President Barack Obama and his supporters like to claim he has foreign policy cred because the U.S. Navy happened to kill Osama bin Laden, an old man in his pajamas, on his watch.
The unfolding events in Libya and Egypt — and, indeed, the rest of the Middle East — show how false that claim is.
In both countries, Obama assisted terrorists in overthrowing the legitimate governments. Now, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States, armed mobs in both countries began violently protesting against America and, in Libya, brutally murdered the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
This is what happens when you aid terrorists in overthrowing their governments. They will eventually turn on you.
Logic and common sense dictate that on the anniversary of 9/11, security should be beefed up at the embassies and consulates located in every nation with heavy Islamic influences. That is not a statement against Islam but an acknowledgement that the 9/11 attacks were radical Islam’s greatest moment, at least in their eyes, and that the day might be a reason for more violence against the United States.
That becomes even more logical given that the Obama administration knew 48 hours in advance of the attack and did nothing.
Perhaps that is because Obama largely skips his daily intelligence briefing, known as the Presidential Daily Brief. According to the White House calendar, there is no indication that Obama attended a single Presidential Daily Brief in the week leading up to the 9/11 anniversary. Further, according to a study by the Government Accountability Institute, Obama has only attended 43.8 percent of his Presidential Daily Briefs in the first 1,225 days of his administration. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just more than 38 percent.
How can you have an effective foreign policy if you don’t even care enough to be briefed regularly on the nation’s global security situation?
This is par for the course, though, for this administration. Another GAI analysis of Obama’s calendar found that Obama has spent just 412 hours in economic meetings of any kind throughout his presidency versus the more than 600 hours he’s spent golfing.
Talk about priorities. No wonder the economy is in the tank. And out embassies are under attack.
Then there was the so-called apology. After the protests began in Egypt, purportedly concerning the anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims,” the administration issued a statement essentially apologizing for the film.
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” the statement read in part.
It went on to say that the U.S. “firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
What an embarrassment.
We, as a nation, are supposed to serve as a shining beacon of hope for the world’s oppressed. Free speech is a fundamental human right and the U.S. government should never apologize for a private citizen’s exercise of that right, even if someone finds it offensive.
No one has a right to avoid being offended. If you can’t handle a critical assessment of your religion, then the problem is you and your religion, not the messenger. If you don’t like a particular message, counter it with a message of your own. You don’t kill people. You fight it out in the marketplace of ideas. If you can’t sway people to your side without violence, then you need to re-examine your position.
But what can we expect from Obama, who began his administration with his world apology tour and has literally kowtowed to every Islamic leader in the Middle East contrary to international protocols.
Instead of apologizing, Obama should have lectured the Islamists on the importance and value of free speech, even speech that is offensive and hurts “the religious feelings of Muslims.” Not that it would matter. There is no freedom, especially freedom of speech, in nations run by Islamic, rather than secular, leaders.
Then, after waiting until 11 a.m. to even issue a statement, Obama, jumped on a plane and headed to Las Vegas to campaign. GOP presidential challenger Gov. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, issued a strong statement early and canceled a campaign event. In other words, he acted in a presidential fashion. Yet, the leftist media have hardly mentioned how poorly Obama has handled the situation, instead choosing to criticize Romney for exercising his free speech rights and expressing his opinion.
Meanwhile, we learned that Obama is refusing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be in the United States later this month.
The White House said the president does not have the time. What item on the president’s agenda that week could possibly be more important than talking with the Israeli prime minister against the backdrop of the rising threat on the horizon of a nuclear-armed Iran? While he had no time for Netanyahu, Obama reportedly found time to schedule another appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” during the same time period. That’s a relief.
It is time we stopped meddling in the internal affairs of these countries. It is also time we ended all foreign aid to the region. One-third of all U.S. foreign aid goes to Israel and Egypt. In 2010, the Obama administration gave the Egyptian government $1.3 billion in military aid. Yet, Obama told the Spanish-language network Telemundo that Egypt is not an ally.
So we give billions of dollars in foreign aid to non-allies? Is it appropriate to take money from hardworking Americans and give it to Middle Eastern nations so they can buy weapons? And why are we arming this region while they continue to attack us?
The Obama administration is out of its league in the Middle East. As I watch, I can’t help but recall President Jimmy Carter’s incompetence during the Iranian hostage crisis.
That debacle led to Carter’s defeat at the ballot box. Let’s hope the results are the same this time.