
That simple undeniable fact alone should make a rational State Department take a different tack. (Ergo, we do not have a rational State Dept.)
13 posted on 09/17/2012 7:51:38 AM PDT by Nevermore (...just a typical cracker, clinging to my Constitutional rights...)
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