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Thursday, September 13, 2012

First International Crisis And Obama Shows His Inexperience: Egypt Not Our Ally

By Susan Duclos

There are things a person knows but when on an international stage, doesn't dare say. At least someone that has any type of experience knows when to talk, what to say and what to absolutely not say publicly in the midst of a crisis.

Barack Obama fails on all fronts:

Via ABC News:

Asked if he considered the current Egyptian government an ally of the United States, President Obama Wednesday balked.

“You know, I don’t think that we would consider them an ally but we don’t consider them an enemy,” he said in an interview with Telemundo. “They are a new government trying to find its way, they were democratically elected. I think we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident, to see how they respond to maintaining the peace treaty with Israel.”

As The Cable’s Josh Rogin points out, in 1989 Egypt was designated by Congress to be a Major Non-NATO Ally along with Australia, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.)

Today the U.S. State department, somewhat awkwardly, re-affirmed that Egypt is an ally.
Asked about the president’s comment, White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said: “‘Ally’ is a legal term of art. We don’t have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the President has said, Egypt is long-standing and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt’s transition to democracy and working with the new government.”

In the midst of a major international crisis, where U.S. embassies across the world are being attacked and Americans are being slaughtered, the last thing the American government needs is to walk back the commander-in-chief's ill chosen public comments.


Speaking of work in progress, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeted the Muslim Brotherhood twitter feed, alerting the Egyptians that the U.S. was aware that the expressions the Egyptian political party was making in support of the U.S. and against violence were not being matched by the Muslim Brotherhood’s twitter feed in Arabic, which was focused on decrying the anti-Muslim “film” that many in the Arab world are using to whip up anti-U.S. sentiment.

Tweeted @USEmbassyCairo: “have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too.”

What you know and what you say are sometimes different things when trying to diffuse an explosion of violence and conducting a public argument against a country who is supposedly an ally, after Obama stated publicly they weren't an ally just to have his officials walk back the statement, is amateurish at best. Completely incompetent at worst.