Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Final Step In Obama's Carterization

His ignorance and arrogance has lost Egypt to the extremists.
There has been notable fallout — rightly so — over President Obama's gaffe on Egypt not being "an ally" of the United States. Not only was the White House forced to issue a clarification, but no less than Jimmy Carter issued a clarification for Obama as well. The gaffe is no minor sloppy statement that will occupy merely the standard 24-hour news cycle. This is the kind of statement that will make the history books. I say that with both sympathy for Obama's situation and a sense of deeper historical understanding of what's unfolding in the Middle East, dating, ironically, to President Carter.

The gaffe occurred when Obama, reaching out to Hispanic voters in an interview on Telemundo, was asked whether the U.S. and Egypt are allies. Obama responded, "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy."
You'd think a guy who was so smart that he doesn't even need daily national security briefings would know better. 
I asked National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor about the findings, and whether there were any instances where the president attended the intelligence meeting that were not on his public schedule. Vietor did not dispute the numbers, but said the fact that the president, during a time of war, does not attend his daily intelligence meeting on a daily basis is “not particularly interesting or useful.” He says that the president reads his PDB every day, and he disagreed with the suggestion that there is any difference whatsoever between simply reading the briefing book and having an interactive discussion of its contents with top national security and intelligence officials where the president can probe assumptions and ask questions. “I actually don’t agree at all,” Vietor told me in an e-mail, “The president gets the information he needs from the intelligence community each day.” 


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