Saturday, September 15, 2012

President Obama Missing in Action in Foreign Policy

Foreign policy is now squarely in the center of the presidential campaign. It is only fitting that a nation at war would engage in philosophical arguments on the subject. Americans deserve to know how each candidate intends to defend our nation and embrace freedom around the world. A common complaint recently, especially after the week we have had of attack after attack on our embassies overseas, is that President is missing in action on making clearly stated foreign policy. He even made a major gaffe during a television interview proclaiming that Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy of the United States. Clearly, our country's official position is that Egypt is an ally. The State Department had to clean up that bit of international untidiness.

The State Department, cutting through the confusion over President Obama's claim that Egypt is not a U.S. ally, contradicted his characterization Thursday.
For the record, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, Egypt is considered a major non-NATO ally.
The comment came as White House aides also carefully clarified the president's remarks.
The president made the initial statement in an interview with the Spanish-language Telemundo. "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy," Obama said, reacting to the ongoing and intense demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Instead of addressing the nation after the awful story of the murdered U.S. ambassador and three staff members at the U.S. embassy in Libya, to speak honestly about our role in the world and to express gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country, President Obama postponed a campaign rally in Las Vegas for one hour. One whole hour. He didn't address the nation and instead spoke to Telemondo. It was far from respectful behavior from the Commander-in-Chief. He clearly was more focused on his own re-election.  It was wrong and the optics were really bad.

Reports came out that President Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings. Instead of being briefed by a member of the intelligence community, he has the bullet points written up and claims to read them instead of a one on one briefing.  This implies a lack of curiosity on his part and a lack of seriousness in the subject.  He is too focused on his own re-election.

This campaign ad says it is time for the president to show up for intelligence briefings instead of golf games, fundraisers and guest appearances on Letterman:

It is right for Americans to demand some acknowledgement from our president that he is working to keep Americans serving abroad in the diplomatic corps safe. It is right for Americans to demand that our president speak clearly, concisely, strongly and in a timely manner on our nation's foreign policy initiatives. We are in dire need of bold leadership.  We need leadership that does not sway in the winds of uncertainty as a president campaigning for re-election flits across the swing states raising money for his own career and blasting his Republican opponent.

We need a leader who will bring us together again, especially in times when our nation is under attack from an enemy that wishes to kill us all.  Attacks on our embassies are attacks on our country. President Obama's foreign policy decisions have not made us safer.  It is time for a change in leadership.

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