State Dept. spokeswoman squirms as reporter asks: ‘Are we being run out of town in the Arab World?’

Chief State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked Wednesday whether the United States is being “run out” of Arab Spring countries, given that the U.S. embassy in Yemen is the third that the Obama administration has abandoned.

The other two are Syria and Libya.

“This is the third embassy that you guys have had to, uncharitably perhaps say, abandon in an Arab Spring country since the first one, which was Syria,” noted the Associated Press’s Matt Lee. “Is there a broader concern that you’re being – the U.S. is being run out of town in the Arab world?”

“Run out of town?” Time to pop some popcorn and enjoy the show.

“We certainly don’t look at it in that way,” Psaki said. “I would remind you that we were not the only country that moved our staff out of Yemen last night, and we have to take precautions to protect the men and women who are serving on our behalf.”

Two other Western countries — Great Britain and France — also evacuated their embassies Tuesday.

Psaki continued her response.

“There’s no question that in each of the countries you’ve mentioned there’s a great bit of volatility, but that’s – the fact is that that’s what’s happening on the ground. It’s not a reflection of the United States and our engagement. It’s a reflection of the trouble and challenges happening in these countries.”

But she failed to mention the source of “the trouble and challenges” facing that region of the world. They didn’t all happen on their own. They happened, arguably, at least, because the United States abandoned the Middle East, just as it’s being forced to now abandon its embassies.

Lee suggested this when he asked whether the State Department “would take issue with the suggestion that that is reflective of some failure of the administration’s policies to deal with the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the revolutions throughout the region.”

Psaki replied by reminding Lee of the “challenging circumstances happening in each of these countries,” without accepting responsibility on the part of the administration.

The United States only has six embassies still operating in the Middle East. We lost a total of four in that region — three under Obama — in addition to Iran in 1979.

That was during the Carter administration.

Remember how great those years were?


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