US President Barack Obama was blindsided by the “Arab Spring” revolts as much as anyone else was, yet somehow he acts like he is on top of it all, and like he knows how he can use the events to his advantage. Why is that?
Short answer: he’s a megalomaniac, as became horribly apparent even during his election campaign. (Or if that is too wild a term, compare his behavior with the DSM-IV definition of narcissistic personality disorder, aka NPD.)
I don’t know of anyone, world leader or otherwise, who claims to have foreseen the past four months’ tumult in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, or Syria. There are some now who offer ideas as to where it’s all going, and I can’t say I’m in a position to evaluate the various scenarios being set forth, but neither do I for one minute believe that President Obama has any more of a clue than my next door neighbor.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address the US Congress next week, and there is pretty much nothing that Netanyahu can do that Obama will like. So Obama is doing the best he thinks he can by trying to get in a speech of his own before Bibi can get to the podium. From what I’m reading currently, Obama plans to praise the Arab uprisings (as if they’re one unified movement, which they certainly are not), and perhaps somehow morph that into an admonition to Israel that it had better surrender to its enemies while it still has a chance to do so.
Dear Mr. President, you had nothing to do with the Arab movements, and you certainly don’t control them, so what makes you think you can use them as leverage against Israel? And anyway, haven’t you heard that in a war of words, it’s to one’s strategic advantage to speak last? So why do you want to go first?
The only rational explanation that comes to mind is that the President of the United States is indeed afflicted with NPD. That’s anything but comforting to me as an American, but somehow we’ve survived the first two years of his rule, so maybe we just need to hang on.
(Added note: I’ve expressed a few times privately since the 2008 election the hope that, if push comes to shove, our top military brass will somehow find a way to avoid implementing an order from the Commander-in-Chief which would clearly destroy the nation. We may have seen something close to that with the recent hit on Osama Bin Laden. An unnamed White House insider reports that Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Hillary Clinton were successfully able to overcome Obama’s unwillingness to authorize the hit, by staging what the source has called a “temporary coup.” That’s a pretty fantastic claim, but the beauty of it is that it makes the three look pretty good in the eyes of the American people, and that Obama doesn’t dare punish them, since that exposes his unwillingness to defend this country against its former public enemy #1. Maybe he has a lick of sense after all. Of course, he could use a good deal more than a lick, or even two, but there’s always hope. TTYL – lineman.)