President Clinton didn’t know the definition of the word “is.” Apparently, President Obama doesn’t know the definition of the word “ally.”
In an interview last night with Telemundo, Obama bestowed upon the American public his absolute wisdom about Egypt: “I don’t think we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy. They’re a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident.”
But Obama had three problems. First, Egypt was America’s ally until Obama allowed dictator Hosni Mubarak to fall in favor of this Muslim Brotherhood-led bunch. So if they’re not an ally, that’s his fault. Second, America gives billions in aid to Egypt – so if they’re not an ally, we have a problem. Third, Egypt is legally America’s ally. Technically, they’re a Major Non-NATO Ally.
So was Obama willing to recategorize Egypt? Of course not. He quickly backtracked; the White House explained that Obama wasn’t signaling any change in the American relationship with Egypt with his statements. Said Tommy Vietor, White House spokesman, “I think folks are reading way too much into this. ‘Ally’ is a legal term of art.”
And Obama has treated American allies as to ally was a term of art. Sometimes, allies aren’t treated as allies (Israel, Great Britain); sometimes, enemies are treated as allies (Russia, Egypt). Confused? Don’t worry – so’s the president.