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Are any more accusations against President Obama allowed, or have we reached and breached the quota? We’re told, even by former close friends of the administration, “This is the most secretive … the most arrogant … the most self-serving … the most lying” … etc. “… administration in history … in memory … I’ve ever known.”

If it’s not too late, I’d like to add that this administration is the most ham-handed administration in history. In normal real-life, ham-handedness can be amusing. A woman I know will make someone a beautiful wife some day, if he can handle ham of that thickness. She once asked a rather prominent newscaster who’d just been rather prominently let go by a major New York channel, “Was it your idea or the station’s for you to leave?” He gamely mouthed something to the effect that, well, it was sort of mutual.

That kind of stupidity is common. You’ve heard it. “Are you still dating that model from the magazine covers?” “How did that business idea you were telling us about last Thanksgiving work out?” “Did you ever write that play you were so excited about?” “What ever happened to that congressional nomination you were going for?”

That kind of ham-handedness is harmless, if you don’t mind wounding a few innocent people with your small-talk. The ham-handedness of the Obama administration is not harmless. It can be dangerous. I’m not referring to the Obama administration ham-handedly “closing” outdoor war memorials to make as many people as possible “suffer” the shutdown even though the cost to the taxpayer is higher than would be the case if the government just forgot about the whole thing. Nor am I referring to the cosmic mishandling of military families whose members paid the supreme sacrifice, or the laughable pretense that jammed-up computers on opening day of Obamacare are proof of huge success. Let’s examine the clear-and-present danger of the abrupt announcement that American aid to the Egyptian military would be immediately cut.

Different families handle it differently, but I was taught at about age 6 that not all my “policy decisions” had to be announced, abruptly or otherwise. Whispering to Mother if she knew where the bathroom was could de-sensationalize things down to a civilized level. Same with “aid to Egypt”!

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood apparently won the post-Mubarak election fairly. Despite Obama’s claims that this is tangible proof of cleanliness and godliness, let’s remind each other of two leaders who started out by winning free elections, namely, Hitler and Mussolini. The Egyptian people came into the streets and squares just as they had done to overthrow Mubarak, this time to protest the many outrages of the Muslim Brotherhood once they’d actually achieved power. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood promptly took the side of those who began to kill Christians inside Egypt and elsewhere, ginned up the old war-talk against Israel and scared the living daylights out of our moderate allies.

The last thing American diplomacy needed was an announcement, abrupt as it could be, that America was a fickle, if not worthless, ally. Let’s pretend there were good and proper reasons why we had to cut off aid to Egypt’s military.

Why the big announcement? What’s wrong with “quietly asking Mother where the men’s room is”? As the incomparable Charles Krauthammer suggested on Fox News, why not slow aid shipments down, something bureaucracies know how to pull off with great skill, come up with a hitch and a snag or two, and have lower-level State Department functionaries get on the phone with their friends in the Egyptian military and tell them, “Look, we think the real problem here is our leaders are a little unhappy with some of your rough-house actions against street demonstrators”?

If the objective is to change the behavior of the Egyptian military without alarming, upsetting and possibly overturning the whole Middle East, that approach promises maximum cure of our real American problem with minimum side effects. All we’ve done so far is to give the Russians something to sing about and the Iranian mullahs an incentive to celebrate with real alcohol.

The military is traditionally pretty ham-handed, but at least they can laugh about it. Witness the lieutenant who was walking through the company area one day and heard a staff sergeant yell over the “bitch-box” – the loud-speaker – “Hey, Ferguson. Your mother died!”

Enraged, the lieutenant stormed into the orderly room, put his angry nose up against the offending sergeant’s and screamed, “You a–h—! Were you raised in a cave? I don’t ever again want to hear another announcement like that one! The next time you have to inform a soldier of something like that, be sensitive. Be gentle. Got it?”

A few weeks later, in one of those coincidences that happens only in jokes, the same lieutenant was walking through the same company area and heard the same bitch-box click in and the same sergeant, this time yelling, “Formation! Everybody out in the company street! On the double!”

The lieutenant decided he’d stick around and see what the sergeant was going to do next. After the “Ten-shun!” the sergeant said, “I want every man whose mother is still alive to take one step forward.”

As most of the men began to step forward, the sergeant shouted, “Get back there, Mulligan!”

 

 

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