24 hrs on: Where is the President of the United States?
It's too bad America's best ally in the Middle East has to deal with this empty suit in the White House. With the entire rest of the world in full throated outrage over the terrorist ambush - and it has been for more than 24 hours - we have yet to hear from the man who is ostensibly the Commander in Chief and has been constitutionally delegated to make our foreign policy.
Where the hell is the President of the United States?
Sure, he's on vacation and all - must recharge the batteries after all those exertions on behalf of - well - some of the people anyway. But you would think that even Barack Obama could find the time between pick up basketball games and pleasant naps on the holiday weekend to personally issue a statement on a matter of war and peace - especially one involving an ally he swears he supports.
Ominously, the reason for this dearth of presidential interest may, in fact, be a not so subtle message that the US is about to turn on its beleaguered ally and join most of the rest of the world in ignoring the facts and pretending that Hamas has any legitimate claim to being an aggrieved party, and that the organization that funded these "peace" activists was a designated terrorist outfit.
Meanwhile, our State Department didn't take the holiday off - although judging by the pablum they put out on the incident, perhaps they should have:
The United States deeply regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident today aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We are working to ascertain the facts, and expect that the Israeli government will conduct a full and credible investigation.
The United States remains deeply concerned by the suffering of civilians in Gaza. We will continue to engage the Israelis on a daily basis to expand the scope and type of goods allowed into Gaza to address the full range of the population's humanitarian and recovery needs. We will continue to work closely with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, along with international NGOs and the UN, to provide adequate access for humanitarian goods, including reconstruction materials, through the border crossings, while bearing in mind the Government of Israel's legitimate security concerns. However, Hamas' interference with international assistance shipments and work of nongovernmental organizations, and its use and endorsement of violence, complicates efforts in Gaza. Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by governments and groups that wish to do so. These mechanisms should be used for the benefit of all those in Gaza.
Ultimately, this incident underscores the need to move ahead quickly with negotiations that can lead to a comprehensive peace in the region.
But on the White House website ? Not a whisper. Not a blog post. Nothing. This is to be expected. It takes time to craft a statement that stabs your best ally in the back without making it appear that you are doing so.