Wow – the messages sent yesterday are head spinning.
There was a pretty clear answer to Israel’s Iran problem yesterday from the White House…..“You are on your own and we don’t want to talk about it”.
It’s no secret the Israelis don’t want to strike Iran either, provided the U.S. is serious about keeping a bomb out of the mullahs’ hands. But Israel’s confidence in Mr. Obama’s seriousness is fading fast. This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg Radio that “we’re not setting deadlines” for Iran to halt its program.
Obama is too busy showing up on Letterman or visiting Ohio to talk to Netanyahu about it. Netanyahu could easily fly to Ohio or stay up as late as the Letterman hour, so I find the scheduling conflicts hard to believe. This leaves me, and Ahmadinejad with the impression that America doesn’t want any part of stopping Iran militarily.
What I think Obama misses here is that it doesn’t matter whether we are literally involved or not, the Middle East will have us involved. From the WSJ:
It’s possible this is how President Obama wants it, in order to leave the job of stopping Iran to Israel while avoiding American entanglements. But it’s hard to imagine an Israeli attack that didn’t ultimately entangle that country’s most important ally.
Which brings us to what’s going on in Egypt and Libya where Ambassador Christopher Stephens was killed yesterday. America is an amazing place with a tremendous amount of freedom. People can insult religion as much as they want and it isn’t illegal and it isn’t the federal government’s fault when it’s done.
Many in the rest of the world live in places where that isn’t the case and they have no concept that the President does not control the film making abilities of a preacher who is antiIslamic.
Our country is embroiled BECAUSE we have freedom and it is that freedom that is protested and rioted against even as Egyptians and Libyans claim their are angry about an insult to Islam. We should not apologize for our freedom 1) because our freedom is what makes us who we are, and great and 2) because we will be entangled anyway as the quote above from the WSJ states with regards to Israel.
Our country was attacked yesterday by angry mobs in Egypt and Libya. In Libya the Prime Minister condemned the attack on Twitter. (on twitter?)
In a message on Twitter, Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur of Libya said on Wednesday that he condemned “the cowardly act of attacking the U.S. consulate and the killing of Mr Stevens and the other diplomats.”
That condemnation is a good sign.
The original apology is not. I can’t keep up with who said what when and what was really meant on twitter (on twitter?) but I would say all this back and forth is not reflecting well on the current administration.
A reminder…..Obama tends to skip his intelligence briefings. Maybe there could be a little more unity of tweets if someone were running things.
UPDATE: Diplomad 2.0 is worth reading everyday. Especially today.
Now to go find my old twitter account. Apparently that’s where most diplomacy is taking place these days.
UPDATE 2: Romney continues to impress.
ROMNEY: I think president Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy. My foreign policy has three fundamental branches. First, confidence in our cause, a recognition that the principles America is based upon is not something we shrink from or apologize for. That we stand for those principles. The second is clarity in our purpose which is when we have a foreign policy objective we describe it openness lee and clearly to the American people, to congress, and to the people of the world. And number three, is resolve in our might. That in those rare circumstances, those rare circumstances where we decide it’s essential for us to apply military might, that we do so with force and with clarity of mission and with the US mission involved and understand when it will be complete, what will be left behind us when that mission has been terminated? These elements I believe are essential to our foreign policy and I haven’t seen them from the president. As I’ve watched over the past three and a half years the president has had some successes, he’s had some failures, it’s a hit-or-miss approach but it has not based upon sound foreign policy.
REPORTER: How specifically governor Romney would a president Romney has handled this situation differently than president Obama? You spoke out before midnight when all the facts weren’t known, how would you have handled this differently than the president did.
ROMNEY: I spoke out when the key fact was known, which was that the embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be a policy for American principles. That was a mistake. I believe when a mistake is made of that significance you speak out.