All the above said, the actual implementation reflects somebody with the experience of two years in the Senate, who had never navigated outside of academia and Chicago tit-for-tat politics. So Mubarak is/is not a dictator, must leave now/yesterday/sometime soon as he serves as sort of a figurative leader/a critical transition player/a suspicious counter-revolutionary inasmuch as the U.S. must lay down conditions/advise only/respect Egyptian prerogatives, as private conversations with Egyptians are spilled to the press, Obama suggests the Cairo desire for freedom somehow channels his own support, and Biden, Clinton, and Obama contradict one another hourly. This is very sad.
…That smart diplomacy, it turns out, wasn’t ’smart’ as in clever. It was ’smart’ as in how your cheek feels when it’s been slapped hard. The bigger issue here concerns the place of the United States on the world stage. We just sent a message to our friends and allies about how they should value our professions of friendship and our commitments to help them. President Obama has mastered a certain rhetorical schtick. It revolves around the communication of a certain emotion of righteousness. You look out a crowd, eyes raised, and turn your head slowly to the the left, then to the right, then to the left again. It requires a certain arrogance, which Obama certain commands. To work, however, it also requires competence, an understanding of the way the world actually works, which he has once against demonstrated he lacks utterly.
…There are two possibilities, and they’re both appalling. One is that Clapper knew everything he was saying was a gross distortion of reality but said it anyway, thereby deliberately misleading the American people and giving aid and comfort to a group whose interests are completely antithetical to those of the United States. The other is that Clapper is genuinely ignorant of the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, a thought that is just about as unnerving as can be imagined.
If it needs to be to pointed out to the Director of National Intelligence that Google is his friend, we are in a boatload of trouble, folks. I wish I was kidding.
It makes me long for the robust, intelligent foreign policy of Jimmy Carter.
[Update a few minutes later]
“…a sense of powerlessness.”