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Obama on Egypt: The Clueless Presidency
Commentary Magazine ^ | August 18, 2013 | Jonathan S. Tobin

Posted on 08/18/2013 10:37:52 AM PDT by greyfoxx39

There’s some soul searching going on in the Obama administration as it ponders how they got sidelined in Egypt as the situation there got out of control in a spiral of violence. As the New York Times details in a post-mortem of U.S. policy, the administration went all out to persuade the military that had overthrown the Muslim Brotherhood to compromise and allow the Islamists to rejoin the government. Among other efforts to cajole them or to threaten aid cutoffs, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made 17 often-lengthy phone calls to Egyptian General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi trying to get him to make nice with the Brotherhood. They even sent two Republican senators—John McCain and Lindsey Graham—to continue the pressure in person in Cairo. And they’re baffled as to why they were ignored as Sisi ordered police and troops to clear out the Brotherhood’s armed camps in Cairo this week.

The easy answer to their questions is that unlike Sisi and the military, President Obama and his foreign policy-team continue to fail to understand that the conflict in Egypt is a zero-sum game. The choice there is between the military and the Brotherhood and the transformation of a key Arab country into an Islamist stronghold. This failure to comprehend the nature of the conflict has led inevitably to paralysis. This spectacle of American impotence is worrisome no matter what you think the U.S. should do about Egypt. But it’s not unrelated to the administration’s other foreign-policy failures that are piling up in the Middle East. Having failed to act decisively to try to avoid a far bigger bloodbath in Syria, and content to waste years on futile diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear threat while devoting disproportionate effort on reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks that have little chance to succeed, it’s obvious that Egypt isn’t the only venue where Obama has demonstrated his cluelessness. As Sisi prepares to decide whether to enact a ban on the Brotherhood that might bring the confrontation in Egypt to a head, it’s important to understand that Obama’s failure in Egypt is not unrelated to his problems elsewhere. The common thread is a refusal to abandon its preconceptions and to look at facts rather than fiction inspired by ideology.

In Egypt, Obama’s main problem is his lack of understanding of the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to both the non-Islamist majority in that country as well as to the region. Having bought into the myth that the Brotherhood’s rise in the aftermath of the fall of the Mubarak regime was an expression of democratic sentiment, it refused to see that if it was allowed to take power it would quickly move to destroy any opposition. The U.S. pressured the military to let Mohamed Morsi take office and then continued to urge them to stand aside as he proceeded to demonstrate that the Brotherhood had little interest in democracy. Even as 14 million people took to the streets to demand that Morsi step down, the president continued to preach restraint and then stood by in puzzlement when the military realized that this was probably their last chance to save their country. Even now, the administration seems stuck in the same mythical “Arab Spring” mindset that is predicated on the idea that a totalitarian movement like the Brotherhood is compatible with liberal democracy. Since they don’t understand what led to the events of the last week, how can we expect the Obama team to put forward a coherent position on what happened and what may unfold in the days to come?

This is a familiar pattern.

Obama came into office thinking that he could charm the Iranians into giving up their nuclear ambitions and that American pressure on Israel could magically create peace with the Palestinians. If problems arose elsewhere in the Middle East, he thought they would be easily resolved with bad guys like Bashar Assad conveniently leaving the stage because President Obama said he “must go.” So as we now peruse the Middle East, we see an Iran that thinks it can go on fooling the West with a diplomatic process intended to stall talks until they can build a nuke while the United States invests precious time and energy on muscling Israel into making concessions to a Palestinian Authority that has no interest in ever signing a peace agreement. And Bashar Assad, with the help of his Iranian and Hezbollah allies, remains in power while winning a civil war that Obama could have spiked two years ago with a timely push.

While critics from both the left and right assail Obama’s indecision that–as I noted on Friday–protects neither American interests nor values in Egypt, this is yet another symptom of an administration that remains besotted with the same preconceptions that it brought to Washington in 2009. While he laments his lack of good choices and the fact that America’s ability to influence events is limited, it is the president’s refusal to face facts about the Brotherhood and some of his other blind spots that is most to blame for the fact that he has left American foreign policy hanging in the wind at a decisive moment in history.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: egypt; egyptcoup; iran; israel; lebanon; muslim; obama; obamaegypt; russia; syria; turkey; waronterror
Nothing in this article that hasn't been reported on FR.
1 posted on 08/18/2013 10:37:52 AM PDT by greyfoxx39
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; Kakaze; Tammy8; metmom; Cap Huff; svcw; leapfrog0202; Concho; delacoert; ...

Ping


2 posted on 08/18/2013 10:39:15 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Any organization that finds it necessary repeat over and over that they are "not a cult," is a cult)
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To: greyfoxx39

Pretty much all *I* need to know! He'll do whatever is both Politically Expedient for the 'Rats and keeps him in the good graces of his POS Muslim buds.

How the HELL did We The People Allow this to happen?

3 posted on 08/18/2013 10:43:06 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: greyfoxx39

fiction inspired by ideology.

what has this regime ever represented that WAS NOT “fiction inspired by ideology.”

thats the core and sum total of their unspoken mission statement


4 posted on 08/18/2013 10:43:11 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Typical White Person)
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To: greyfoxx39

Add this to the above and you’ll get the whole picture of ducking, lying and refusing to acknowledge facts that don’t fit the agenda!

The video was clipped from various Egyptian satellite channels. A very short Arabic introduction then the rest of the documentary is in English.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZgEP1NB3pLk#at=37


5 posted on 08/18/2013 10:44:46 AM PDT by melancholy (READ MY LIPS, NO POLITICAL ISLAM, EVER!!)
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To: greyfoxx39

Add this to the above and you’ll get the whole picture of ducking, lying and refusing to acknowledge facts that don’t fit the agenda!

The video was clipped from various Egyptian satellite channels. A very short Arabic introduction then the rest of the documentary is in English.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZgEP1NB3pLk#at=37


6 posted on 08/18/2013 10:45:00 AM PDT by melancholy (READ MY LIPS, NO POLITICAL ISLAM, EVER!!)
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To: greyfoxx39

I do not think obamA is clueless, what is happening is what he wanted to happen, which is why his “outrage”, seems phony


7 posted on 08/18/2013 10:50:11 AM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Looks like many Egyptians have long figured out Obama. While the MSM & democrats still have a slobbering love affair for him. Blinded!


8 posted on 08/18/2013 10:52:45 AM PDT by existentially_kuffer
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
There will not be a political, debated solution to this spiral.

Those responsible depend on the rule of --->LAW<---and it's enforcement to cloak them in safety while they continue to slowly dismantle the very framework and fabric which made this this nation great.

If a boiling point is reached, they are lost, and they understand that. Hence, they have become expert in the art of simmering, the slow theft of society's property, honor, and life, without firing a shot.

9 posted on 08/18/2013 11:03:39 AM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: greyfoxx39

Our dear little community organizer is in way over his head. No matter. Pretend to be a tough hard-line communist dictator. Go on another vacation. Schmooze with the stars. Play a little golf. Eat some more ice cream. Ignore the 3:00 am calls. Ignore the failing economy. Ignore the soaring unemployment. Ignore the growing turmoil in the world. Ignore the congress. Ignore the people. Ignore reality. Pretend everything’s going fine and will work out per plan. Sooner or later even the dems are going to be calling for this jerk’s head to roll.


10 posted on 08/18/2013 11:03:52 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: greyfoxx39
"This spectacle of American impotence is worrisome no matter what you think the U.S. should do about Egypt."

He is not impotent; he is in Martha's Vineyard.

C'mon, people, the guy is on vacation - he really needs a break from his hard presidential work. You don't expect him to work while on vacay, do you?!/s

11 posted on 08/18/2013 11:09:19 AM PDT by hummingbird (THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS by Mark Levin. He's got a great plan!)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I guess the political winds shifted.


12 posted on 08/18/2013 11:11:01 AM PDT by hummingbird (THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS by Mark Levin. He's got a great plan!)
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To: greyfoxx39
There’s some soul searching going on in the Obama administration

Objection, your Honor!! Facts not in evidence.

I submit that neither 0bama nor the creatures that populate the Demonrat Party have souls.

13 posted on 08/18/2013 11:12:44 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (Buck Off, Bronco Bama)
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To: svcw
"I do not think obamA is clueless, what is happening is what he wanted to happen, which is why his “outrage”, seems phony"

Makes sense to me, svcw.

14 posted on 08/18/2013 11:14:09 AM PDT by hummingbird (THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS by Mark Levin. He's got a great plan!)
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To: Jim Robinson
Sooner or later even the dems are going to be calling for this jerk’s head to roll.

Can't happen soon enough!

15 posted on 08/18/2013 11:18:45 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Any organization that finds it necessary repeat over and over that they are "not a cult," is a cult)
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To: hummingbird

“the brothers” (MB’s) who have been placed in every govt agency at every level of national security have the ears (and maybe the hearts and minds) of the potus, cia chief, secdef and secstate

do you wonder **what** is being prayed for in the muslim prayer rooms established in the wh, pentagon, and probably cia and state department? do you wonder what MB radical huma abedin is whispering in hillarys ear and that of all her mega donors as they prepare for 2016?


16 posted on 08/18/2013 11:23:27 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: hummingbird
“the brothers” (MB’s) who have been placed in every govt agency at every level of national security have the ears (and maybe the hearts and minds) of the potus, cia chief, secdef and secstate

do you wonder **what** is being prayed for in the muslim prayer rooms established in the wh, pentagon, and probably cia and state department? do you wonder what MB radical huma abedin is whispering in hillarys ear and that of all her mega donors as they prepare for 2016?

17 posted on 08/18/2013 11:23:47 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: Jim Robinson
Sooner or later even the dems are going to be calling for this jerk’s head to roll.

And the only reason they'll do that is to save their own RAT a$$, ideologically they're on the same page, but he's not doing it slick enough.
He's too lazy and self indulgent to help their cause 100% of the time.

Bill Ayres and his ilk are probably not too happy with their slacker in chief in that respect.

18 posted on 08/18/2013 11:26:41 AM PDT by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ted Cruz......Nuff said.)
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To: greyfoxx39
In Egypt, Obama’s main problem is his lack of understanding of the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to both the non-Islamist majority in that country as well as to the region.

Another moron who doesn't understand the anti-freedom, anti-Western-Civilization, anti-American core at the center of The Won and his puppetteers on the other end of his BlackBerry.

The Won fully understands the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to both the non-Islamist majority in that country as well as to the region; that's why he's trying so hard to get the Egyptian army to let them prosper.

If only our military were so loyal to this country.

19 posted on 08/18/2013 11:32:06 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: greyfoxx39

Losing the undivided approval of Jonathon Tobin is a water shed moment for the Annointed Political Messiah!


20 posted on 08/18/2013 11:35:14 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: greyfoxx39

Losing the undivided approval of Jonathon Tobin is a water shed moment for the Annointed Political Messiah!


21 posted on 08/18/2013 11:35:26 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: greyfoxx39
In Egypt, Obama’s main problem is his lack of understanding of the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to both the non-Islamist majority in that country as well as to the region.

Obama knows...

Having bought into the myth that the Brotherhood’s rise in the aftermath of the fall of the Mubarak regime was an expression of democratic sentiment,

Obama knows it wasn't...

refused to see that if it was allowed to take power it would quickly move to destroy any opposition.

Obama knows...

The U.S. pressured the military to let Mohamed Morsi take office and then continued to urge them to stand aside as he proceeded to demonstrate that the Brotherhood had little interest in democracy.

Guess Obama thought General Sisi is an idiot

Hah...Tobin's a real genius...Not..

That bubble these guy live in most be thick as a brick..

If an average Joe like myself saw all this coming certainly Obama must have...

22 posted on 08/18/2013 11:41:19 AM PDT by Popman
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To: greyfoxx39

All this pike cares about is his own political fortunes. If a million Egyptians slaughtered in the streets helped him move his domestic agenda, he would secretly cheer their death.


23 posted on 08/18/2013 11:42:30 AM PDT by wny
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To: greyfoxx39
" it refused to see that if it was allowed to take power it would quickly move to destroy any opposition."

But this is the Bammy thugocracy strategery. Of course he understood it. It was supposed to happen 'cept the Egyprian peeps objected

24 posted on 08/18/2013 12:12:47 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: greyfoxx39

When your very existence is on the line, idiots who come along to try to persuade you to commit suicide are likely to be ignored.


25 posted on 08/18/2013 12:54:21 PM PDT by expat2
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks greyfoxx39.
26 posted on 08/18/2013 7:00:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

Anyone care to hear my dogs comment on Egypt? Couldn't be much worse than our elected officials, and I will continue to support them.

27 posted on 08/19/2013 5:19:41 PM PDT by SJackson ( The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. BF)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

Anyone care to hear my dogs comment on Egypt? Couldn't be much worse than our elected officials, and I will continue to support them.

28 posted on 08/19/2013 5:20:57 PM PDT by SJackson ( The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. BF)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Blame the LameStreamMedia for the glitzy blitz that shooed him into the White House. All you can do at this point is to tell ALL the media that you are no longer interested in the brand of brain-washing that they offer.

If you don’t tell them, they will continue to spew to leftist agenda.

If all else fails, GIVE UP YOUR TV!!!


29 posted on 08/19/2013 5:44:21 PM PDT by Monkey Face (Washington didn't use his right to free speech to defeat the British. He shot them.)
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To: greyfoxx39

30 posted on 08/19/2013 10:23:42 PM PDT by garjog (This message monitored by the IRS and the NSA to improve customer service. Thank you.)
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To: silverleaf

“the muslim prayer rooms established in the wh,”

Miss that. Do we really have Muslim pray rooms in the White House?

Damn.


31 posted on 08/19/2013 10:27:41 PM PDT by garjog (This message monitored by the IRS and the NSA to improve customer service. Thank you.)
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To: garjog

this was claimed by radical muslims, that prayers were being offered from the WH

and dayum to say, I believe them! there are muslim advisors and plants working there, it is almost certain they have demanded acccomodation for their daily prayers

This nonsense of muslim prayer gatherings in our govt properties started at least as early as Bush43 in the aftermath of 9-11

there is a “prayer room” in the pentagon- of all places


32 posted on 08/20/2013 4:02:59 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: greyfoxx39

Clueless; is hardly the truth of the matter; and pity the NYT’s readers who are it’s ‘Believer Class’.


33 posted on 08/20/2013 6:22:45 PM PDT by cricket
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