And That's Why You Don't Elect Novices or Idiots
By Doug Patton
February 7, 2011
As another Middle East nation — Egypt — hurls into political chaos, the crack foreign policy team of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are about to show the world once more just how out of their depth they are. This isn't the first time.
Early in Obama's presidency, when Iranians rioted against the phony re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs who rule their nation with an Islamist boot on the throat of the people, America's dynamic trio was at a loss as to what to do or say.
Barack Obama called for calm "on both sides." (That's leadership for you.) Joe Biden, who was put on the ticket as vice president and sold to voters as the greatest foreign policy whiz since Henry Kissinger, certainly was no help. (This man spent 35 years in the United States Senate supporting every wrong-headed foreign policy move that came down the pike, from a nuclear freeze to his opposition to the first Gulf War.)
And then there's Hillary Clinton, who spent a little time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before deciding she was qualified to be president. Poor Hillary. You almost have to feel sorry for her at this point. She's at the wheel of a ship of state being guided by a community organizer who doesn't even know how many states he presides over.
Since Obama took office, Ahmadinejad has thumbed his nose at the West while Iranian scientists march toward a nuclear weapon of mass destruction they can export to the Islamist crazies of the world. And Obama-Biden-Clinton have done nothing.
Obama's foreign policy team is about as qualified to deal with the nastiness that surrounds us in the world as his economic team is to deal with deficit spending and ten percent unemployment. (Ooh! Ooh! I have an idea! Let's spend $1.5 trillion dollars more than we take in this year and then tell the people we're going to freeze discretionary spending to save $100 billion over ten years!) My grandchildren, ranging in age from five to twelve, could run this country better than these people!
And now the gang that couldn't think straight has to decide what to do about the riots in Egypt. They seem hopeful that this is some sort of pro-democracy movement. Would that be like the one that swept Iran in the 1970s when the Shah was replaced by that Thomas Jefferson of the Middle East, the Ayatollah Khomeini? (If memory serves, that other genius of foreign affairs, Jimmy Carter, was at our helm then. But I digress.)
Say what you will about George W. Bush — and I have been at the front of the line to criticize him for various things over the years — but he had the vision and the intestinal fortitude to state unequivocally that human rights are granted by God to all men and women everywhere, and governments can do only one of two things: affirm and defend those rights, or trample and deny them. We are about to find out which type of government will emerge in Cairo. And perhaps even more telling, we are about to witness, once more, how inept and paralyzed Barack Obama is.
Of course, Bush's problem was that he actually believed that Islam was a great religion of peace. Rev. Franklin Graham more accurately stated the case when he called it "evil" and pointed out that "those were not Methodists flying those airplanes."
Bush thought that liberation would be enough to bring about peace in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It wasn't and it won't be. Not as long as militant Islamists are allowed to ply their hate and call it religion. Not as long Muslims are allowed to persecute Christians in every corner of the world while our government turns a blind eye. And not as long as Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton can't tell a pro-democracy movement from an Islamist revolution.
Egypt will not become a free republic or a democratic state. It will likely remain in the grip of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, or it will fall into the hands of Islamic Fascists not unlike those who rule Iran. And because of the incompetence of this administration, they won't know which is which until it is too late.
And that, in a nutshell, is why you don't elect novices and idiots.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.