Filed under: Foreign Policy, Islam, Middle East, Progressivism, The Constitution, United Nations | Tags: A Legacy of Failure, Mistakes and Misjudgments, President Barack Obama
Walter Russell Mead, registered Democrat and excellent essayist, Friday:
We should all be very glad that we have a Democratic president right now; otherwise the news would be terrible. We would be seeing a rash of horrible and depressing stories in the newspapers about strategic failure, with unremitting second guessing and belittling of a president who agonized for months before the surge and then saw his plan fail. We’d be hearing non-stop reports in the media about the incompetent and klutzy leader who torpedoed his own policy by announcing a withdrawal date; the man who tried to please everybody and do everything—and failed at all he tried.
This whole thing is really difficult for Mr. Obama. He had a view of the Middle East that has not, shall we say, turned out well. He believed firmly that his experience of growing up in Indonesia, and his memories of the call to prayer in the morning hours, would be meaningful to Muslims. He believed that the previous administration’s War in Iraq was wrong, largely because anything done by the Bush administration had to be wrong, and if he, as a new president, disavowed everything Bush and apologized for being the American bully that Muslims seemed to think we were; then we would have a new era of peace and goodwill, and he would be celebrated as a hero and a peacemaker.July 2012
Didn’t work out that way.
In a May, 2011 speech at the State Department, Obama took credit for the Islamists’ rise to power as part of his broader Mideast strategy to free them from the “repression” of despots, while ending their “suspicion” and “mistrust” of America resulting from the War on Terror.
“That’s why, two years ago in Cairo, I began our engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect,” Obama announced. IBD listed the steps Obama has taken :
- 2009 — Obama made a pilgrimage to Cairo to deliver an apologetic speech to Muslims, and managed to infuriate the Mubarak regime by inviting the banned Muslim Brotherhood leaders to attend. Obama snubbed Mubarak, who was not present nor mentioned.
- 2009 — Obama blamed Mideast hostility toward Israel and the West on “Colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to Muslims” He also promised to withdraw U.S. troops from Muslim lands and push for the creation of a Palestinian state, saying “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. The Brotherhood applauded wildly.
- 2009 — Obama appoints Rashid Hussain — an Islamist tied to the Brotherhood, as U.S. envoy to the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation which works closely with the brotherhood.
- 2010 — Hussain travels to Egypt to meet with the Grand Mufti of the Brotherhood, followed by Obama who makes another trip to Egypt.
- 2010 — Sec. of State Clinton lifts visa ban on Egyptian-born grandson of Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna. Tariq Ramadan, a suspected terrorist on the U.S. watch list, is warmly received in Washington. (Clinton’s closest adviser Huma Abedin has extensive brotherhood ties in the region.)
- 2011 —White House fails to back Mubarak in a coup organized by the Brotherhood
- 2011 — Obama sends intelligence Czar James Clapper to testify at Capitol Hill. He tells Congress the Brotherhood is a moderate “largely secular” organization.
- 2011 — Clinton sends special coordinator for Middle East transitions William Taylor to Cairo to give Brotherhood leaders special training to prepare for the post-Mubarak elections.
- 2011 — State Department formalizes ties with Egypt’s once-outlawed, terror-tied Brotherhood, allowing diplomats to deal directly with Brotherhood party officials.
- April 2012 —The administration quietly releases $1.5 billion in military aid to the new Egyptian regime and vows to get additional billions from the IMF and World Bank. It also taps Overseas Private Investment Corp, a US agency, to underwrite $2 billion in private investment in Egypt and other Arab Spring states. And it forgave up to $1 billion in Egyptian debt. Aren’t we generous!
- June 2012 — Clinton granted visa to banned Egyptian terrorist who with Brotherhood officials from Egypt met with Obama’s deputy national security adviser to demand the release of the Egyptian Blind Sheik terrorist sentenced to life in prison for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- July 2012 — Obama invites Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi to visit the White House in September. He is expected to demand Obama free the Blind Sheik.
- September 2012 — Mr. Obama plans to address the United Nations next week to apologize to all the Muslims of the World for our First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, even unpleasant speech. He will undoubtedly say that violence is never the answer. Except when it is.
This is potentially the biggest scandal of Obama’s presidency, although he’s garnering quite a few. The Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman, is a convicted terrorist rivaling Osama bin Laden in importance and reverence among al Qaeda followers. Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the Blind Sheik expects the plan is to agree to the terrorist’s release, but not to have it become public — until after the election. So many things are being put off till after the election that one would think that Mr. Obama is trying to put something over on the public.
His craven apologies to Muslims because they riot and storm embassies and kill our Ambassador and each other is beyond shameful. Barack Obama came to office promising to repair relations with the Islamic world. What he could not accomplish with his own presidency, his name, his childhood in Indonesia, he would achieve through “smart diplomacy.” Instead his efforts have been crowned with mistakes, incompetence and failure.
Filed under: Election 2012, Foreign Policy, Islam, Middle East, National Security, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, The United States | Tags: Mistakes and Missteps, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Clinton
How to handle a scandal— or not. The Obama administration was quite desperate to insist that the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi was a violent protest against a YouTube video that spun out of control. If they admitted that it was a planned attack, premeditated, not only on the Consulate but on the supposedly secret safe house in Benghazi, they might have to explain why the Consulate was an unprotected building without any safeguards or fire protection, and why the secret safe house was well known to the attackers, as were the Ambassador’s movements, why there were no security people, and why the Obama administration sent out UN Ambassador Susan Rice to make the rounds of Sunday shows to claim that it was simply a protest against a despicable, disgusting 14 minute video — when they knew better.
President Not-My-Fault claimed that the two ex-SEALS killed in Libya were inept security guards.
According to the Obama administration’s United Nations ambassador, Susan Rice, the two former Navy SEALs who died defending the Benghazi consulate from attack this month, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were State Department employees on the consulate’s security detail when they somehow got overpowered by a mob that was enraged by an anti-Islamic film.
That’s questionable, given that the consulate endured a sustained paramilitary-style attack that left the consulate aflame, killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and diplomat Sean Smith, and ended with a desperate trail of bloody handprints across the consulate walls.
Turns out they weren’t State Department employees, weren’t there to protect the consulate. Nor were they personally responsible for the ambassador’s security, but stepped into the breach when the attacks occurred. As the consulate was under mortar fire from an organized al Qaeda attack, the two men with no preparation and no ground intelligence just stepped forward and died defending the U.S. after the non-U.S. contractors who were paid to do that ran away.
That casts a very unpleasant light on State Department efforts to defend U.S. outposts and personnel from terror attacks, and their careless inadequacy. But remember, ‘the War on Terror is over.’ Obama has already attempted to spin his long-delayed approval of the bin Laden raid, something any president would have signed, into “a gutsy call.” The media said so, over and over. Then, attempting to capitalize on his ‘gutsy call’ — he authorized leaks of the security details of the raid, and even turned over SEAL identities to Hollywood, for his big pre-election movie about “his gutsy call.” He has endangered the lives of SEALS and their families.
And now, the video reprise of the Obama Apology Tour. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, offers a $70,000 ad in an effort to tamp down public rage over the anti-Islam film produced by an American citizen of Coptic Christian Egyptian heritage. The ad repeats grovelling apologies featured at last week’ press conference with the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. condemning the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu. “We absolutely reject its content and message” said Clinton, while excessively saying the U.S. Government had nothing, nothing, to do with it.
President Obama learned about the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi 90 minutes after the attack, and went to bed without learning what happened to the ambassador. On the peak day of the embassy protests, President Obama conducted interviews with entertainment magazines and posed for a photo spread while American embassies burned and 21 countries erupted in anti-American protests. Same day that four flag-draped coffins of those killed in Libya arrived at Andrews Air Force base. The magazine tweeted about the interview, it was not on the president’s public schedule.
Hillary’s claim that “concerned Libyans on scene carried Ambassador Stevens from the consulate to the hospital” no longer sounds — quite accurate.
In the course of events, when dealing with human beings, scandals happen. What matters is how you deal with them. Coverups have a long history of not working. Lies are discovered and make the scandal far worse than it needed to be, and they have been known to bring down governments.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iran, Islam, Middle East, National Security, The United States | Tags: Benghazi Terrorist Attack, President Barack Obama, Radical Islam
Univision is a Spanish language channel. When President Obama was interviewed, campaigning for the Hispanic vote, his interviewers actually asked hard questions — unlike the mainstream media arm of the Obama campaign. The White House has declared the War on Terror over, so it cannot be a terrorist attack. I wonder how his audience reacted to this steaming pile of self-serving blather. Embarrassing.
If you want straight talk, there are few people better to turn to than Ambassador John Bolton.”It is critical to [the Obama administration’s] worldview that the War on Terror is over. There are no more terrorists.
Liz Cheney was interviewed at Newsmax TV:
“You’ve got Islamic extremism on the rise across North Africa. You’ve got al-Qaida resurgent in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula – and you talk to people in the Arab world and they’ll say, ‘America’s made itself irrelevant.’
“President Romney would not have made America irrelevant. He understands how important it is that we lead from a position of strength, which is something that President Obama has not done, has not attempted to do.
The president would like the American people to believe that the killing of Osama bin Laden sort of put an end to the threat that we face and, although we need to give him credit for ordering that operation –any American president would have ordered it – what we’ve seen is al-Qaida that is resurgent.
“When you look at what happens when America retreats, when you look of the pictures of a TV screen – and then you remember that when the president appeared in the Rose Garden 24 hours after our embassy was attacked, our flag was torn down, it was burned, the al-Qaida flag was hung in its place and the president said nothing about it. He didn’t comment at all. And today, you’re seeing the attacks on the embassy in Pakistan.
“This president sent a very clear message to radicals across the region that you can attack an American embassy and you won’t be condemned by Barack Obama.”
You must wonder why a 14 minute YouTube video that few were aware of caused a murderous attack in Benghazi, but Obama’s months of crowing about how he killed bin Laden had no effect at all. Wonder if they’ll still release the movie right before the election? Might seem unwise if the Muslim world is so enraged by a short video.