A White House spokesman said American efforts in Yemen are a "template that has succeeded," even as President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the country by boat.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday said that the U.S. still had Yemeni extremists in its crosshairs.
According to media reports, Hadi fled the presidential palace in Yemen as rebels attempted an armed takeover of the city of Aden.
Taken out of context, you say? Nope:
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: I know you’re asked this every time something terrible happens in Yemen, but now that we have essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe that Yemen is the model for a counter-terrorism strategy?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Jon, the White House does continue to believe that a successful counter-terrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground to take the fight to extremists in their own country…
KARL: That’s astounding. You’re saying that you still see Yemen as the model, that building up the central government which has now collapsed, a president who has apparently fled the country, Saudi troops have amassed on one boarder, the Iranians supporting the rebels. You consider this as a model for counter-terrorism?
EARNEST: Again, Jon, what the United States considers to be our strategy when confronting the effort to try to mitigate the threat that is posed by extremists is to prevent them from establishing a safe haven. And certainly in a chaotic, dangerous situation like in Yemen, what the United States will do and has done is work to try to support the central government, build up the capacity of local fighters, and use our own technological and military capabilities to apply pressure on the extremists there.
OK, folks. Who called it? Who called it?
Hate to break it to Josh Earnest, but Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf was funnier. And more believable.
Sigh! The Obama administration has indeed become a caricature of itself. Noah Rothman:
As this administration has entered its waning days, it seems to have long ago gave up on appealing to the political sensibilities of average Americans. It is easy to let oneself believe that the White House has simply lost touch with reality. But there is a difference between being out of touch and simply exhibiting such childlike petulance that you refuse to accept unpleasant truths. Obama’s administration has adopted the latter approach to bad news.
On a day when what the White House calls the “legitimate government” of Yemen dissolves and its president flees the country out of fear for his personal safety, it takes a galling level of chutzpah to insist that the administration’s counterterror approach in Yemen – one centered on building up “the central government” – remains a noteworthy achievement. But they hope that you’ll believe them and not your lying eyes. And, you know what? Many of this president’s most blinkered supporters will do just that.
Of course. That's how he was elected in the first place.