Obama's latest offensive in his personal war against Benjamin Netanyahu had - like all sneak attacks -some serious collateral damage.
In this case, it was the credibility of his press secretary, Jay Carney. The PJ Tatler reports on the mess Carney now finds himself sitting in:
Two days before the speech Carney rejected an Israeli press report alleging the president would call for an Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 borders. He flatly told White House reporters the news account, reported by Pajamas Media was “completely false.” But by the end of the yesterday’s speech, it was clear that what was deceptive was Carney’s denial.
As today’s Politico noted, the new Obama policy “surprised reporters.” The incident raises questions about Carney’s credibility and his “insider” status at White House. Was Carney lying or, more benevolently, was he “out of the loop?”
I actually believe Carney is the victim here; no doubt Obama wanted minimal leakage of what he knew would be a controversial plan, and wanted to make sure it was a surprise to his true adversary, Mr. Netanyahu.
Now Carney has to come clean about being out of the loop, or be seen as a liar by the White House press corps, which will lead to more rumor and innuendo being reported as fact by a reporters who do not want to made to look foolish by buying into "official denials".
So besides crippling his press secretary, Obama's attempt to reset the peace talks at the 1967 borders was a complete success, right?
Ah, no. Once again, Barack was bitch-slapped by the Israeli prime minister, who - unlike his American counterpart - is intelligent,realistic, and actually understands a bit of world history. "Bibi bops Bam" was the headline of the New York Post editorial today, but apparently Benny Avni catches the proper tone:
...after the two men spent much more time behind closed doors than previously planned -- 1½ hours, mostly one-on-one -- Netanyahu emerged to face the TV cameras acting like a university professor lecturing a bad student about the difference between "wishes" and the real world.
And via The Corner:
None of what Netanyahu said was new, but what was striking was the way in which he felt the need to provide this kind of a history lesson when discussing Israel’s situation with an American president. After 60-plus years of friendship between the two countries, one would think that we were past that point. Obama’s speech yesterday evidently showed Bibi that with this president, he feels the need to return to square one.
So what did Obama's latest foray into foreign affairs result in? A less secure Israel, strained relations with a key ally, the empowerment of a terrorist government, the ruination of a press secretary, and the exposure of the president's ignorance of world history and international affairs. Not to mention that, once again, he was bested by Bibi.
Other than that, though, it was a great speech....