Thursday, September 13, 2012

Strong Words

"Certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that (the Egyptian government is) responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected, and if they take actions that they’re not taking those responsibilities, as all countries do where we have embassies, I think that’s going to be a real big problem.”

That quote is described by NBC's Shawana Thomas as "strong words."  Here is her quote:
"Obama’s strong words could mark a dramatic shift in the U.S.’s relationship with Egypt, which has been consistently pro-American since the late president Anwar Sadat. The country has maintained a peace accord with Israel since the 1979 Camp David Accords and since 1982 has received $1.3 billion in military and development aid from the U.S, according to the State Department."

Strong words?  If those are strong words, I'm an Olympic power lifter.  "We're going to expect they're responsive?"  "I think that's going to be a real big problem?"  What?

In this same interview, he said "that while he does not believe Egypt is an ally of the United States, he also doesn't consider the country an enemy."  So, they're not an ally, but they're not an enemy.  So... they're neutral?  Egypt is suddenly the Switzerland of the Middle East?  Give me a break.

In international diplomacy, neutrality is a specific stance which requires certain actions.  Egypt does not hold that stance and does not take those actions.  This means it can only be an ally or an enemy.  Any view of our relationship with them that does not realize that basic fact is naive at best.  I would say, three-and-a-half years into a Presidency, they're criminally negligent. 

Egypt is now run, in fact if not in name, by the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization which believes in the destruction of "The Great Satan."  That would be us, for those not paying attention.  Egypt is a hostile nation.

The thing is, they didn't have to be.  Hosni Mubarack was not a nice man, but he was our ally.  Perhaps just as importantly, events of this week prove that "nice man" is not a qualification for long employment as the leader of a Middle Eastern nation.  Howling savages literally stormed the gates- that suggests the need for a rather firm hand in preventing that kind of violence.

As there are now reports of similar riots/attack in Yemen and other ME nations, it is necessary for a realistic foreign policy.  President Obama has shown that he is unwilling to embrace a world view which would even allow for one.

Probably reeling from the cognitive dissonance, even Barack Obama has been forced to embrace "Peace through Strength" however.  He has ordered the Navy into the area, and sent 50 Marines (50?  What?) to Libya to "secure the embassy."  As Ace says, "I guess to secure the bodies."  This is implicit acknowledgement that nothing preserves the peace like the threat of sufficient violence.

They say it's better to be respected than feared, and that may be true.  But I'll take "feared" over neither, and I personally believe in the addendum, "but it's best to be both."

H/T: @tsrblke


    ‎9/‎13/‎2012 Whatever the outcome, Obama said, the United States “will not waver” in working with the Arab people and their new governments. He emphasized the continuation of an outreach policy that began even before the uprisings that last year drove longtime U.S. allies in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen from power, overthrew Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, spurred protests against entrenched autocrats throughout the region and sparked an ongoing civil war in Syria.