WASHINGTON -- During the course of the past two months, President-elect Barack Obama and the presidential transition team have replaced their campaign maxim, "Change We Can Believe In," with a new mantra: "We Only Have One President at a Time." It is a slogan that already is worn out.
PEBO and the PTT have used this phrase repeatedly in response to reporters' questions on the economy, federal bailouts, foreign policy, national security, the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the future of "Gitmo," and the Russian decision to shut down the delivery of natural gas to Western Europe through Ukrainian pipelines.
During this week's Oval Office photo op with President George W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, PEBO used the "one-president-at-a-time" dodge to avoid answering a reporter's hurled interrogatory about Israeli military operations in Gaza. The response from those in the lineup -- and apparently most in the mainstream media -- is to nod approvingly at PEBO's sagacity every time they hear him say it. The only trouble: It simply isn't true.
While the current, former and future commanders in chief went off to snack and chat, Sen. Joe Biden, the soon-to-be vice president of the United States, headed off to Andrews Air Force Base to commence a hastily convened weeklong "congressional fact-finding mission" to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Absent from the secret itinerary divulged by Biden were other places with even more pressing problems. U.S. ally India, still recovering from the brutal Mumbai terror attack, is on the brink of attacking Pakistan. Ukraine, a NATO applicant, is threatened by interference from Moscow and this week's natural gas cutoff. And American ally Israel -- facing the threat of U.N. sanctions for acting in self-defense to protect its citizens from Iranian-supplied rockets and mortars being fired from Gaza by Hamas -- now faces attacks from Iranian-supported Hezbollah terror in Lebanon.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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