Does President Obama really want to persuade voters that a trashy, amateur video obliterated his Mid-East policy?
In defiance of common sense the Obama Administration continues to insist that attacks on at least five US embassies on the anniversary of 9-11, including the brutal murder of the US Ambassador to Libya, his two-man security detail and one of his aids, were spontaneous expressions of indignation by Muslim believers who were offended by a YouTube video. On Friday Press Secretary Carny regaled reporters and TV audiences with this absurd claim:
We also need to understand that this is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be be reprehensible and disgusting.
“Obviously?” How is it obvious that the attacks weren’t a response to Administration policy? Perhaps they weren’t but so far the administration hasn’t presented a persuasive case to that effect. They have simply passed the buck to an obscure video producer in Los Angeles.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice picked up on Sunday where Press Secretary Jay Carney left off on Friday. She appeared on several interview programs with the same message. This excerpt is from Meet the Press:
…let’s remember what has transpired over the last several days. This is a response to a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Obviously, our view is that there is absolutely no excuse for violence and that– what has happened is condemnable, but this is a– a spontaneous reaction to a video
Some inconvenient facts are
- The men who attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya and murdered the Ambassador apparently knew in advance that he would be there instead of his usual, more protected post at the American Embassy in the Libyan Capital of Tripoli;
- The Ambassador was taken to a “secret” safe house but the attackers knew where it was;
- The Benghazi “demonstrators” showed up with military weapons including RPGs.
- Libyan officials say the event in Benghazi was a premeditated, terrorist operation. One Libyan official says there was no “demonstration” at all – only an attack.
Yet the Obama Administration, in a desperate effort to deflect criticism of it’s foreign policy continues to blame it all on an obscure video that defamed the Prophet Mohammed.
The question the media should be asking (would be asking a Republican) is how can a foreign policy be a success if it’s so vulnerable it can’t survive one American’s freedom of speech? Does Obama really want voters to believe one trashy video can undo four years of effort to implement his Mid-East policy?
One of President Obama’s largest contributors, Bill Maher, produced “Religuous” a movie that contemptuously mocks several religions with Islam receiving a full share of opprobrium. It even includes a look at what Maher called a Muslim gay bar in Amsterdam.
Administration officials from Mr. Carney to Ms. Rice, to Secretary of State Clinton spent last week embarrassing Americans by pleading with the Muslim world to understand that the government had “absolutely nothing to do with this despicable” YouTube video. How will they distance themselves when the rioters inevitably discover the repugnant movie produced by the President’s friend and contributor Bill Maher?
Foreign relations is a difficult, ambiguous business. Because it can never prevent every attack on America it’s always open to criticism in hindsight. Obama policy certainly isn’t to blame for everything that goes wrong in the Middle East. But he campaigned for his office on the notion that he had a special ability to “reset” and improve relationships, especially with the Muslim world that, he claimed, President Bush had clumsily alienated with cowboy talk and military operations. In 2008 he reminded us of his experiences relating personally to Muslims and concluded, simplistically:
I think the world will have confidence that I am listening to them and that will ultimately make us safer and that is something [the Bush Administration] doesn’t understand.
But blame-the-video “resets” Obama’s facade. It marks the end of his assurance that he is the special, unique savior who will pacify the Muslim world. Blame-the-video asks the voters to believe that a successful foreign policy depends not on the President’s skills, but on all of us to make sure none of our fellow citizens does anything to ruffle the delicate sensibilities of the Arab street.