Is Anybody Driving the Bus?
Perspective on the News
Friday, September 14, 2012
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
Recent headlines were all about the fact that President Obama attended Presidential National Security briefings about 43% of the time. Another headline noted that Obama spent 412 hours in meetings about the economy and more than 600 hours on the golf course.
According to a study by the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative watchdog group who drew their data from the White House's own calendar, during Obama's first 1225 days in office, Obama attended his Presidential Direct Brief (PDB) 536 times, or 43.8% of the time.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called that report "hilarious" and issued this carefully-parsed "denial":
"The President of the United States gets the presidential daily briefing every day. He always reads it, every day, because he’s a voracious consumer of all of his briefing material."
Reading the PDB is not the same as attending the PDB. Anymore than reading about golf is the same as playing golf. One cannot ask questions or otherwise dig more deeply with a document. Carney then went on to take a shot at George Bush that he may well live to regret;
“I believe if you compare our foreign policy record with the one … that proceeded this one, we’re comfortable with that comparison. . . . this president is very much steeped in the details of national security issues.”
As Carney was sneering at the Bush administration's foreign policy and bragging about Obama's keen grasp of it, Egyptian rioters were tearing down our flag from our embassy in Cairo and the Libyans were murdering the US Ambassador and his staff in Benghazi.
While Carney was enjoying the "hilarity" of the suggestion that Obama's foreign policy was lacking, the corpse of Ambassador Chris Stevens was paraded before the cameras. According to conflicting reports, Ambassador Stevens was somehow "suffocated" to death.
And while President Obama was steeping In foreign policy, embassy staff in Cairo issued an apology on behalf of the United States, putting out the following statement:
"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. . . We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."
The White House later issued a retraction saying that the State Department's apology for American free speech was not authorized by Washington, but as you can see by following the link, the statement still stands.
So, moving on to the abusers of the "universal right to free speech" that the State Department blames instead of the rioters that attacked our embassies it was over a movie made in the United States by a self-identified Israeli filmmaker, Sam Bacile.
"In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Bacile said that he went into hiding for fear that Islamic radicals would try to hurt him because his video, titled “Innocence of Islam,” showing the Prophet Mohammed as a skirt chaser who favored the sexual exploitation of children. Islam is a cancer. Period,” said Bacile in the call, made, he claimed, from his hiding place. He said he only wanted to send a message. The provocative filmmaker is a 56-year-old real estate man, describing himself as an Israeli Jew. He explained that the film would help Israel by revealing the expansionism of Islam in the world and the danger of it."
The film was then promoted by American Christianity's answer to Jesse Jackson, Pastor Terry Jones.
Terry Jones has discovered that there is fame and fortune to be had by rabble-rousing, like the "Revs" Jackson and Al Sharpton, only Terry Jones targets the Religion of Perpetual Outrage. Terry Jones is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational Charismatic Church with about fifty members.
On March 20, 2011 Jones carried through on a September 11, 2009 pledge to burn a Koran, which sparked rioting among the adherents of the Religion of Peace and Love that resulted in the deaths of at least twelve people, seven of whom were innocent UN workers.
Knowing that his March 20 stunt cost a dozen lives, but seeing that it brought world-wide attention to Terry Jones, he was only too eager to promote a trailer of a film mocking Islam's founder Mohammed.
The 14-minute clip, which Sadek first posted on his Facebook page Sept. 5, attacked basic tenets of Islam and suggested that the religion had spread only because the prophet told those he encountered to "pay extortion or die" if they didn't convert.
"In a video announcing the "trial," Jones, wearing a black shirt with the word "Infidel" printed on it in Arabic, said that he planned to charge the prophet "with being a false prophet, thus leading 1.6 billion people astray."
"The U.S. embassy in Egypt had tried to pre-empt the attack, issuing a statement hours earlier that condemned "the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." Embassy officials also called Nader Bakkar, a spokesman for the conservative Islamist Nour party, in which they apologized for the film and Jones' call, but Bakkar said he was unwilling to call off the protest, and embassy employees were sent home early."
Among the chants outside the American embassy in Cairo as they hauled down Old Glory and replaced it with the black flag of al-Qaeda was this cheery tribute to Obama's foreign policy agenda:
"Take a picture, Obama, we are all Osama."
Part of Obama's brilliant foreign policy strategy is to embrace the Egyptians and Libyans that attacked our embassies, while continuing to distance ourselves from the Israelis. President Obama declined a request from Bibi Netanyahu for a face-to-face meeting when the Israeli Prime Minister travels to the US at the end of the month.
An official in Jerusalem said that the Prime Minister's Office sent the White House a message stating that although Netanyahu will spend only two and a half days on U.S. soil, he is interested in meeting Obama and is willing to travel to the U.S. capital specifically for that purpose. The official added that the White House rejected the request and said that at this time Obama's schedule does not allow for a meeting.
White House National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor told Haaretz the two would not meet due to a scheduling conflict.
"The President arrives in New York for the UN on Monday, September 24th and departs on Tuesday, September 25th. The Prime Minister doesn’t arrive in New York until later in the week. They're simply not in the city at the same time."
So what is the "scheduling conflict" that is so important to the United States that it prevents the President from performing his duties as US head-of-state?
What "schedule" does President Obama -- he who would stack his foreign policy successes against those of George Bush any day of the week -- believe is more important to United States foreign policy than meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel on the eve of war?
The scheduling conflict isn't over Obama's preoccupation with affairs of state. Meeting with Israel's Prime Minister will interfere with Obama's re-election campaign schedule.
Obama's foreign policy triumphs include losing our 33 year old alliance with Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood, losing Libya to the Muslim Brotherhood, losing Iraq to the Iranian mullahs and the impending surrender of Afghanistan over to the Taliban.
The only winner in Obama's foreign policy so far has been Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian mullocracy, who was saved from being overthrown by the "Green Revolution" following a rigged election, when instead of backing the opposition, Obama sent Ahmadinejad a telegram congratulating him on his "re-election."
When it comes to Israel, the Obama administration insists that it has plenty of time in which to prevent Iran from going nuclear. A clearly exasperated Netanyahu exploded in frustration when speaking to reporters about the White House snub.
"The world tells Israel, `Wait. There’s still time,. . . And I say: `Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel. . . If Iran knows that there is no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it’s doing. It’s continuing, without any interference, towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs"
Brilliant foreign policy, if one is looking at it from the perspective of the enemy. Oh, wait! There is no enemy -- the sacking of our embassies was our own fault for provoking the adherents to the religion of peace, tolerance and love.
So let's summarize, shall we? An obscure pastor of a fifty-member church promoted a movie critical of the founder of the Religion of Peace, Tolerance and Love, which resulted in the murder of a US Ambassador, several aides, two US Marines and the destruction of US property at embassies in Benghazi and Cairo.
America's response is to apologize for the "abuse" of the allegedly "universal" right to free speech before walking it back as part of Obama's superior foreign policy acumen.
But Obama can't meet with Netanyahu on the eve of a potential war involving mushroom clouds over the Middle East -- because he has an appearance scheduled with David Letterman.
But once he's put this election behind him . . .
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