State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki curtly replied Thursday to Associated Press reporter Matt Lee that the policies of the Obama administration regarding Egypt and Syria were in fact worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
LEE: All right. And then my last one — and I will stop, I promise, after this — do you think or is the administration confident that the steps — that the policy that you have pursued thus far in Egypt and also in Syria are worthy of a president who not so long ago won the Nobel peace prize?
PSAKI: Yes, Matt.
LEE: You do. OK.
Obama's support for Muslim Brotherhood Islamists in Egypt is driving the powerful military there against the United States and toward Moscow, Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reported. The administration’s handling of the turmoil there has drawn intense scrutiny in the six weeks since Morsi was removed from office, particularly the refusal of officials to say whether or not Morsi’s removal constituted a coup, even leading to a sharp rebuke from the Washington Post editorial board.
The administration's response to the Syrian civil war has also been criticized as weak, particularly with regard to so-called "red line" Syria crossed that did not lead to immediate aid to the rebels. It has been nearly two years since Obama demanded President Bashar al-Assad step aside, yet he remains in power and the civil war is destabilizing the Levant.
Obama received the Nobel prize in 2009 for what the committee called his "extraordinary efforts" to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. Given he had been in office less than nine months when the decision was announced, many called it premature.