This is from today’s briefing at the US State Department.
As a partisan this video is hilarious, but as an American it’s quite painful.
Barack Obama’s comment, that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy, is causing the administration’s political and professional staff no end of problems. It will cause the United States broad problems for a long time to come. It was just dumb.
Egypt has been, as the reporter notes in the video to correct the State Dept spokeswoman, a non-NATO ally of the United States for decades now. Circumstances on the ground have changed quite a bit since Hosni Mubarak was deposed, but behind all of that, the US and Egyptian militaries still communicate and still work together. We still hold Egypt accountable for its peace treaty with Israel. The US has just pledged even more aid to that country, and there is a good argument to be made on both sides of whether that aid is wise or should continue. But until there is a formal declaration of some kind noting a change in the relationship, the United States and Egypt are allies.
Until Barack Obama shot first, aimed later, and cast doubt on the entire relationship.
If Barack Obama was, say, the assistant secretary for somethingorother in the State Department and said what he said about Egypt in that press interview, he would probably be fired. Especially if he said it after several years on the job. A seasoned hand in international relations knows not to cross lines and make news, unless he really intends to. Questioning the US-Egyptian alliance was worse than a rookie mistake.
Barack Obama blundered into this one, and as the president, there is no one available to fire him until November.
How much more damage can he do between now and then?