In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Obama’s Egypt Error: The Three Outrages

There are three outrageous things about President Obama’s FOREIGN POLICY GAFFE, in which he mistakenly asserted that Egypt is not an ally of the United States.

Well, at least three. That’s all I can think of while I’m still fueling up with coffee.

Let’s start with the gaffe itself.

“I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy,” Obama said of Egypt during an interview Thursday with Telemundo.

Whoops. Obama either forgot or didn’t know that Egypt is what’s known as a “major non-NATO ally.”

This is not some insignificant technicality. We have only 15 major non-NATO allies around the world, and Egypt is one of the original five named by George H.W. Bush, along with Israel, Australia, Japan and South Korea.


Which brings us to the second outrage. Imagine if Mitt Romney said Egypt wasn’t our ally.

Ohhhhhhh boy. Some sample headlines:

Romney Gaffe Exposes Foreign Policy Weakness

Romney Jeopardizes Relations with Egypt

Romney is a Freaking Idiot!

And so forth.

But the president declassifies Egypt as an ally, and the press yawns wearily.

The third outrage is the White House’s response to all this. From the transcript of Thursday’s press gaggle in Golden, Colorado:

Q    Jay, the President yesterday said that Egypt isn’t an ally.  Is that a new position, or based on some new evaluation?  Can you expand on —

MR. CARNEY:  No.  The President, in diplomatic and legal terms, was speaking correctly, that we do not have an alliance treaty with Egypt.  “Ally” is a legal term of art.  As I said, we don’t have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do, for example, with our NATO allies.  But as the President has said, Egypt is a longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt’s transition to democracy and working with the new government.

This is both inaccurate AND misleading. Usually the White House is just misleading. So this one’s the Daily Double of spin.

In legal terms, as we’ve already pointed out, the president was speaking incorrectly. Not correctly. Egypt is an ally. The president said it is not.

Note Jay’s careful wording. He classifies an ally as a country having “an alliance treaty” with the United States. But Obama didn’t say anything about an alliance treaty. He used the broad term “ally.” Egypt is a major non-NATO ally, not, you know, a major non-NATO acquaintance.

What’s more, Obama was not speaking in diplomatic and legal terms. A phrase like “I don’t think that we would consider them . . . ” is not a reference to anything technical. It’s a dude’s opinion.

And it’s wrong. And I’m outraged, even before caffeine.

51 thoughts on “Obama’s Egypt Error: The Three Outrages”

  1. Agree, it is outrageous that the preezy doesn’t know who our allies are and aren’t. Not surprising since he supposedly gets more than half of his intel briefs by reading them (which I highly doubt since they’re classified Top Secret/SCI and can’t leave a SCIF). Smartest guy in the room? heh! Now, if we only had an objective MSM they might make something of this outrage!

      1. Keith, you are splitting hairs on a freshly picked nit. The very quote you provided from Jay Carney disproves your entire thesis. The term “ally” has a colloquial definition and a legal definition. But how about the dictionary definition? Here is the first entry in my computer’s dictionary:

        Ally: a state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose, typically by treaty.

        See? Nice ‘n clear. Yours is merely “a dude’s opinion.” We can call nations “friends”, “partners”, “fellow travellers”, and it will mean whatever the audience wants it to mean, but the President was speaking correctly, not incorrectly.


    1. Btw, isn’t it amazing that the Muslims have a ‘redline’ with regards to speech on blasphemy, but the US doesn’t have a ‘redline’ when it comes to Iran building nuclear weapons

      1. In order to have a ‘redline’ you would have to have a consequence when that line is crossed. And even if our president is packing; I don’t think he has the wherewithall (or knowhow) to use his weapon.

  2. Gaffe? I don’t think so. It’s more like a epic fail of enormous proportion in MrObama’s understanding of foreign affairs, or an infantile attempt to distance himself from any part he might have had in bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the Middle East. He isn’t just ‘any man’, he’s in possession of every sensitive intel, every operative asset or program that is in effect in the Middle East.
    He OWNS it. He directed the change from regimes we could negotiate with to an unwieldy, unprofessional and seemingly mentally unhinged population that finds fault and casts blame of every wrong on the people of America.
    It’s HIS fault. He instigated a from-behind, unauthorized intrusion into what was a civil war without any knowlege of who would take control if the established leader was dethroned.
    He owns this mess, it’s his fault it happened and no amount of spin or twist or words like “art” will change that.

      1. This is thread is great. It reminds me of a Star Trek TV episode where Dr. McCoy finally had to give happy pills to the crew cuz there was an alien that made the crew be mean and fight and the Alian would feed off of hate – “Day of the Dove” I believe.

        Most of these posts fit right in there. It must be hard to spend days, months, years like this. The upside? Well, you will likely have four more years to wallow in the sourness that must permeate most of your day… The good news, most seem not to relish in the endeavor.

        1. “It must be hard to spend days, months, years like this.”

          No – what’s hard is enduring days, months, years of Barry’s ineptitude.

  3. It all depends on what the means of “ally” is. Or “art” is. Or “embassy” is.
    or “President” is.

    The real question is, “Did the President go and receive the murdered and raped bodies of our Ambassador or our officials and our service man” or did he send the secretary of state?

    How can anyone not be outraged about these events? Our gov’t is listless and repentant.

  4. The President of the 57 States of America does not iknow who are allies are after nearly 4 years of golfing, partying, and campaigning. Surprise!!!

    “Legal term of Art”??? Carney gets the Baghdad Bob award of the year!

  5. Gross incompetence from Obama on down to his Ambassador in Egypt. He attends less than half of his Intell PDB’s and then Vietor spews some garbage that Obama reads the briefs later on. Either Obama is an incompetent, naive fool or this is Obama’s true middle east policy coming to fruition.

  6. Too many word games, lies, and spin. All one has to do is cast an eye towards the Middle East to see the truth.

    This mental masturbation between the press, who are in the bag for Obama, and the press secretary, who is lodged up Obama’s ass, is an exercise in futility and misdirection that serves no purpose at all.

  7. “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy,” – POS – eh, POTUS Muzzein Obama.


    Obama won’t call ANYONE bent on the physical destruction of our country, the murders of random Americans, or those actively shooting at our troops “enemies”.

    “Holder’s avoidance of the obvious continues the absurd and embarrassing refusal of the Obama administration to acknowledge who out there is trying to kill Americans and why. In fact, it has banned from its official vocabulary the terms jihadist, Islamist and Islamic terrorism.

    Instead, President Obama’s National Security Strategy insists on calling the enemy – how else do you define those seeking your destruction? – “a loose network of violent extremists.” But this is utterly meaningless. This is not an anger-management therapy group gone rogue. These are people professing a powerful ideology rooted in a radical interpretation of Islam, in whose name they propagandize, proselytize, terrorize and kill.”

    No, the “enemies” label is reserved for Americans who have a domestic policy disagreement with him.

    “If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.” – Prezzy Neville Hussein Quisling

    Not surprising, then, that they are not classified by the Obama regime as “enemies” even after a coordinated surprise attack deliberately timed to happen on the date of their previous “victory”.

    As far as being allies, they were never better than Eddie Haskill to our Beaver Cleaver, or Charles de Gaulle to Johnson. Now, they have declared jihad as their main priority against our real ally in the Mid-East, and their citizens are sacking our sovereign property. As much as I hate to, I have to (ugh) agree with Prezzy that they are not our “ally”, no matter what legal nomenclature applies. Bush’s “Non-NATO ally” was driven out with Incompetent in Charge’s assistance. I don’t know that we renewed the agreement with the current sack of rats thats running the joint or not.

    It doesn’t really matter. They hate us regardless. They are at war with us, whether we want war with them or not, and whether Scirocco Obama says they are or not.

  8. Listening to NPR just now and they are posing this as all about that film, whatever that amounted to. No mention of 9/11 timing, coordination, that we knew ahead, etc. This is such a put-up job. Is there no way to fight this media spin? For heaven’s sake, Romney is a prominent American and what he said was correct, not wrong…I am frustrated. Or more than usual.

    1. If I have to hear “not all Muslims are ‘bad’,” one more time! Did the Straw Man Store have a special? I have a friend who converted to Islam and amazingly I do not think she would kill anyone.

  9. Pingback: Keith Koffler: Obama’s Egypt Error: The Three Outrages. « The Rhetorican

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  11. This is dedicated to the Marines deploying as we speak. No matter the stupidity of their political leaders, Marines will follow a lawful order to the best of their abilities.

    USMC Rules For Gun Fighting

    Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
    Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
    Only hits count. A close miss is still a miss.
    If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.
    Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movements are preferred.)
    If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.
    In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics.
    They will only remember who lived.
    If you are not shooting, you should be communic- ating, reloading, and running.
    Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun.
    Use a gun that works EVERY TIME.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
    Always cheat = always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
    Have a plan.
    Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work.
    Use cover and concealment as much as possible.
    Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
    Don’t drop your guard.
    Always tactically reload and threat scan 360 degrees.
    Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them).
    Decide to be AGGRESSIVE enough, QUICKLY enough.
    The faster you finish the fight, the less shot up you will get.
    Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
    Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
    Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a “4”.

    God Bless Them and please bring them home safe.

  12. Here is a question suggestion for CNN’sCandy Crowley to ask during the first Presidential debate that will touch on foreign policy this year. The event will be held on October 16th at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, Long Island, NY. (The first debate, to be held on October 3rd at the University of Denver, will only touch on domestic policy.)

    Ms. Crowley should ask President Obama the following:

    “Do you agree with the Obama Doctrine?”

    1. A better question might be, “Do you know what the Obama Doctrine is and, if so, could you please explain it.” That should get at least ten minutes of “Uh…umm.. ah..well, you”. Then the debates would be more or less over. The same can be said about any question regarding his policies, especially economic ones. He doesn’t make the policies, Jarret does, and I doubt he knows what they are or how they work. Of course, Obama may use the “day job” excuse to avoid the debates and go on fundraising.

      1. He might have some athletes or rap starts to meet that day…One must have priorites.

        Why not? Feinstein is skipping her debates. If it’s good enough for an apostle, why not for the messiah?

        After all, when you’re as smart as Obama, the peasants just can’t understand you anyway. It’s like discussing existentialism with your dog, or trying to play cribbage with a three year old, it’s hardly worth Dear Leader’s time. Just accept his superiority, you dhimmis, and pony up NOW.

        Here’s as apt a desciption of Obama as you’re likely to find anywhere;
        [from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, 1994, commonly referred to as DSM-IV, of the American Psychiatric Association. European countries use the diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization.]
        A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy
        Translation: Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior that shows up in thinking and behavior in a lot of different situations and activities. People with NPD won’t (or can’t) change their behavior even when it causes problems at work or when other people complain about the way they act, or when their behavior causes a lot of emotional distress to others (or themselves? none of my narcissists ever admit to being distressed by their own behavior — they always blame other people for any problems). This pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior is not caused by current drug or alcohol use, head injury, acute psychotic episodes, or any other illness, but has been going on steadily at least since adolescence or early adulthood.
        NPD interferes with people’s functioning in their occupations and in their relationships:

        1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
        Translation: Grandiosity is the hallmark of narcissism. So what is grandiose?

        The simplest everyday way that narcissists show their exaggerated sense of self-importance is by talking about family, work, life in general as if there is nobody else in the picture. Whatever they may be doing, in their own view, they are the star, and they give the impression that they are bearing heroic responsibility for their family or department or company, that they have to take care of everything because their spouses or co-workers are undependable, uncooperative, or otherwise unfit. They ignore or denigrate the abilities and contributions of others and complain that they receive no help at all; they may inspire your sympathy or admiration for their stoicism in the face of hardship or unstinting self-sacrifice for the good of (undeserving) others. But this everyday grandiosity is an aspect of narcissism that you may never catch on to unless you visit the narcissist’s home or workplace and see for yourself that others are involved and are pulling their share of the load and, more often than not, are also pulling the narcissist’s share as well. An example is the older woman who told me with a sigh that she knew she hadn’t been a perfect mother but she just never had any help at all — and she said this despite knowing that I knew that she had worn out and discarded two devoted husbands and had lived in her parents’ pocket (and pocketbook) as long as they lived, quickly blowing her substantial inheritance on flaky business schemes. Another example is claiming unusual benefits or spectacular results from ordinary effort and investment, giving the impression that somehow the narcissist’s time and money are worth more than other people’s. [Here is an article about recognizing and coping with narcissism in the workplace; it is rather heavy on management jargon and psychobabble, but worth reading. “The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainability” by Bruce Gregory, Ph.D. “When the narcissistic defense is operating in an interpersonal or group setting, the grandiose part does not show its face in public. In public it presents a front of patience, congeniality, and confident reasonableness.”]

        In popular usage, the terms narcissism, narcissist, and narcissistic denote absurd vanity and are applied to people whose ambitions and aspirations are much grander than their evident talents. Sometimes these terms are applied to people who are simply full of themselves — even when their real achievements are spectacular. Outstanding performers are not always modest, but they aren’t grandiose if their self-assessments are realistic; e.g., Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, was notorious for boasting “I am the greatest!” and also pointing out that he was the prettiest, but he was the greatest and the prettiest for a number of years, so his self-assessments weren’t grandiose. Some narcissists are flamboyantly boastful and self-aggrandizing, but many are inconspicuous in public, saving their conceit and autocratic opinions for their nearest and dearest. Common conspicuous grandiose behaviors include expecting special treatment or admiration on the basis of claiming (a) to know important, powerful or famous people or (b) to be extraordinarily intelligent or talented. As a real-life example, I used to have a neighbor who told his wife that he was the youngest person since Sir Isaac Newton to take a doctorate at Oxford. The neighbor gave no evidence of a world-class education, so I looked up Newton and found out that Newton had completed his baccalaureate at the age of twenty-two (like most people) and spent his entire academic career at Cambridge. The grandiose claims of narcissists are superficially plausible fabrications, readily punctured by a little critical consideration. The test is performance: do they deliver the goods? (There’s also the special situation of a genius who’s also strongly narcissistic, as perhaps Frank Lloyd Wright. Just remind yourself that the odds are that you’ll meet at least 1000 narcissists for every genius you come across.)

        2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
        Translation: Narcissists cultivate solipsistic or “autistic” fantasies, which is to say that they live in their own little worlds (and react with affront when reality dares to intrude).

        3. Believes he is “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
        Translation: Narcissists think that everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren’t special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless.

        4. Requires excessive admiration
        Translation: Excessive in two ways: they want praise, compliments, deference, and expressions of envy all the time, and they want to be told that everything they do is better than what others can do. Sincerity is not an issue here; all that matter are frequency and volume.

        5. Has a sense of entitlement
        Translation: They expect automatic compliance with their wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that they should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they’re doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated.

        6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends
        Translation: Narcissists use other people to get what they want without caring about the cost to the other people.

        7. Lacks empathy
        Translation: They are unwilling to recognize or sympathize with other people’s feelings and needs. They “tune out” when other people want to talk about their own problems.
        In clinical terms, empathy is the ability to recognize and interpret other people’s emotions. Lack of empathy may take two different directions: (a) accurate interpretation of others’ emotions with no concern for others’ distress, which is characteristic of psychopaths; and (b) the inability to recognize and accurately interpret other people’s emotions, which is the NPD style. This second form of defective empathy may (rarely) go so far as alexithymia, or no words for emotions, and is found with psychosomatic illnesses, i.e., medical conditions in which emotion is experienced somatically rather than psychically. People with personality disorders don’t have the normal body-ego identification and regard their bodies only instrumentally, i.e., as tools to use to get what they want, or, in bad states, as torture chambers that inflict on them meaningless suffering. Self-described narcissists who’ve written to me say that they are aware that their feelings are different from other people’s, mostly that they feel less, both in strength and variety (and which the narcissists interpret as evidence of their own superiority); some narcissists report “numbness” and the inability to perceive meaning in other people’s emotions.

        8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him
        Translation: No translation needed.

        9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes
        Translation: They treat other people like dirt.

        DING! That’s our Prezzy!

      2. Actually, I phrased the question that way for two reasons.

        First, and foremost was because that was the exact phrasing of the question that Charlie Gibson used when he asked Sarah Palin, “Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?”

        Gibson, of course knew that there were several distinct elements to what had been identified over a period of 8 years, and largely by the press, as the “Bush Doctrine.” Gibson knew it was a gotcha question he was asking. So, in that respect there was a little turn-about intended in phrasing it that way.

        Secondly, in general, the question would obviously be an entirely valid one now because the very premise of the Obama foreign policy is now in tatters. And, in that regard, it would also be a very good one for a Romney to respond to, by simply reiterating a few key points.

  13. I understand why socialist/liberal media use such headlines as “Romney jeopardizes relations”.

    So why aren’t the conservative press running with them?

    The Liberal Left are either stupid/naive/evil/enemies of the state but they are organized and focused.

    Like King Alfred when threatened by the Vikings, you must learn from your enemy,

  14. If Mitt had said something like that the Obama suck ass media would be all over him. They would go out of their way to make Mitt look like an idiot but not their man,this POTUS, the try to explain it or cover it up.

  15. If Mitt had said that the Obama suck ass media would have made him look like an idiot and then jump on Obama’s bandwagon again. But instead they are trying to explain it “in legal terms” or cover it up.

    Who can believe this Obama controlled media anymore

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