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Obama returns, Egypt in ruins

Barack Obama has returned from his lavish vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, spending 27.5 hours playing six rounds of golf with 12 different partners, according to the ABC News. Members of the White House press corps, by the way, are complaining about having to cover Obama while he’s on vacation. Steve Holland of Reuters actually said, “We are in spectacular places, but are a prisoner of the White House even here on the road.” Really – are we supposed to feel bad for these guys who are “prisoners” of Obama’s vacation?

So while Obama was hitting the golf course and our Secretary of State John Kerry was busy kiteboarding (yes, really), the situation in Egypt has continued to unravel.

Obama did take a few moments last week to comment on Egypt, but about the biggest “news” from his speech was the empty move to cancel an upcoming joint military exercise. We continue to give aid to Egypt because the Obama administration still refuses to call the recent uprising a coup. A few Senators such a Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are calling on the Obama administration to end the aid we are sending: Over $1 billion. Rand Paul says Obama is doing this in “defiance of the law.” John McCain also agrees about aid to Egypt, comparing our unwillingness to cut off aid after the Egyptian coup to our inability to live up to our word on the “red line” in Syria. McCain nails it when he says that the United States has “no credibility” in the Middle East. Barack Obama is all talk, but doesn’t follow through with action. And now we are seeing the consequences of what happens when we don’t have clarity in our strategy and the courage of our convictions. Obama’s wishy-washy foreign policy has left us completely impotent to make real impact, which could ultimately threaten the region’s stability and the safety of Israel.

But there is another important issue surrounding the turmoil in Egypt and that is oil. While Egypt itself doesn’t export a lot of oil, its control of the Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean (Sumed) pipeline is absolutely vital to the global oil market. Wouldn’t it be nice if we here in America didn’t need to rely on foreign oil? What’s outrageous is that we have the possibility to do that. We are the Saudi Arabia of oil with more resources than we could imagine. Yet we aren’t taking advantage of this because the United States has a completely backwards strategy when it comes to energy.

Close to a thousand people on all sides have been killed in Egypt since the government cracked down on protesters last week. The list of churches and schools that have been burned to the ground continues to grow. Yesterday in the Sinai Peninsula, 25 Egyptian police officers were ambushed and executed. And surprising many was the decision by Egyptian judicial officials to release Hosni Mubarak from jail, according to a report from Reuters.