Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, May 3, 2012

On the State Department’s handling of the ongoing Chen affair:

This is a test of the administration’s competence above anything. This is not the first time in U.S. history people have sought asylum — at least in the sense of protection from the United States. To have let him go without any kind of assurances, and accompany him to the hospital and after a [medical] test or two, they left. And they left him obviously in the custody of the Chinese….

Did the embassy not seek certain guarantees? You don’t let him out until you have certain guarantees from the Chinese government to the United States, to the secretary of state. And that looks as if it didn’t happen. …

The administration ought to realize that the entire mission– they were hoping to get him out of the way, this irritant out of the way [before] the high-level summit — is completely in jeopardy. It’s all about Chen right now.

On how the US should proceed:

They have to get him and his wife and children out. That is the minimum….

The reason this is a bad event for the Obama administration is it reflects incompetence in the way they trust and are taken in by dictatorships in negotiations. With the Russians – they were saying [today]: If we don’t get a deal on missile defense we’re going to attack U.S. facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland. In our dealing with Iran, negotiations with Syria, this is a pattern with this administration. It is unable to get tough and get anything out of our adversaries.

On a recent ad, released by the nonprofit Veterans for a Strong America, that criticizes President Obama for politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden:

This is a very strong ad and unlike the one [Swift Boat campaign] against John Kerry, it’s not about one story [of] what happened [vs.] another story. This ad shows the words Obama has used himself.

So the facts are not in dispute. And it hits at several levels. It isn’t just that Obama has turned a positive, something he did well, into a negative by attacking [Romney, saying he wouldn't have done the raid] and using it as a partisan weapon — which diminishes him [Obama].

Also it diminishes the solemnity of the event which was a national event and he appropriated it for himself. It’s the narcissism. And that is the deeper issue here, how they quote Obama again and again using the first personal pronoun in his announcement of the event [bin Laden raid]. “It’s all about me. I commander in chief. I did this.” What about the guys out there that did it and risked their lives?

Secondly, this idea that what was at stake was the political fortunes of the president, if the lives of his own soldiers whom he ordered into battle were lost — that is devastating. Because it speaks to an underlying issue of Obama: the self-regard and narcissism that is implicit in a lot of what he does — but [to be] involved in an event of this kind where soldiers are had a risk, it really hits hard. If this ad were to play around the country I think it would have a devastating effect.

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