The Cognitive Dissonance Of Charles Krauthammer

The unapologetic, unrelenting neo-conservative darling Charles Krauthammer yesterday decided to hold forth on the topic of Egypt, and (of course) use the situation to bash President Obama’s foreign policy. So far, so unsurprising. And indeed, he kicks off with the usual neo-con boilerplate nonsense that we have come to expect, painting a narrative where Obama is ditherer-in-chief at best, or staunchly pro-Islamist at worst:

Obama is a bystander, again. Here are the Egyptians in the millions out on the street, trying to bring down an Islamist government, increasingly dictatorial, increasingly intolerant, arresting journalists and judges, trying to Islamicize the military and the people are saying no, and what does the president of the United States do? He takes a position of studied neutrality, says he is not supporting either side. And yet, as you point out in the Mubarak revolution, he obviously strongly took the side of the people. He demanded that Mubarak had to go, he was not neutral.

But just feast your eyes on this closing sentence from Krauthammer:

That was a shameful episode. But there’s also idea of national interest. Mubarak was pro-American, he was an ally of ours, he helped us in all kinds of ways. Obama worked against him. Morsi represents a movement which is essentially deeply anti-American, and deeply anti-democratic, yet he is neutral on this.This is a shocking position for a president to take.

Did you see it? That is Charles Krauthammer twisting himself into a pretzel to argue that Morsi (autocratic and unpleasant but democratically elected) is somehow more anti-democratic than the dictator Hosni Mubarak (for whom, of course, all sins are forgiven because he was a US “ally”).

Whether President Obama’s position is “shocking” is a matter for debate. But what is not up for debate is the fact that unlike Charles Krauthammer, Obama is at least able to articulate his position without resorting to logical contradictions that make my head explode.

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An Angry Return To Blogging

I have been busy for the past several weeks, which when combined with my boredom with both the Republican and Democratic party conventions, and more recently my being struck down with appendicitis, has meant that Semi-Partisan Sam has not seen much new activity lately.

I remain confined to the couch and hopped up on painkillers, and though sitting up and typing on a laptop still causes considerable discomfort, I am doing it because would like to say the following to the hosts of “Fox & Friends” on Fox News:

SHUT UP WITH ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT A “POLICY OF APPEASEMENT”. DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND THE FREAKING POINT OF HAVING A DIPLOMATIC SERVICE? AMERICAN EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES ARE NOT JUST THERE TO SERVE AS MASSIVE MEGAPHONES THROUGH WHICH THE UNITED STATES CAN GLOAT ABOUT ITS SUPERIORITY, OR CHIDE THEIR HOST NATIONS ABOUT THEIR VARIED SHORTCOMINGS. DIPLOMACY INVOLVES BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES AND FOSTERING PERSONAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL TIES, AND GOODWILL, IN SERVICE OF THE NATIONAL INTEREST. HOW DO YOU PROPOSE THAT THE AMERICAN NATIONAL INTEREST WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER SERVED IF THE LIBYAN CONSULATE AND EGYPTIAN EMBASSY HAD SENT OUT MESSAGES SAYING “FREE SPEECH RULES AND YES, WE DO THINK YOUR RELIGION IS A BIT DODGY. NOW BRING IT ON!!” ?

Aah, why am I bothering? You’re all ignorant at Fox, save the increasingly orange Shepard Smith, the hard-to-define Juan Williams and the curious case of Gretchen Carlson, who holds degrees from Stanford and Oxford and just pretends to be dumb sometimes (“I looked up the word ‘czar’ in the dictionary, and it said…”).

And to Mitt Romney:

WHEN AN EMBASSY SENDS OUT A MESSAGE CALLING FOR RESTRAINT IN UNNECESSARY VERBAL ATTACKS ON OTHER RELIGIONS, IT IS NOT TRYING TO SUPPRESS FREE SPEECH. NOR IS IT SYMPATHISING WITH “ATTACKERS” WHO WOULD NOT BESEIGE SAID EMBASSY FOR ANOTHER SEVERAL HOURS. TIME, FOR OUR PURPOSES, IS LINEAR.

There.

That is all.