Liz Cheney’s SRLC Gaffe


Liz Cheney opened the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last night with an all-out assault on the Obama administration, singling out the president’s handling of foreign policy—a three pronged approach, she said, of “apologize for America, abandon our allies, and appease our enemies”—for particular rebuke. Nothing new there. What was interesting is that she took particular issue with the administration’s treatment of Hamid Karzai, whose conduct recently could certainly be described as antagonistic. But what’s wrong with the following statement in her prepared remarks (that is, beyond Cheney’s overheated rhetoric)? Answer below the fold.

Afghan President Karzai, whose support we need if we are going to succeed in Afghanistan, is being treated to an especially dangerous and juvenile display from this White House. They dress him down publicly almost daily and refuse to even say that he is an ally. There is a saying in the Arab world: “It is more dangerous to be America’s friend than to be her enemy.” In the age of Obama, that is proving true.

Figure it out? Afghanistan is not an “Arab” country. Presumably Cheney knows this, since during her stint as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, her portfolio included much of the “Arab world.” (H/T Justin Elliott.)

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  • Dan Schulman

    Daniel Schulman is Mother Jones' deputy Washington, DC, bureau chief. Reach him at dschulman (at) motherjones.com. Dan is the New York Times best-selling author of Sons of Wichita, a biography of the Koch brothers that is now out in paperback.