"My father taught me many things in this room. One of them was 'Keep your friends close … and your enemies closer.'"Which I was thinking about yesterday when I Tweeted (you can follow me @richgalen)
So, Obama speaks with [Egyptian President Mohammad] Morsi (who is NOT an ally) but snubs [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu (who IS an ally).
Yesterday afternoon the Associated Press thought there was so much anti-American activity in the Middle East that they had to put all of it into one easy-to-digest filing. The hotspots were
-- YemenAnd this was just Thursday. We can only wait, with teeth clenched and arms wrapped around each other, for what will happen today after Friday prayers - Friday, for Muslims, being the equivalent of Sunday for Christians.
I went back and read President Obama's speech in Cairo from July, 2009 - six months after he had taken office and three months before he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for …
The speech (which you can read in its entirety on the Secret Decoder Ring page) is heavy on suggesting that George W. Bush was to blame for the torn relationships between the U.S. and the Muslim world and Obama's approach would be to treat each nation as an equal.
It's a pretty good speech, for all of that.
But there's one thing: Obama couldn't give that speech today.
Cairo is no longer safe enough for an American President to appear in a public arena.
Well done, Mr. President.
The other night, during an interview on the Spanish Language Telemundo network, Obama said:
"People are reading too much into this. 'Ally' is a legal term of art. We don't have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies."Yeah. Well.
The Associated Press did a Fact Check and wrote:
"Under U.S. Law, [Egypt] is an ally. The statement marks an abrupt change from decades when Washington and Cairo were ironclad partners in fighting terrorism, countering Iran's influence in the region and promoting Arab-Israeli peace."
Obama's own State Department weighed in on the President's behalf, according to Politico.com: