The Hallmark Card school of diplomacy 1

Since Islam regards women as punch-bags, chattels, sex-slaves, at best worth only half as much as a man (as heirs to property or witnesses in a sharia court), it would not seem a sensible idea to send women ambassadors to Islamic countries. But when last did the State Department have a sensible idea?

April Glaspie was US ambassador to Saddam Hussein, and is charged or credited with giving the green light to that abominable tyrant to invade Kuwait in 1991, though whether she intended to or not remains unclear. Saddam probably didn’t give a fig what the woman said anyway.

Now there is a woman in Cairo, Anne Patterson, who represents the US to the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt. How well is she doing?

This is from PowerLine, by Scott Johnson:

I’ve foolishly wondered why we’re giving Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime — you know, the one in which the President from the Brotherhood forced out the country’s top two military chiefs in order to consolidate his power over the armed forces — a slew of F-16s. If I’d only waited a few days, all would have become clear.

At a ceremony marking the delivery of the first four F-16s to Egypt on Sunday, US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson explained:

“Today’s ceremony demonstrates the firm belief of the United States that a strong Egypt is in the interest of the U.S., the region, and the world. We look to Egypt to continue to serve as a force for peace, security, and leadership as the Middle East proceeds with its challenging yet essential journey toward democracy. … Our thirty-four year security partnership is based upon shared interests and mutual respect. The United States has long recognized Egypt as an indispensible [sic] partner.”

A pretty statement, typical of the Hallmark Card school of diplomacy, where charming dreamers, in select US embassies round the world, substitute their sentiments for reality .

Suitably rough comments by Daniel Pipes are quoted by Scott Johnson:

1) Is not anyone in the Department of State aware that Egypt is now run by an Islamist zealot from the bowels of the Muslim Brotherhood whose goals differ profoundly from those of Americans?

(2) Willfully ignorant, head-in-the-ground statements like this are the embarrassment and ruin of American foreign policy.

(3) What a launch for [new Secretary of State] Kerry, whose mental vapidity promises to make Hillary Clinton actually look good in retrospect.

This report by the (pro-Obama) Washington Post indicates just how much of “a force for peace and security” Egypt is and has been, and just how much its government deserves Americans’ respect:

A recent spate of police violence has highlighted what many Egyptians say is the unchanged nature of their country’s security forces two years after a popular uprising carried with it hopes for sweeping reform.

Long a pillar of Hosni Mubarak’s abusive regime, Egypt’s Interior Ministry, with its black-clad riot police, has increasingly become a sign of renewed repression under Islamist President Mohamed Morsi

A series of clashes between anti-Islamist protesters and police that began on the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolt has snowballed into a much broader tide of anger toward the police force. Opposition leaders and rights groups say police used excessive force over 10 days of clashes that left more than 60 people dead across the country.

Two recent incidents have fanned the flames of popular dissent. And rights groups and analysts warn that if police reform does not come soon, the force’s brutal tactics are likely to spur more clashes in a cycle that could prove deeply destabilizing

The death … of Mohammed al-Gindy, a member of the opposition Popular Current party, has driven some of that rage. Gindy’s colleagues said the 28-year-old was tortured to death in police custody after disappearing from a protest Jan. 27.

Sayed Shafiq, the head of investigations at the Interior Ministry, said that Gindy was hit by a car and that his body was found “far away from the area of the clashes,” citing hospital sources.

But Gindy’s ribs and skull had been smashed, and his back and tongue bore the burns of electrical shocks, a party spokesperson said Monday, citing Gindy’s autopsy report. His case follows three deaths by torture since Morsi came to power in June, according to a report on police abuse released last month by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a Cairo-based watchdog group.

It was Ambassador Anne Patterson who issued this statement when the US embassy in Cairo was attacked on the anniversary of 9/11 last year:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

John Tabin at the American Spectator aptly called it “a shameful statement” and further commented:

A stand against those who “abuse” their right to free speech is best suited to authoritarianism, and it’s absolutely grotesque to see American diplomats embracing it. The effort at appeasement was as inefficacious as it was depraved: The protests against the film in question turned more violent after the statement was issued, when the embassy wall was scaled and the American flag was torn down and burned.

By late this evening this was obvious at the White House: “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” [said] a source characterized as a “senior administration official” …

That’s all well and good; the statement does indeed look like it wasn’t carefully vetted (the missing period after “others” … [is] how it is on the embassy website). But a not-for-attribution walk-back is hardly sufficient here. Somebody needs to be fired. Given that the embassy’s Twitter account spent the day defending the statement, it’s likely to be more than one somebody that needs to go, perhaps including Ambassador Anne Patterson herself.

It’s not enough to say, after the fact, that a diplomatic statement isn’t the position of the government; if the same diplomats remain on the job, the views that led them to make that statement will lead them to make similar statements in the future. This is a case where personnel is policy, and the clarification of White House policy cannot be taken seriously unless it’s accompanied by a change in personnel. 

Yes, a change of personnel above all in the White House itself.

“Sexism” is not the issue 4

A three-ring circus has been erected around the false video narrative, with the Petraeus/Rice/Clapper follies detracting attention from the three essential issues: the Obama administration’s disastrous Libya policy, the president’s dereliction of duty on September 11, 2012, and the troubling goings-on at the Benghazi consulate that wasn’t a consulate. 

We quote from Andrew McCarthy’s astute analysis of the devious political distractions from the main issues of Benghazigate being spun by the administration and the media.

CBS News is reporting that it was the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that purged references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from talking points given to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Rice used those talking points to promote the lie that the Benghazi massacre resulted from a spontaneous mob protest rather than a planned terrorist attack. CBS adds that the CIA and FBI signed off on this false version of events.

This is all farce, of course. There being no more honor among con-men than among thieves, there comes a time in all busted conspiracies when the conspirators start pointing fingers at each other.

To pause briefly over details of the farce:

When the subject of Ms. Rice’s fitness to be secretary of state arose during last week’s press conference, the president summoned up some faux bravado, daring two Rice critics, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, to “go after me,” not the gracious Madame Ambassador, if they wanted a fight. …

If Susan Rice is a weak little woman who needs the protection of a big strong male, then she certainly shouldn’t be appointed Secretary of State – or, for that matter, Ambassador to the UN.  It’s absurd to put women who need such protection into jobs that expose them to the storm winds of international conflict.

For decades now administrations both elephantine and asinine have appointed women as legates to Arab states – to Muslim states that despise women and regard them as obscene walking sex-organs that need to be covered up to the eyeballs – with disastrous results.  It was a woman ambassador, April Glaspie, sent by President George H. W. Bush to Iraq, who blunderingly gave the green light to Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait in 1990.

Now to return to the nub of the matter:

With their guy safely reelected, this spectacle has finally drawn the Obamedia’s attention to the president’s Benghazi travesty. Let’s not get lost here. It is critical to step back and bear two things in mind:

(a) All of the players here, including Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (both of whom the CBS report purports to absolve), are guilty of conspiracy — in this case, to mislead Americans about the cause of the attack and to aid the administration’s Islamist allies, whose objective is to impose sharia blasphemy standards on our country (a project on which the Obama administration has been colluding with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since 2009). It was not for their own benefit that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Rice were, respectively, doctoring talking points and using them to create a false impression. Obama was the intended beneficiary. Patently the White House — which pitched Rice to the Sunday shows because Obama wanted to get the Mohammed-movie talking points publicly aired — was in the loop.

(b) Given that the conspiracy is a cover-up, there is the more salient matter of what is being covered up? The brain-dead mantra in Washington is always — all together now — “The cover-up is worse than the crime.” That is not true here. …

What is bad, very bad, is:

Four Americans were killed in Benghazi as a direct result of President Obama’s unprovoked and … unconstitutional war in Libya. This foolish gambit had the easily foreseeable result of empowering Islamists, very much including violent jihadists who now have access to much of the Qaddafi arsenal, in addition to other arms and training they received from the U.S. and NATO in the mission to overthrow Qaddafi (then, an American ally).

That was the first wrong step, whether a mistake or (as we suspect) action intended to promote revolutionary Islam.

Then what it led to:

The jihadist siege against the American installation in Benghazi lasted for over seven hours. The commander-in-chief knew the attack was underway while it was happening — which is obviously why he won’t answer questions about when and how he learned of it. He had military assets in proximity to Benghazi that could have come to the aid of the besieged Americans. Yet, Obama failed to take meaningful military action, an inexcusable dereliction of duty. Then, he told the American people he had done all he could do to protect those who were killed and wounded, an inexcusable betrayal of trust. Both counts of malfeasance are impeachable offenses. Rice’s false statements, Clapper’s purge, and Petraeus’s contradictory statements to Congress do not erase any of that. Obama has far more to answer for than anyone else in this debacle, and it is imperative that he be held accountable.

No help reached the beleaguered ambassador. So either Obama gave the order to go to their aid as he says he did and it was not obeyed, in which case he is ineffectual and his officials rebellious; or he did not give the order, in which case he is lying.

Andrew McCarthy goes on to discuss just what scandalous facts the cover-up is trying to conceal: Was the CIA station in Benghazi being used, without authority, to detain terrorist prisoners? Or was it gathering arms for shipment to Syria in whose civil war the policy is not to interfere? Or was it something even worse?

It’s the answers to those questions that we wait to hear, not who changed the wording of talking-points given to the little lady who parroted what she was told on TV in order to conceal shameful secret enterprises in the Arab world by the Obama conspiracy. What were those shameful secret enterprises?

Or as Andrew McCarthy puts it:

The cover-up here is not worse than the crime. Congress must not allow itself to get sidetracked. What matters most is what the administration is hiding — not the fact that the administration is hiding it.