Obama is on a roll. A roll. It’s hard to keep up!
Last night he delivered an anti-sexual assault bit at the Grammys. Is anybody pro-sexual assault?
Then, in a Vox (!) interview released today, he continued his Terrorism: It Ain’t No Thang tour:
“It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” Obama said. “We devote enormous resources to that, and it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that — the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.”
But, he added, “we also have to attend to a lot of other issues, and we’ve got to make sure we’re right-sizing our approach so that what we do isn’t counterproductive.”
Um, the people shot in the “deli” in Paris weren’t randomly selected. Well, randomly selected Jews, maybe, which means it wasn’t random. And that is about the most extreme statement of terrorism is a law enforcement issue I’ve ever seen. Let’s get Mayor Quimby on it!
Then there was today’s Merkel-Obama presser. Where to begin?
When asked about arming Ukraine, he said he hadn’t quite made up his mind:
“It is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options,” Obama said. “But I have not made a decision about that yet.”
Sure! Take your time. It’s not like this situation hasn’t been metastasizing since the Minsk accords were signed in September. Why haven’t the options been explored long ago, and contingent decisions been made?
And about that diplomacy thing and contingent decisions. First, negotiation and diplomacy depend on threat points. Bolstering-or even threatening to bolster-Ukraine’s military capacity affects the outcome of negotiations by changing substantially the threat point. This idea that diplomacy floats in a world of its own is just cracked, and in fact dooms diplomacy to failure.
Second, Merkel and Hollande scurried to Moscow because Putin had flagrantly violated the Minsk accords. So now they are going to . . . Minsk, to negotiate new accords. With the guy who broke the last ones. Have I got that right? Am I missing anything?
Obama emphasized the unity of the allies on the Ukraine issue. Recall that earlier he has said he did not want to get ahead of the Europeans. Translation re unity: leading from behind, and deferring to the least common denominator, which in Europe is very low indeed. Germany is bad enough, let alone France, Hungary, Austria, or Greece.
(Sorry. “Leading From Behind” has been rebranded: It’s now called “Strategic Patience.” Same dog food, different label.)
He praised Russia for its constructive role on talks with Iran, and said he looked forward to their future cooperation. As if Putin has the slightest inclination to help out the US. Well, since the deal Obama is panting for will likely harm US interests, maybe Putin will pitch in on that one.
He said that the Ukrainian people knew that America stood behind them. Really. He said that. He didn’t say how far behind. All Obama is providing is warm blankets and hot air, and I am sure that Ukrainians can muster only a bitter laugh at his claim of support.
Obama reiterated his view that Russia’s isolation would bring Putin to heel:
“Even as we continue to work for a diplomatic solution we are making it clear again today that if Russia continues on its current course, which is ruining the Russia economy and hurting the Russian people, as well as having such a terrible effect on Ukraine, Russia’s isolation will only worsen both politically and economically,” he told a joint news conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Yes, Putin is so, so isolated. He’s a hero on the European right. Several nations in the EU are far more sympathetic to Russia than the US. And he was welcomed like a conquering hero in Cairo today: check out the photo here (h/t @libertylynx). Sisi greeted him at the airport-a first. The Egyptians did everything but treat Putin like Pharaoh, complete with a procession down the Nile on a royal barge.
By giving such a lavish reception for Putin, Sisi was also giving Obama the middle finger. Or two middle fingers. If Obama were to visit, Sisi would probably have him picked up in a cab and driven to the nearest Cairo slum.
Obama’s obvious affinity for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is going over very badly in Egypt, and not just among the military and the government. Sisi and many Egyptians believe themselves to be in an existential struggle with the Brotherhood, and Obama’s meddling and continued support for it angers them deeply. (What, mayors can’t handle them?)
So glad he made that Cairo speech. It surely changed the world didn’t it? Really built a bridge between the US and the Muslim world, and healed all those wounds dating from the Crusades down to the evil Bush.
And speaking of the Muslim Brotherhood. Remember that supersecret meeting with Muslim “leaders” I wrote about last week? So yeah, among the “leaders” were ranking members of Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations, including one that was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case. (But I forget: terrorism ain’t no thang.) No wonder he wanted to keep the guest listees and the subject matter secret.
What a week. The man is on a roll. On. A. Roll. And we’re the ones getting rolled.