Barack Obama Is Having a Very Bad Week, and Even WaPo Noticed

Reading Time: 1 Barack Obama

The smartest man in the world can’t make a gaffe, surely. When Barack Obama says something ridiculous, mean-spirited, wrongheaded, or just plain dumb, he means it.

So we know Obama considers the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others mere “bumps in the road” to his re-election. Four bumps, to be precise.

When Obama says Israel is just “one of our strongest allies” in the Middle East, no longer our strongest, he means it.

When Obama refers to Israel’s fear of a nuclear Iran as “noise” that he intends to "block out," he means it.

He meant it when he said he the Constitution is a “fundamentally flawed document,” and he meant it when he said “I actually believe in redistribution” of wealth.

Barack Obama meant it when he returned Winston Churchill’s bust.  He meant it when partied in Vegas as terrorists attacked our consulates in Libya and Egypt.

Barack Obama’s worldview is easy to understand: he wants to reduce America’s prestige and to leave Israel twisting in the wind.

Jennifer Rubin has more at Washington Post.

It’s 1978 All Over Again **UPDATE: Thaddeus McCotter Agrees With Me**

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The news might seem unimportant to us in the USA:

Day after day they marched, tens of thousands strong, defiant chanting demonstrators surging through the streets of Cairo, a capital unaccustomed to the shouts and echoes of dissent. The subject of their protest was the policies of Egypt’s supreme ruler, Hosni Mubarak. Some carried signs demanding his ouster. Others called for a return of long denied civil and political liberties and the enforcement of Islamic laws.

Except I changed a few words.  I replaced “Tehran” with “Cairo”, “Iran” with “Egypt”, and “Mohammed Reza Pahlavi” with “Hosni Mubarak.”  The paragraph above is from Time Magazine’s cover story on turmoil in Tehran from September, 1978. Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916373,00.html#ixzz1CN3AbsVh

The Obama White House response to anti-government turmoil in Egypt today parallels Jimmy Carter’s vacillating and indecisive response to Iran 33 years ago. Carter, who praised the Shah in 1977, seem lost for a response to turmoil in 1978, and joined the world in criticizing the Shah after the fall.

That’s courage.

Here’s how events unfolded as the Shah—a bulwark against both Soviet domination and radical Islam in Southwest Asia—faced exile or death:

Even by late 1978 few people in the Carter administration, including the American embassy staff in Teheran,20 seemed to know much about the leaders or directions of the revolution. Khomeini’s violent ideas and extraordinarily anti-American, anti-Zionist views apparently had not yet registered. U.S. policy appears to have straddled both sides. For example:

—Shortly after the Shah declared martial law, President Carter called him to voice support.

—Yet in October, after weeks of daily reports sent back to Washington on events in Iran, Ambassador William H. Sullivan “could detect neither high-level concern nor any comprehensive attitude toward the events that were in progress.”

—On 4 November 1978, as rioters spread fires across Teheran, destroying banks, theatres, and the British embassy, security advisor Brzezinski called the Shah from the Iranian embassy in Washington to express his assurance that the United States would “back him to the hilt.”

—Concurrently, certain high-level State Department officials evidently had concluded that the Shah was the major problem in Iran and that he had to go regardless of who replaced him.

—Energy Secretary James Schlesinger (a previous Defense Secretary in the Ford administration) argued that the Shah had to be saved, and proposed a U.S. show of force in the Indian Ocean.

—Late in December President Carter seems to have agreed, dispatching the aircraft carrier Constellation to the Indian Ocean. Then, possibly out of concern over risk to the carrier, the President countermanded his own order.21

Thus, as time ran out for the Shah and for Washington, the Carter administration split between supporting the monarch, dumping him, or riding out the storm. Events, not policy, now determined American responses in Southwest Asia.

Last week, White House spokesman Gibbs refused to support Mubarak publically.

Today, a world long caught up in economic turmoil turned its attention to turmoil in Cairo. We should be scared, because the Obama Administration has no plan. The White House, we learned, has not contacted Mubarak since the crisis began.

It’s as if Obama had no idea there was an Egypt.

If Egypt falls to radicals, the Suez Canal will close.  Israel will face extinction. Oil and gasoline prices will soar, possibly to $200 a bbl and $8.00 a gallon, respectively.  The nascent and weak recovery would quickly turn to economic depression.

**UPDATATE** US Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (one of my favorites) issued a statement tonight to that begins brilliantly:

The Egyptian demonstrations are not the equivalent of Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution.  The Egyptian demonstrations are the reprise of Iran’s 1979 radical revolution.  Thus, America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrannical government capable of harm.

Yeah, yeah, you bleeding hearts will criticize Mubarak.  But if Mubarak falls, you will see horrors that have been hitherto unimaginable.

And still this idiot in the White House is incapable of formulating a policy.  As was said of Carter’s dealings with Iran in 1978, events, not policy, will determine American response to what happens in Egypt.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

***UPDATE II*** Michelle Malkin has another angle: the people must be heard. True, but these protests seem eerily like Tehran 1978.  Don’t assume this will end well–for the oppresses liberals in Egypt or for the world.

Go Israel

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No, I’m not a war monger. But peace is not the absence of war. It’s the presence of peace.

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If you live in Israel, you are not at peace. You are at war. War against a massive body of people who want to destroy you before they move on to destroy Christendom. If Christendom doesn’t destroy itself first.

So let’s all thank Israel for standing tall on the front lines of this epic battle between good and evil.  And thanks to Saudi Arabia for seeing the light.

And let’s stop pretending that it’s anything less than that.

Obama’s Incompetence Leaves Americans At Risk

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It took almost three years of Jimmy Carter’s dangerously naive worldview before the world rushed in. By “rushed in,” I mean the Soviet Union rushed into Afghanistan, Iranian radicals rushed into the US Embassy in Tehran, and Cuban-backed communists rushed into every Central and South American country they could.

These aggressions resulted from a world perception that Jimmy Carter was unwilling to use America’s arsenal for good. Additionally, following Vietnam and observing American culture, the world surmised that:

a.  the US government could not be trusted to live up to defense commitments, and

b.  the American people had gone weak.

In 1980, the USA showed spine by electing Ronald Reagan and a Republican Senate. Reagan reversed Carter’s internationalist and conciliatory approach to the world, establishing America as the world’s law and order. That assertion ultimately ended the Cold War by ending the Soviet Union.

In 1991, the United States asserted its ability to turn back aggression by lesser powers when it drove Iraq out of Kuwait in a week. President Bush made the terrible mistake of backing down instead of wiping out Saddam, but the mission was otherwise successful.

For the remainder of the 1990s, Americans were too pre-occupied with making more (paper) profits and buying larger houses. We thought that the world would run itself.  When terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, the USS Cole, and US Embassies in Africa, we yawned.

Our ambivalence toward Islamic terrorism during this period emboldened al Qaeda to up the ante by using civilian airliners as weapons on September 11, 2001. The subsequent war on terror, though, exposed many American tendencies that earlier gave rise to the problems seen in the 1970s. We became tired of the war and of sacrifice. Many Americans—including many who began as full-throated champions of war in 2003—turned against it.  Barack Obama’s entire foreign policy platform of 2008 came down to three planks: 1) get out of Iraq, 2) finish up Afghanistan, and 3) close Gitmo.

Once in office, Obama tried to implement those policies. But reality made his task difficult.  His promise to close the terrorist detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has yet to be realized. His promise to be out of Iraq in 16 months may still be viable, but he hasn’t told us when those 16 months start.  In Afghanistan, he took almost a year to make what should have been a 5-minute decision.

But our President has kept his promise to submit to the will of almost every foreign leader.  He has bowed to kings and sheiks.  One imagines he would kiss Kim Jong Il’s ring were the two ever in the same room.  Barack Obama seems to enjoy shrinking before foreign leaders.

Obama has diminished American prestige, influence, and security.

Walter Russell Mead, writing in Foreign Policy earlier this year, asked a series of questions about the results of Obama’s policies:

It is not only Americans who will challenge the new American foreign policy. Will Russia and Iran respond to Obama’s conciliatory approach with reciprocal concessions — or, emboldened by what they interpret as American weakness and faltering willpower, will they keep pushing forward? Will the president’s outreach to the moderate majority of Muslims around the world open an era of better understanding, or will the violent minority launch new attacks that undercut the president’s standing at home? Will the president’s inability to deliver all the Israeli concessions Arabs would like erode his credibility and contribute to even deeper levels of cynicism and alienation across the Middle East? Can the president execute an orderly reduction in the U.S. military stake in Iraq and Afghanistan without having hostile forces fill the power vacuum? Will Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez be so impressed with American restraint under Obama that he moderates his own course and ceases to make anti Yanquismo a pillar of his domestic and international policy? Will other countries heed the president’s call to assume more international responsibility as the United States reduces its commitments — or will they fail to fulfill their obligations as stakeholders in the international system?

While only time will tell, indicators are starting to point to a Carteresque end to the Obama era.

Mead points out that Obama continued to bow to Iran even as Iran’s regime tortured and raped protesters who asked only for American-style liberty. Obama has tried, repeatedly, to close Gitmo, but he has no answer to the question, “then what?”

In fact, that question seems to be the one he can never answer.  Both his domestic and foreign policy lack a conclusion—at least one he’s willing to make public.  His Katrina-like response to the Gulf oil spill, his vascilation over the surge in Afghanistan, his love-hate relationships with North Korea and Iran, his odd behavior toward Israel, and even his war against state governments all point to a man who never knew why he wanted to be president.

The bad news for Obama is that, while people sometimes underestimate strengths, they never miss spotting American weakness. Three events demonstrate that the world perceives Obama—and, thus, the United States—as weak and devoid of a strategy.

North Korea

Kim Jong Il apparently ordered the North Korean Navy to open fire upon a South Korean warship. The theory goes that Kim needed to show some manliness to ensure his son gets the throne when the elder dies.

North Korea would not have committed an overt act of war against South Korea unless Kim Jong Il was 99 percent certain that Obama would constrain South Korea from retaliation.

Kim was right.

The US took weeks to make a statement. When the US government released its assessment, it do so through the Department of Defense, not State.  And our retaliation?  Joint naval exercise with South Korea—as if we don’t do that every summer, anyway.

North Korea now knows two things about Obama: 1) his response to provocation will be late, and 2) his response will be weak.

China has taken note, refusing to condemn North Korea. There reports that China will use its veto in the UN General Assembly to block any action against their fellow communists.

Iran

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has played Obama the way Zamfir plays the pan-flute.  After Obama famously announced he would happily sit down with Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions to talk like civilized men, Ahmadinejad ordered the rape and torture of political enemies, reiterated his intention to nuke Israel, double his country’s illegal uranium enrichment program, and cut the tags off of hundreds of mattresses.

Afghanistan

It now appears that the Taliban or al Qaeda has upped the ante to WMDs against US forces in Afghanistan. Gateway Pundit reports that four or five American soldiers are being treated for respiratory illnesses brought on by chemical warfare agents. Earlier this month, the Department of Defense released a report detailing use of white phosphorous by Taliban fighters.

The Risk to America

The Obama administration is unraveling faster than anyone could have expected, and in ways that place the United States and the world in a dangerous position.

The world economy is on the brink of total collapse after two years of a miserable economy. Massive government debt has replaced massive private debt and threatens to explode all over the globe.

With a weak and indecisive American president who seems willing to let dictators run roughshod over the planet, the world will begin to look elsewhere for the safety and protection of strength and leadership.

But more important than American prestige, is the safety of American people. Barack Obama’s international apology tours have sent a signal that his country is fair game.  By siding with illegal invaders over the state of Arizona, Obama has signaled that border defense is no longer Washington’s responsiblity.  By kowtowing to brutal dictators, Obama has signaled an end to linkage between foreign policy of the US and internal policies of other nations.

Like it or not, we are stuck with Barack Obama until January 20, 2013.  While we take satisfaction in defeating his domestic agenda of collectivizing the US economy and controlling the American people, we do not celebrate his collapse on the world stage.  Obama’s inarticulate foreign policy, his absent strategy, and his bewildering apologies for American exceptionalism leave us all in a dangerous place.

It is up to us, the people, now, to assert America’s place in the world.  We can to that best by insisting that Barack Obama set his socialistic domestic agenda aside and deal with the world that is about to crash his little, selfish party.