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U.S. News and Commentary



Tuesday
Sep112012

Obama foreign policy challenged by protesters in Egypt and contractors in war zones

Photo: Iraq/U.S. EmbassyPresident Barack Obama likes to joke about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s foreign policy skills. Obama’s a funny guy, not just because he can crack a joke.

Thing is, our current foreign policy is a study in confusion.

As Obama and vice president Joe Biden give the impression the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is well under control, facts suggest otherwise.

The L. A. Times reported on Sunday, “[A]n onslaught of bombings and shootings across Iraq killed at least 92 people in one of the deadliest days this year.” Just imagine if that happened with a Republican in the White House.

In Afghanistan, troops often have a hard time determining who is friend or foe, one reason soldiers are targeted by some of the Afghan troops they trained.

Furthermore, it’s not like we don’t have personnel in both countries. Although some troops have returned, the U.S. still has approximately 113,000 private contractors in Afghanistan and between 20,000-30,000 in Iraq. We don’t even have a handle on exactly how many there are, as one official told Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) during a recent visit.

The Charleston Gazette said:

Private military contractors typically get paid multiple times what Americans serving in the military earn, Manchin said…"The United States can pay contractors up to $763,000 annually," he said. "That is two times what the president makes and four times what Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton make.

In Iraq there’s controversy over human rights, with media reporting a “spate of executions” last month. Three women were among those executed in a single day.

As Americans marked the 11th anniversary of September 11, CNN reported on Tuesday:

[A]ngry protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and hauled down the American flags, replacing it with a black standard with Islamic emblems .

CNN said during a TV broadcast that approximately 1,000 protesters participated. Media implied the protesters got worked up about rumors a filmmaker had insulted their prophet. CNN said warning shots were fired.

There is no First Amendment in Egypt and there never will be in any Muslim-governed country, at least not with the limitations on government we enjoy in the U.S. The Muslim faith doesn’t permit it. That, by the way, is the business of the people who live in those countries as long as they don’t attempt to infringe on our rights.

Russia and China thumb their noses at us when they feel like it and the Obama administration isn’t exactly keen on our traditional stance towards Israel. Democrats can blame whatever they choose to for the removal of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from the official party platform, but that is one buck they can’t hand to President George W. Bush. Dems did put Jerusalem back where it belonged, via a bizarre floor vote at the convention in Charlotte.

Obama did approve the mission to get Osama bin Laden and that is a credit on his record. He was able to take the terrorist down because of work that began during the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Bush 43. Hyperdrama and Hollywood aside, the special ops team did the heavy lifting on that one.

Meanwhile al Qaeda still has an eye on America and rumors about the administration negotiating with some Taliban have surfaced.

A comedian could have a field day with Obama’s foreign policy, but like most media, funny people prefer to lacerate a Republican.

 (Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 11, 2012)

Related Links

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Obama should read Miami Herald for foreign policy advice on Honduras

Media crits Romney’s trip abroad, overlooked Obama’s failures

Al Jazeera analyzes ‘new Arab century’ but muddles US actions

Expert on Middle East predicted current instability in Egypt

Déjà vu for Democrats in the Egyptian civil unrest

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