Last Updated:November 26 @ 07:29 am

Barone: The Consequences of Obama's Bungled Mideast Policy

By Michael Barone

In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered Tuesday. Earlier that day, protesters in Egypt stormed the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag.

It was "the day the roof fell in," proclaimed blogger and historian Walter Russell Mead. Barack Obama's "efforts to reconcile the U.S. and moderate Islamism -- in part by distancing the U.S. from Israel -- have angered Israel without reducing Islamist bitterness against the United States."

In other words, his Middle East policies are in shambles. His assumption that a president "who doesn't look like other presidents" would endear America to Arabs has been proven unfounded.

So have other assumptions. Like the idea that Iran's mullah regime would negotiate with us if we uttered soothing words and turned a cold eye on Iranian dissidents, as Obama did in June 2009.

And the idea that creating distance between the United States and Israel would lead to a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama came to office believing that America had a lot to apologize for. For the "tension" between the U.S. and the Muslim world that "has been fed" by colonialism and the Cold War, as he said in his June 2009 "New Beginning" speech in Cairo.

There, he implicitly contrasted George W. Bush's emphasis on universal human rights by admitting that "America does not presume to know what is best for everyone."

Since the 9/11/12 attacks on America, Muslims have been protesting over much of the world, from Tunisia to Yemen to Bangladesh, and in some cases, have been assaulting our embassies.

The ostensible reason for the protests is a video produced by someone in the United States criticizing the Prophet Muhammad. But that's obviously just a pretext, used by Islamist terrorist organizers to whip up frenzy in nations with large numbers of angry unemployed young men.

Unfortunately, some of our government officials have taken the complaints about the video seriously. Before the attack, the Cairo embassy issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."

When Mitt Romney condemned that statement, he was widely criticized by mainstream media. But his judgment was confirmed when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ordered the statement taken down.

Even so, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the protests were directed at the video rather than the United States -- wishful thinking. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the FBI was sent to Los Angeles to track down the video maker. The Los Angeles Times reported that the State Department asked YouTube whether the offending video violated its terms of service.

As Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers wrote, "Our leaders shouldn't let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the U.S. government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband."

It's also disturbing that Obama, after his brief statement deploring the Benghazi murders (and not mentioning the attack on the Cairo embassy), immediately embarked on a four-hour plane ride to campaign in Las Vegas.

In an interview there with Telemundo, Obama said Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy. Later, the State Department spokesman conceded that Egypt is officially an ally under a 1989 law.

That's an unforced error for an incumbent president, one who has criticized his opponent's lack of foreign policy experience.

But perhaps it's not surprising. American Enterprise Institute's Marc Thiessen revealed last week that Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings. He reads the reports instead. His last in-person briefing before 9/11/12 was on Sept. 5.

It's not clear why security efforts failed in Benghazi and the Libyan government's assurances that it will protect our diplomats in the future seems sincere.

And Obama did find time for a reportedly "tense" phone conversation with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who then made a public statement denouncing the attacks. But on the phone, Morsi reportedly asked Obama to "put an end to such behavior" -- i.e., suppress the video. Did the president explain that we have a First Amendment that prevents government from doing such things?

Under settled principles of international law, attacks on diplomats by, or permitted by, governments can be considered acts of war. The threat of such attacks deserves a more stern response than a campaign trip to Vegas, a misstatement of settled policy and skipped intelligence briefings.


Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.



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  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    September 17, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    The one dirty little secret that should be obvious to ALL Americans by their very Muslim actions that Obama refuses to acknowledge is this;

    Islamists will never allow American Democracy as we know it to flourish or even exist in any country in the long term as it is individual freedom that is their enemy, to be voted out of existence once they become the majority. The co-existence of Islamist Shari’a law and Christian based American Constitutional Democracy is an impossibility. When Islamists come to power it is always Democracy which must submit.

    Turkey is supposed to be the paradigm of coexistence of Islam and Democaracy, yet Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan once let slip that “Democracy was a tram you ride until you arrive at your destination, then you step off.”

    Does this not describe how Obama uses it and US, who he takes for a ride only so far as he can achieve his destination, then like his true Muslim teachings will get off on us?
    Hillary asks “How could this happen in a country we helped Liberate in a city we helped save from destruction”,,,,Are you speaking of our Nation’s capital or Cairo Hillary?

    Hillary, and Barack make the mistake of equating our Christian based Constitution which frees men in free speech and individual liberty, with a Muslim Koran that allows Prophets to marry 9 year old girls, who must silence or behead any form of dissention to their political organization which is disguised as a religion. Those founding American fathers are beginning to look a lot better, even to the lost sheep of the Democrat party who would refute them or put the blessings of their unique American founding ideology of individual freedom on par with the collective oppression of Islam, which by the way translates into SUBMISSION, not peace like Obama would have you believe. You will know them by their fruits, by their deeds, by what they do. Witness Obama’s Arab Spring turned into his pre-election winter of discontent.

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  2. lwessonComment by lwesson
    September 17, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    Romney might be well supported, in saying that if we have embassies in your country, be advised that rioters will be faced with embassy security that will go down fighting in a mountain of brass! If you don’t like it, we are out of there, and the same with any and all financial aid. (We are broke…)

    Our, “Sheriff, Barney Fife” like security, of no cartridges for the gun, shows the bizarrO, LIMP world of Liberal thinking. Time to end that yesterday! Embassy Staff should have access to arms too. We could at least show the bloody savages how to kill, and how to die, saving one round for ourselves, Rudyard Kipling, British style. Just one attack on an embassy of ours, would get the word out that such attacks are stunningly costly, and that we are a fearsome people.

    And that so called film, has it not been out for months? So what that it offends a people constantly offended. And thank you Kirstin Powers for reading GOPUSA, and lifting my comment about the abused wife making excuses for her psychotic husband. Glad that I could help someone who is being paid to comment.

    FOX, hire me.

    Further, the word democracy is maniac hurled about all too loosely.

    ONE: Our Founders were quite clear that the quickest way to end a Representative Republic, to achieve tyranny, was to embrace democracy. Obama, being, gag, “a Constitutional scholar”, must know that to take down, say the stable HEAD poobah of these regions, mainline insert pure, unadulterated democracy, and you will have raving lunatic Muslims running the show, really fast. In this case, Obama, insidious genius! Are you playing that here too?

    SECOND: The Founders, established a Representative Republic because they felt that The People, the situation of a homogenous people, could handled it. Ben Franklin, Hamilton… were dubious of this, even with the multitude of safeguards, checks, balances… .

    THIRD: I have yet to see some kind of strong Constitutional construct, safeguarding the rights of The People, from MOB RULE. Zip. Sooo, as per Syria? If the idiots in Congress, Obama…, have their way, Syria will just be another Al Qaeda enraged with, ah, rage, Muslim region.

    Again, mountains of brass…

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    • cxComment by genesal
      September 17, 2012 @ 10:36 am

      It was another Democrat President Lyndon Bull Johnson who had a similar policy. In Nam we had a mortor/rocket attack. We went to the armory and was given an M14 and (2) two rounds of ammunition. I suppose one round of the two was supposed to be for our own demise?

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      September 17, 2012 @ 10:58 am

      Genesal, hey there.

      I don’t know what the policy is, and for how long it has been. It is just a guess, that it has been “Barney Fifed”, for some time. Certainly in Iran under Carter.

      The State Department, is an old inbred social club, of many curious species of dedicated twits. One genius, told Saddam Hussein, of Iraq, that Iraq’s issues with Kuwait taking Iraqi oil from slant drilling, was not something we would be involved in… . Nice.

      Go back to Korea, and the dumb statement that the Korean peninsula was out of our zone of interest…, that turned out well.

      Getting on the Way Back Machine, you have Reds in the State Dept. that assisted the demise of The Republic of China.

      My guess, this has been a long standing stupid dictat by tyrannically minded bureaucrats, but I think I will look it up.

      Again, mountains of brass…

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  3. billwvComment by billwv
    September 17, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    Since taking office in January 2009 Ozero has been ‘non-stop’ campaigning for the Office of President for 2012 which leads one to believe that all the necessary functions of government have been put on the ‘back burner’ or dispensed with altogether. Ozero has no intentions of trying to ‘solve’ the problems [many of them made by himself] of our country; but only to increase them [whether by active or passive involvement]. The man is a Muslim impostor POTUS and left to his own will destroy this country as he has already so aptly demonstrated. Our course of action is both imperative and plain; we must vote this ‘diplomatic and economic disaster’ out of our White House. Our future, the future of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren depend on us as Americans voting the Impostor-in-chief out in November.

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  4. joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
    September 17, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    Don’t you think you’re asking an awful lot of Obozo to suggest that maybe he should have cancelled a campaign trip? Misstatements and refusing to participate in briefings are understandable but calling off campaigning. Such heresy.

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  5. middlegroundComment by middleground
    September 17, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    If we aren’t willing to have the marine guards act as guards protecting the embassy bring them home and close the embassy. If the embassy is open, it is supposed to be American soil and those guards should have been armed and ready to defend the Embassy with the fastest firing weapons we have and a warning should be posted at the entrance to every America embassy warning rioters to that effect. For example the Egyptian government should be responsible for warning their citizen’s that they may be killed for invading our embassy as it is American soil and will be protected by military force. The same warning should apply to all embassies.

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  6. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    September 17, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    Jimmah Carter had the shah of Iran go into exile so the “peaceful” Ayatollah Khomeini could return from exile and peacefully lead the Iranians. In gratitude of course, the “peaceful” Islamist sacked our embassy, and held our citizens hostage for 444 days, while President Jimmah tried to make nice with them. Of course President Jimmah and the United States were held in contempt, because President Jimmah was perceived (correctly) by the Iranians, and Islamist’s as a wussy, and a weakling. And because of that they thumbed their collective noses at Jimmah and the US. After we elected a strong President, Ronald Reagan, our hostages were released… the very moment he was sworn in!

    And what was learned from this National humiliation? In a word: Nothing!

    When the “Arab Spring” (what a joke that term is) erupted in North Africa; President Jimmah Obama persuaded Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to step down and allow “democratic” elections (another joke in that part of the world) to be held. The result? Mubarak is dying in a prison hospital, the Islamist under the guise of the Muslim Brotherhood, have taken over, the country is in turmoil with rioters calling for the destruction of the US, and attacking our embassy.

    Meanwhile not content with that foreign policy disaster; Jimmah Obama doubles down in Libya. The Results? Qaddafi’s dead, the Islamist are in charge, our embassy attacked, our Ambassador and three other US citizens dead, and rioters are calling for the destruction of the US.

    Again not content to leave well enough alone; Jimmah Obama, doubles down again in Syrian, telling President Assad he must step down. Assad having the benefit of witnessing the demise of Mubarak and Qaddafi, refuses to go quietly into the night and his own death, and attempts to quell the unrest with force. This results in a full blown civil war with tens of thousands dead, and no good end in sight!

    Jimmah Obama is demanding that Iran quit working to produce nuclear weapons. Iran and the rest of the Islamic world, rightly sizing up Jimmah Obama as a wussy, and weakling, are thumbing their collective noses at Jimmah, and the US.

    And now the whole Islamic world is rioting, inflamed, and demanding the destruction of the US over the perceived slight of their “prophet” in some very poorly done film. And the response of our Government, and President Jimmah Obama? Beside’s apologizing to the lunatics, the filmmaker’s being investigated by the Federal, and LA County Governments, and… President Jimmah, and VP (Heaven help us) Joe Biden are denigrating Romney and Ryan’s foreign policy expertise! In a sense, maybe Jimmah and Joe are correct; How many people are capable of setting a large part of the world afire, and calling for, literally, our collective heads? That’s taken some doing, but Jimmah Obama’s managed to pull it off!

    What to do now? How do we put out the fires, now that we’ve gotten rid of the leaders who, while being authoritarian, at least kept the crazies, and fanatics in check, and while not loving us, at least tolerated us, and showed us a measure of respect because of our military strength?

    Short of truly visiting a real version of Hell upon their blighted lands, while turning their deserts into green glass slag, and incinerating the majority of their citizens, perhaps it’s time to try new leadership. A stronger leadership that will regain a measure of respect for us and our Nation again. At this point it sure can’t hurt, the damage’s been done. The fact is that the Islamic fascists will never love us, but as the old Roman quote said “Let them hate as long as they fear”! If we re-elect Jimmah Obama, we’ll never be respected, nor liked. And everyone of us had better be prepared for the storm that will ensue, God help us all!

    I’ve posted this elsewhere on this site.

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Leave a Comment

  • "Made me damn near puke just reading this! Are people REALLY this frigged up?" Comment by taxed2deth
    Posted in Media Bias That Makes You Sick
  • "WE can only hope and pray he eventually gets arrested for treason.. He sure as hell deserves it!" Comment by ltuser
    Posted in Governors: Not in My State!
  • "Too true. Obama has long since stopped giving a flying sphincter what US the citizens think or care about." Comment by ltuser
    Posted in Governors: Not in My State!

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