Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports, and now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas MediaAs The State of the Union Speech Shows: The Problem with Obama Isn’t Just Political or Ideological, It’s Ignorance, Inexperience, Character, and Incompetence, Too
By Barry Rubin
I’ve been waiting for someone to voice my reaction to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union message. But and since I haven’t seen anyone else do it — I’m not referring to the foreign policy aspects which I analyzed fully here but the whole speech — I’ll do it myself.
It was very scary.
Why? I am reminded of the famous scene in The Caine Mutiny embedded above in which the captain is testifying at the court-martial of officers who removed him from command during a storm on the basis of mental incompetence. Perhaps you remember the brilliant film performance by Humphrey Bogart. As he testifies about his fine job of command, the captain slowly breaks down into coherence. He pulls out of his pocket some little steel balls which he rolls endlessly in his hand. Click. Click. Click. The court-martial officers look at each other and you can see in their faces what they are thinking: This man is bonkers.
I don’t mean that Obama is crazy. What is so evident, however, is that he is so detached from reality.
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