March 25, 2015

‘Why Can’t You Just Say You Were Wrong’ About Yemen?

Ed Henry of Fox News and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had an amusing exchange regarding the increasing chaos in Yemen, which Barack Obama not long ago pointed to as a model of his foreign policy’s success.

Henry: “On Yemen, so as not to belabor it. Why can’t you just say, ‘You know what, we were wrong. It is not a model for success.’?”

Earnest replied: “Because, Ed, we’ve tried to be very clear about what our strategy is as it relates to confronting extremists that seek to establish a safe haven in chaotic, unstable countries with chaotic, unstable governments.”

So Henry asked again: “Despite that chaos, which existed last fall, the president said it’s a success. He was wrong, right? Why can’t you say he was wrong and we’re trying to fix it? We’re trying to figure it out? It just seems like we’re going around and around that it’s still a model when it’s not, right?”

That’s precisely right, but don’t confuse Earnest or his boss with the facts. They’ve got a narrative of Obama’s greatness to tell.

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