4:46 PM, Aug 27, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
With lawmakers ratcheting up pressure on Obama to take action in Syria, few in the administration have been paying close attention to Libya, apparently. As Fox News's Jennifer Griffin reported last night on Special Report with Bret Baier, the United States was baffled for days as to who conducted airstrikes in Libya.
At the end of her package, she notes:
Qatar's support for Libya's Islamist factions forced Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to go it alone twice in the past week, carrying out air strikes against Libyan factions, surprising U.S. officials.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary: "We do believe there were airstrikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt inside Libya."
It took several days for U.S. intelligence analysts to figure out who carried out the airstrikes in Libya.
This is troubling in several ways:
1). The U.S. is not monitoring the area that closely, and if we are, we're not doing a good job of it. While most people think the government is an omniscient, omnipresent entity that knows our every move, our intelligence capabilities aren't as great as most people probably thought they were.
While we're deploying drones in Syria, as Jennifer Griffin also noted yesterday in a separate report, there "aren't enough to go around" to cover key areas. (Meanwhile, Griffin pointed out that ISIS fighters took over a Syrian military air base on Monday, while Obama has pledged $500 million for Syrian friendly forces in next year's budget.)
2). Perhaps even more disconcerting, Egypt and the UAE, supposedly among our strongest allies in the Middle East, didn't trust us enough to even give us a courteous heads up -- either before or even after the fact -- let alone coordinate with us on any level. They left us completely in the dark.
As the New York Times reported:
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to U.S. diplomats, the officials said.
3). Our allies in the Middle East have no confidence in our ability to lead or to have their backs.
In an article titled "Libya air strikes show UAE willing to 'go it alone,'" the AFP described the feeling of abandonment our allies have:
The air strikes underscored how Washington's old allies are willing to act without backing from the Americans.
Saudi and UAE leaders in particular have expressed concern that Washington can no longer be counted on, citing US diplomatic overtures to Iran and a cautious approach to the Syrian conflict.
"The lesson of Syria still resonates... that you cannot depend on America or the West... America is no longer reliable," says Abdulla.
Wehrey agreed: "The sense in the Gulf is that the Gulf states need to take matters into their own hands."
4). The United States, the world's lone superpower, has removed itself from the world stage via Obama's foreign policy "doctrine," and the rest of the world knows it.
The American Thinker points out that regardless of whether he's prepared, Obama may never get that 2 a.m. phone call:
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:10 PM, Jul 30, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on Hamas's attack tunnels, Operation Protective Edge, the Iranian factor, and what the media gets wrong about Israel's involvement in Gaza.
9:08 AM, Jul 15, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The reluctance of Hamas’s “military wing”—a misnomer for the more extreme elements of its extremist leadership—to accept the cease-fire designed by Egypt is, well, logical. Let’s admit it. They do not wish to accept defeat, and the Egyptian terms are a defeat for Hamas.
10:11 AM, Jun 28, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In spite of a string of worrisome human rights and freedom of expression violations, the Obama administration is holding out hope that Egypt's government lead by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is still headed for democracy.
12:01 PM, Jun 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Maggie Flick of Reuters is reporting that:
Three Al Jazeera journalists were jailed for seven years in Egypt on Monday after a court convicted them of helping a "terrorist organisation" by spreading lies, in a case that has raised questions about the country's respect for media freedom.
Yes, that would raise questions. But:
Egyptian officials have said the case is not linked to freedom of expression and that the journalists raised suspicions by operating without proper accreditation.
3:05 PM, Jun 11, 2014 • By ERIC TRAGER
Two years ago, Islamist political posters plastered Giza's impoverished Omraniya neighborhood. But two weeks ago, as Egyptians went to the polls for the seventh time since the 2011 uprising, a military man's banners monopolized the wall space. "Abdel Fatah al-Sisi knows how to fix the country," shopkeeper Shaaban Hamdy, a Sisi supporter, told me in Cairo last week. Hamdy voted for Mohamed Morsi during the 2012 presidential elections, seeing the Muslim Brotherhood leader as "something new, not the same old [regime]." Yet despite regretting that decision, Hamdy acknowledged that Sisi might not be Egypt's final answer either. "If he fails," Hamdy said, "the people will come again and change him."
But blocked an Iranian information campaign.2:10 PM, Mar 11, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
If Israel believed that exposing an Iranian arms transfer to terrorists in Gaza was a public relations coup that might make the White House think twice about making a deal with the regime in Tehran over its nuclear weapons program, then Jerusalem has fundamentally misread the Obama administration. Perhaps just as ominously, it shows that the government of Israel doesn’t understand the new media environment.
Hosted by Michael Graham4:00 PM, Feb 24, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with editor William Kristol on President Obama's influence with foreign leaders and Ted Cruz's role in the GOP.
Forget chess, Turkey is failing at geopolitical checkers. Nov 4, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 08 • By LEE SMITH
A recent spate of newspaper articles suggests a concerted media campaign targeting Turkey’s foreign intelligence service, the MIT, its director, Hakan Fidan, and almost surely his boss as well, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a piece published by the Wall Street Journal and another by the Washington Times, Fidan is said to be supporting al Qaeda affiliates in Syria fighting against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
3:29 PM, Aug 22, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The anti-Christian violence in Egypt is "a modern pogrom," David Brog, the executive director of Christians United for Israel, says in a statement.
"Events in Egypt this week highlight yet again the tragedy facing the Christians of the Middle East. Once again, Christians are being targeted for murder. Once again Christian schools, businesses and churches are being attacked. And once again, the world is largely silent," Brog says.
According to the press, Jerusalem goes against the White House and stands with the Egyptian army.7:02 AM, Aug 21, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is gung-ho for the Egyptian army’s bloody campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood. This, the Journal reports, “has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states.” Yes, concurs, the New York Times, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE support “the Egyptian military and sought to push back against Western entreaties that it temper its actions against the Brotherhood and the ousted government of President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.”
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:23 PM, Aug 20, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith about ongoing crisis in Egypt.
7:11 AM, Aug 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss joined This Week on Sunday to discuss Egypt, law and order, and politics: