Foreign and Defense Policy

A disgraceful week in politics

Image Credit: Reuters

Image Credit: Reuters

Last week saw the murder of an American ambassador and three others serving their country in Libya at the hands of terrorists, most likely affiliated with al Qaeda or a related group. It also saw the breaching of U.S. embassies from Cairo to Sudan and the burning of American flags everywhere from London to South Asia, not to speak of throughout the Middle East.

Let’s focus first on Barack Obama because he’s the president of the United States. Notwithstanding what can only be called the almost unhinged sycophancy of the press (“presidential”), the president did no service to himself or his country. Here are a few reasons:

  • He was more focused on Romney and politics than on terrorism and anti-Americanism.
  • He refused to provide any guidance to the American people about why our people were being killed other than “a film” for which he and his staff apologized.
  • He refused to articulate more than a tactical response to the wave of anti-Americanism that he had promised his presidency would end.

All these are the responsibilities of the president, even if he is in a race for his job.

Now Mitt Romney, who did himself few favors either. Because he wants to be president of the United States, and every day should be about proving he’s ready. Where did he go wrong:

  • No, it wasn’t the early condemnation of the Cairo Embassy’s shameless apology for a free-speaking moron in America; it was incoherence. If you want to play hardball, all to the good, but then explain where you’re coming from. And don’t keep changing your mind about whether you were right.
  • Romney’s advisers. Seriously, why say this wouldn’t have happened under a President Romney? Yeah it could have. Leadership doesn’t eliminate the risk that people will hate and want to kill us. What it does do is ensure that America is minimizing those risks, articulating a clear vision and purpose in our foreign policy that serves our values and our interests.
  • Romney’s big edge is competence. OK, prove it. Would his consulates have no security detail? Would his embassies ignore warnings that terrorists are active against them? Would his spokesmen inveigh against Americans before condemning terrorists? Gee, I hope so, but I didn’t hear it last week.

Chris Cilizza over at the Post decided that Romney had the “worst week in politics” last week. I disagree. The American people had the worst week in politics. We deserve leaders who have a vision for a Middle East policy that does more than react, more than kill people with drones; a vision for security, safety, and prosperity. Where the hell was that?

4 thoughts on “A disgraceful week in politics

  1. You just simply passed over a very difficult issue for Muslims. The Film was a huge insult. No Muslim had ever attack Jesus like this to see what would be the reaction of Christine. But also don’t forget other insults and attacks by the US in the region. Consider only that a drone has killed 9 Afghans all women and girls in the same past week!! Why as a citizen of this global village you don’t mention them? but only US citizens are important for you? Now I am against killing US ambassador and condemn it in the most severe term. But the US prosperity in a global age is not going to happen without a respect for and prosperity of others. You can not kill others by direct war or indirect drones and feel safe in the same big home. You can not support Israel while killing people in Gaza and call their reaction pure terrorism and support Israel blindly.
    the US needs to adjust its policy in the middle east ASAP it needs to stop all these Blood sheds which people of the region suffer more than any other and blame the US for that. They are right, without the help of the US, Israel had no such impunity to kill innocents.

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