John Bolton

John Bolton

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Obama's Incompetence Offends Poland With Death Camp Remark

And you thought V.P. Joe Biden was a boob!

When presidential historian Michael Beschloss insisted that Barack Obama was the "smartest man ever elected president" people wondered where he got that idea. After all, unlike his predecessors Obama has refused to release his college transcripts.

But the evidence is mounting that not only is Obama not the smartest man ever to hold the office of President he's the least competent of the bunch.

It's one thing for Obama to say there are "57 states" during the 2008 campaign. If Bush had said that the comedians would still be making hay out of it. The same can be said for Obama's gaffe in a NATO press conference where he confused "Austrian" with an actual language. Talk about making the U.S. look dumb in the eyes of the world!

It's another for Obama to confuse the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean with the Malvinas, the Argentinian name for the Falklands Islands. The mistake was made in prepared remarks by Obama to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia this year. Even if Obama had gotten it correct and used Malvinas, it would have been an insult to our British allies since it would seem to justify the claim Argentina has for the islands. Nine hundred and seven people died in the Falklands War in 1982 the last time Argentina got confused over the island's sovereignty.

Now it's Poland's turn and no one is laughing. On Tuesday Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a several people at the White House including Jan Karski who smuggled news of the Nazi Holocaust out of Poland during World War II. Referring to the slaughter of Jews in Poland, Obama called the Nazi camp "a Polish death camp,” which is a huge painful insult to Poles. Six million Poles were killed by the Germans during World War II.

The Poles, who have been thrown under the bus by Obama on previous occasions have had enough:
“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”

Sikorski also tonight tweeted a link to an Economist story noting that “few things annoy Poles more than being blamed for the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers of their homeland. For many years, Polish media, diplomats and politicians have tried to persuade outsiders to stop using the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ as a shorthand description of Auschwitz and other exemplars of Nazi brutality and mass murder. Unfortunately this seems to have escaped Barack Obama’s staff seem not to have noticed this.”
Nile Gardiner writing in the British paper The Telegraph describes the screw up this way:
The president’s use of the term “Polish death camp” is hugely insulting to the Polish people, and will reinforce the growing image across Eastern and Central Europe of an American presidency that cares little for key US allies, especially against the backdrop of its controversial and weak-kneed “reset” policy towards Russia. For a US administration that likes to boast of “smart power,” this was an act of staggering historical ignorance as well as crass insensitivity.
It's one thing to have a verbal gaffe on the spot like "57 states" or mistaking Austrian for a language instead of a people. It's quite another to read prepared remarks from a teleprompter that are not only wrong, but insulting and damaging to our relationship with our allies.

Perhaps it's easy to blame it on the speechwriters but after all, Obama hired those speech writers and he ultimately bears responsibility for the words he utters. Anyone who has worked in the White House knows that every word prepared for presidential remarks should receive the closest scrutiny to avoid such errors. But Obama has surrounded himself with sycophantic staffers who are just as unqualified and inexperienced as he is.

No wonder Ed Klein's new book on the Obama is titled "The Amateur." Columnist Jack Kelly goes one step further and concludes that Obama is just not that bright. However you look at it, it seems that audacity can only get you so far. At some point incompetence, inexperience will be unmasked!

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