O's neo-Clinton mantra: "It's the ignorance, stupid!"....
Commentary Blog's Seth Mandel homes in on a foundation Obama flaw: abysmal ignorance of history:
The problem is that Obama tends to make mistakes that stem from a worldview often at odds with reality. Russia is a good example. Does it matter that Obama doesn’t know the basics of Vladimir Putin’s biography and the transition of post-Soviet state security? Yes, it does, because Obama’s habit of misreading Putin has been at the center of his administration’s failed Russia policy. And it matters with regard not only to Russia but to his broader foreign policy because Obama has a habit of not listening to anyone not named Jarrett. Obama appointed among the most qualified American ambassadors ever to represent the U.S. abroad in sending Michael McFaul to Moscow. But with or without McFaul, Obama let his own naïveté guide him.
Obama has also run into some trouble with history in the Middle East, where history is both exceedingly important and practically weaponized. The legitimacy of the Jewish state is of particular relevance to the conflict. So Obama was criticized widely for undermining that legitimacy in his famous 2009 Cairo speech, puzzling even Israel’s strident leftists. The speech was harder to defend than either his remarks to BuzzFeed or Vox because such speeches are not off the cuff; they are carefully scrutinized by the administration. When Obama could say exactly what he meant to say, in other words, this is what he chose to say.
It wasn’t the only time Obama revealed his ignorance of the Middle East and especially Israeli history, of course. And that ignorance has had consequences. Obama has learned nothing from the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fact which was reflected quite clearly in his disastrous mishandling of the negotiations and their bloody aftermath. He didn’t understand Palestinian intentions, Israeli political reality, or the lessons from when the U.S. has played a beneficial role in the conflict in the past. The president can simply move on, but Israelis and Palestinians have to pay the price for his learning curve.
And, of course, there is the Barack Obama edition of the Crusades, commented upon at length. Obama recounts some atrocities committed by the oft atrocious Crusaders. But missing from the same period are Muslim atrocities.
My favorite: on of Genghis Khan's four grandsons, Hulagu (1218-1265), erected a "million-skull pyramid" in what today is Iraq, as Hulagu razed Baghdad, leaving it in ruins for several centuries. The actual number might have been as low as 200,000--Madison Avenue puffery was hardly unknown in medieval times.
Puts the 3,000 Muslims slaughtered in Jerusalem in perspective.
Bottom Line. Ignorance in the leader of the Free World ought to be simply unacceptable. That it apparently is not, augurs ill for America's future.
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