Egypt and the Obama Doctrine



I was inclined to cut the Obama administration some slack initially in regard to the crisis in Egypt.  It is a tough situation and it was difficult to see anything that the US could or should do.  Mubarak has been a friend to the US during his 30 years in power, faithfully kept the peace with Israel, and worked with our intelligence agencies against Islamic terrorism.  However, there is no doubt that he is a dictator, albeit one of the best of a very bad lot in the Middle East where dictatorship is the norm outside of Israel, Turkey and Iraq, and no American can weep for his fall.  However, what replaces him could be far worse.  A tough situation and not a whole lot the US can do to influence events.  Therefore I was initially sympathetic to Obama’s dilemma.

However, the utter cluelessness of his administration throughout this mess has ended my sympathy.  Endless, feckless posturing, combined with impotence, is not a foreign policy but rather a vaudeville act.  This was on full display yesterday when Leon Panetta, CIA director, stated publicly that he had reports that indicated Mubarak would be stepping down yesterday. This was completely erroneous as events proved, but it made worldwide headlines.  It then turned out that Panetta was not basing his prediction on intelligence gathered by his spooks, but rather on media reports.  I can think of few better illustrations of the level of amateurish bungling that has been the hallmark of the Obama administration in regard to everything they have touched.  The Obama Doctrine consists of the following elements:

1.  Speak loudly and carry no stick.

2.  Watch a lot of tv to find out what is going on in the world.

3.  Make endless statements to the press and, never, ever, have a plan as to what to do if you actually have to back up the statements.

4.  Always remember to never let a crisis go to waste and attempt to get maximum positive press coverage out of it, because that is what all crises are truly about.

5.  Obama needs another Nobel Peace Prize to keep his first one company.

My favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson sums it all up:

All the above said, the actual implementation reflects somebody with the experience of two years in the Senate, who had never navigated outside of academia and Chicago tit-for-tat politics. So Mubarak is/is not a dictator, must leave now/yesterday/sometime soon as he serves as sort of a figurative leader/a critical transition player/a suspicious counter-revolutionary inasmuch as the U.S. must lay down conditions/advise only/respect Egyptian prerogatives, as private conversations with Egyptians are spilled to the press, Obama suggests the Cairo desire for freedom somehow channels his own support, and Biden, Clinton, and Obama contradict one another hourly.


It all reminds me of a tough school as a youth I went to in the proverbial barrio; there was a very nice, quite smart kid who used to lecture everyone about being nice to each other, usually under the watchful eye of playground teachers. Finally, the school’s thugs and punks simply took his lunch money away—every day—teachers or not. They let him talk even more as compensation but he had to borrow his lunch money from us to eat. Quite unfair.

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  1. Panetta’s cluelessness was pathetic. Still bleary and without coffee to clear the cobwebs, I woke up Thursday knowing that Mubarak would effectively tell Obama to butt out. For 30 years, Hosni did our bidding, took our money, enriched himself and was a good boy. Now he is no more the useful idiot.

    Consider: 80 million people and 0.5% gather to demonstrate — a rabble at best — and this is supposed to be the spark of democracy, which has become the running media narrative. Had tens of thousands of protesters, fed up with high taxes and inflation, surrounded the White House and called for Obama to step down, they would have been branded Tea Party radicals and, not leaving and growing more restive, would have been arrested and hauled off to Gitmo for questioning.

    OK, an exaggeration, but the point being that it is palpably true that Presidents, past and presidents, pick and choose which dictators to support or oppose (Allende, Pinochet, Castro, Musharaf, The Shah Ahmedinejad, etc) solely on the basis of “national interest.” So what is the “national interest” in Obama pushing a known ally, Mubarak, out the door, in favor of an unknown person or entity. Such a power vacuum would not only be filled by radicals (Muslim Brotherhood, bent on destroying Israel, our best Mideast ally), or lead to civil war, which could have dire economic consequences if the Suez Canal is shut down. Talk about a world economic collapse!

    As I write this, CNN and all the other networks are broadcasting live shots of mobs chanting anti-Mubarak slogans, sticking microphones in some camel driver’s angry face, eliciting more invective, which purports to reflect the “mood of the people.” Egged on by the likes of Richard Engel of NBC, Ben Wedeman of CNN (both fluent Arabic speakers), ginned up by the anchors back home, hoping for some “action” – some blood would be good for starters but the best would be to see Mubarak dragged from the palace and be strung up like Mussolini. Can you imagine the ratings?

    “We warn viewers about the graphic images they are about to see. If you have children in the room you might want to tell them to leave. We’ll have exclusive new video of the Egyptian President’s gruesome death after this commercial break.”

    Turn off the TV cameras, let the Army restore order and by September Mubarak will be gone. But then that would ruin the show, wouldn’t it?

  2. Panetta should’ve kept his mouth shut. But events have unfolded as the Obama Administration had planned. Mubarak screwed up his announcement, maybe intentionally.

  3. On closer inspection, maybe the angry mob has lots of Steeler fans upset by the no-call on Big Ben’s failed 4th-down pass. : )

  4. None of this makes sense if you think in a rational context. It makes a heck of a lot of sense if you consider that Obama and his minions are revolutionaries and use the power they have to instigate ‘change’. This smells a lot like 1789.

    Should we be surprised? The petrodollar oil regimes, the global financiers, the socialist/Marxists have been in control of the ‘education’ of Western bureaucrats, journalists, academia, think-tanks, private ‘philanthropic’ foundations for over 20 years. The level of indoctrination makes the Western view of Middle-East murky at best. What do the jihadists, autocrats, socialist/Marxists all have in common?

    The fear of American inspired democratic processes toppling the current order. Whether they want a Caliphate, a personal wealth enriching dictatorship, or a Marxist revolution is irrelevant so long as American ideas might gain ground. They intend to take out the common enemy, us, and then battle it out for domination. Unfortunately, we have been infected by a parasite at the highest levels – we have more Marxists and jihadists running things now than at the height of the Communist infiltration during the Cold War.

    American ideals and Marxism and Jihadism are not compatible. One or the other must win. How do you win a fight if you won’t acknowledge that you are actually in a fight?

  5. I dunno. There’ve been some sloppy moments, but I don’t think President Obama has made any bad plays. There weren’t a lot of options.

  6. Announcing that Mubarak is definitely stepping down, right before he says that he isn’t going anywhere, NOT a bad play?!? Please elaborate, this should be interesting.

  7. Did the President himself ever say that, other than in an open-ended way in reference to Mubarak’s statement that he’d step down after future elections? If he did, I missed it.

  8. The chief executive is responsible for the public statements of those he manages and directs. Whether he said it directly or not, he certainly didn’t correct anyone who did say it.

    Voting ‘present’ may work for an Illinois state Senator, but it is not permissible for the chief executive.

  9. Folks,

    Obama is an idiot with an ego just like the rest of the useless Democrats. And nope, I don’t put my faith in the RINOs either. Vote Constitution Party. At least their platform more closely conforms to Christian principles, and even though they can’t win, by voting for them you’re conscience will be clean.

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