Thursday Funnies From The Murdoch Street Journal

February 12, 2009

(OK, Tuesday actually – I’m a little late with this one…)

Bret Stephens of the WSJ laments the supposed foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration here (Jeez, people, he hasn’t even been in office for a month! Let’s wait until something blows up before we start crying about how he isn’t fixing every single problem at once, OK?).

Get a load of this (and these are selected excerpts – I have neither the time nor the desire to punish myself by analyzing all of Stephens’ propaganda here)…

“I have Muslim members of my family,” Mr. Obama recently told Al-Arabiya. Yet so far his efforts at outreach have been met with derision from Arab hard-liners and “liberals” alike.

“We welcomed him with almost total enthusiasm until he underwent his first real test: Gaza,” wrote Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany in a New York Times op-ed. “We also wanted Mr. Obama . . . to recognize . . . the right of people in occupied territory to resist military occupation.” In other words, the price of Arab support for Mr. Obama is that he embrace Hamas and its terrorist tactics.

Gee, Bret, nice…job to excerpt…only the portions of…what Obama is…talking about that…only seems to favor…your argument, huh? There was plenty of room to also include the additional words you left out, namely the part about “recogniz(ing) what we see as a simple, essential truth: the right of a people in occupied territory to resist military occupation,” as well as the writer’s note that Obama “studied law and political science at the greatest American universities.”

For the record, here is the Op-Ed in question from the Times, in which, while the Egyptian writer indeed confesses his disenchantment with Obama over his silence on Gaza, he also tells us that…

Have Egyptians irreversibly gone off Mr. Obama? No. Egyptians still think that this one-of-a-kind American president can do great things. Young Egyptians’ admiration for America is offset by frustration with American foreign policy. Perhaps the most eloquent expression of this came from one Egyptian blogger: “I love America. It’s the country of dreams … but I wonder if I will ever be able someday to declare my love.”

(And yes, it would be nice if Obama did speak out, but I think he’s wise to fight one catastrophe at a time, focusing on the economy first – besides, while I would like to see nothing better than a political sea change in this country against both Israel and the Palestinians to the point where Israel would stop building those damn settlements and start negotiating for real about Jerusalem, water, right of return, etc., I know what the realistic chance is of seeing that happen any time soon.)

And Stephens also tells us that, concerning North Korea (another supposed Obama failure), “a Taepodong 2 missile (is) potentially capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast.”

Yeah, well, there are all kinds of things that are “potentially capable” of taking place: I, for one, am “potentially capable” of winning the Powerball drawing if I buy a ticket every single week, for example.

However, in the real world, the following should be noted (from here)…

In July 2006, the North set off a Taepodong-2 from its long-established site in the north-east of the country, but it fizzled out and fell into the Sea of Japan in a major embarrassment for the country’s armed forces.

The current Taepodong-2 development is believed to have a range of just over 4,000 miles, enough to hit Alaska and maybe Hawaii.

North Korea’s official media has whipped up its invective against the South in recent weeks, and in particular against South Korea’s right-wing president, Lee Myung-bak. On Friday, it said the two Koreas were on the “brink of war”.

But the regime has been noticeably quiet about America, seemingly wishing to encourage Washington’s current policy of engagement with Pyongyang.

Color me shocked that we are apparently still trying to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions; I mean, wasn’t it just yesterday (last year, in fact) that our dear corporate media cousins told us that Dubya “won” on a reactor deal here?

See you next Tuesday, Bret.

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