In the imaginary world in which our president resides, all that is necessary to transform enemies into friends is understanding and empathy. In 2007 Obama intoned: “The day I am inaugurated Muslim hostility will ease. … If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country and I may be a Christian, but I also understand their point of view… I think the world will have confidence that I am listening to them and that our future and our security is tied up with our ability to work with other countries in the world that will ultimately makes us safer…”
Fast forward to 2012, 39 months into the Obama presidency. On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, rampaging Islamic mobs, chanting “death to America,” attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and murdered the American ambassador and three others. The violence spread to American embassies in Egypt, Indonesia, Yemen and Tunisia and now involves 20 countries with no indication of stopping. They burn the American flag and hoist al-Qaida’s. They stone our embassies and destroy American businesses.
But the official line articulated by White House press secretary Jay Carney, and dutifully echoed by the compliant MSM, is that it is all due to an obscure anti-Muslim video hardly anyone has seen. It has nothing to do with America or this administration’s policies. In fact, even after the events in Benghazi a State Department spokesman refused to attribute the violence to a terrorist attack, possibly planned by al-Qaeda.
It’s part of Obama’s “reaching out to Muslims.” According to a memorandum issued to senior Pentagon staff months ago, the administration “prefers to avoid using the term Long War or Global War on Terror.” The approved language is ”overseas contingency operations.” Similarly, Major Nidal Hassan’s killing rampage at Fort Hood was not a “terrorist attack.” Never mind that he had business cards that said he was a “soldier of Allah,“ or that he was in touch with a known terrorist recruiter. In Obama speak it was just “an act of workplace violence.”
However, neither bureaucratic euphemisms nor understanding “their point of view” can banish reality.
Obama hedged while the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power in Egypt. Then he conferred debt forgiveness on the new government and invited Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammad Mursi to the White House. But most recently he told an interviewer that the U.S. would no longer consider the Egyptian government an ally, “but we don’t consider them an enemy.” The president inadvertently revealed the confusion that guides his Middle East policy.
He refuses to do more than talk about Iran’s nuclear program, while discouraging Israel from taking unilateral action to defend itself from the destruction Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened. Although his justification for intervention in Libya was to prevent “a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world,” he is still dithering as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad slaughters tens of thousands of his own people.
In short, the president’s Middle East policy, if such it can be called, is a disaster for which we are paying in American lives and property.
It took our campaigner-in-chief 16 hours to disavow the statement of apology posted on the US Embassy’s Cairo website which began: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – to those offended by the video,” and continued in that vein.
He was probably too busy preparing for his fund raising trip to Las Vegas.
Does that line about the emperor fiddling while Rome burned come to anyone else’s mind?
Meanwhile, Friday’s report of the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating to AA- has gotten lost in the bad news from the Middle East. It is the second time in American history that America’s credit rating has been cut. Both occurred during Obama’s presidency. The rating firm of Egan-Jones said that “issuing additional currency and depressing interest rates through purchasing mortgage-backed securities will hurt the value of the U.S. dollar and cause a painful increase in commodity prices.”
“In our opinion, QE3 will be detrimental to credit quality for the U.S.,” Egan-Jones said.
Whether Obama’s foreign policy is the result of misguided idealism, incompetence, or something more sinister (this commentator is not going to go there), it should be clear that neither the world nor America is “safer” as a result of his presidency. We are distrusted by our friends and viewed as weak by our enemies. Our risk of terrorist attack is greater as is the possibility of economic collapse. According to CBS News, Barack Obama added $5 trillion to the US national debt in a little over three years. Yet, the economy remains mired in high unemployment and slow growth.
To borrow a phrase from the Obama 2008 campaign: “We are the change we’ve been looking for.”
We had better find it on November 6th.