President Obama’s Middle East foreign policy (what ever that actually is) is imploding today as violent anti-American protests are now occurring in 21 countries in the Middle East, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
So what does the administration say? White House spokesman Jay Carney said this with a straight face today:
“This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video–a film–that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States, writ large, or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive and–to Muslims.”
Carney repeated this variations of this theme at least 10 more times through the press conference. See Jake Tapper’s extended question for a taste of how many times Carney keeps coming back to the video.
As Commentary notes:
Even if the video fueled the protests, how did a low-budget Youtube film that nobody had heard of before last week get dubbed into Arabic and distributed around Muslim countries? The answer is fanatical Islamist leaders who used the film to incite outrage on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
And if you believe the video was the sole drive behind the protests, then why were U.S. flags replaced with the flags of al-Qaeda? Why were terrorists groups reportedly involved in organizing the protests weeks in advance — before the film even came to light?
The Obama administration does not want to talk about terrorism, because it wants to pretend it defeated terrorism by killing Osama bin Laden. They don’t want to mention al-Qaeda, unless of course it’s in the context of a drone our military dropped on one of its leaders. But as the embassy attacks illustrate, the Islamic terror threat has not disappeared. It hasn’t been vanquished by the lofty speeches of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, or eradicated by his policy of covert assassinations. The fact that the White House hasn’t seemed to grasp this is what made today’s briefing so tone-deaf, and so startling.
Obama doubled down on the Arab spring in Egypt and Libya, so they own the current mess as they had a nominal hand in the change in leadership in the region. Sorry Obama fans there’s not “it’s all Bush’s fault” on this one – your Nobel Peace Prize winning, “kill list” maintainer owns this mess. To fix it he might have to take a daily intel briefing or *gasp* have to skip a fundraiser or two…