Sunday, March 24, 2013

Barack bombs in Israel

The trip was a failure.

So much so that the real question is how bad was it?


How about so bad that Haaretz is using an illustration of Barack Obama looking glum and despondent (and pouty) to pitch subscriptions to their newspaper?

It was a two day visit by the US President filled with one mis-step after another.

Things were so bad that CNN went into a panic and began crediting Barack with an apology the Israeli government made to the Turkish government while. noted that Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stated the apology was evidence of Turkey's increasing role in the region while Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post) quoted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who made the apology, explaining that the apology was prompted by fears of the growing conflict in Syria.

On the first day of his three-day visit to Israel, Barack rushed to hold a press conference where he gabbed endlessly about how he was in Israel right then to listen, not to talk.  He explained that in a record 1238 words -- and that was before he took questions.

In one of the most pointed moments of the visit, Barack waited until Netanyahu had issued his prepared remarks to bring out his trademark bitchy.

"I did inform the Prime Minister that they are very good-looking young men who clearly got their looks from their mother."

Barack wasn't counting on the fact that this wasn't the Rose Garden and Netanyahu wasn't a prop.  He was more than fine with interrupting Barack to counter, "Well I can say the same for your daughters."

The eyes narrowed as Barack attempted to pretend he found it amusing.

Thursday, he went to the West Bank where he hoped to be greeted warmly by the Palestinians.  That did not happen.  He was greeted loudly, AFP and Reuters pointed out,  with chants rejecting him and the CIA.

Friday was the worst of the visit.  The White House noted one primary event this way, "The President attended wreath laying ceremonies at Mount Herzl at the grave sites of Theodor Herzl and Yitzhak Rabin."   So important was that event that Barack himself referenced it in his speech Wednesday, "And on Friday, I’ll be honored to visit Mount Herzl and pay tribute to the leaders and soldiers who have laid down their lives for Israel. One of them was Yoni Netanyahu. And in one of his letters home, he wrote to his family, 'Don’t forget -- strength, justice, and staunch resolution are on our side, and that is a great deal'."


This was supposed to be a solemn moment, one of respect.  But Barack could be overheard by the White House press pool cracking jokes while standing at the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, "Bibi arranged for perfect weather. . . . Shimon plied me with wine . . . Rabin had a great speaking voice. . . . I can sing.  They had me on YouTube."

This is how you pay respects?

As Wally and Cedric noted Saturday, Dana Milbank (Washington Post) reported on the outrageous conduct graveside but seemed unaware of what he was reporting.

Hopefully others grasped it immediately.
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