GUTSY – AT 8:45 A.M. ET: You know the name Niall Ferguson. He's the Harvard professor who wrote a Newsweek cover piece several weeks back calling for Barack Obama to hit the road.
There was a huge backlash. This was heresy in Newsweek, and double heresy for a Harvard professor. There were serious suggestions that Harvard take action against him, and one goofball pundit, himself a Harvard graduate, wanted it known by his public that he was distancing himself from Ferguson and thought other Harvard men should as well.
So much for academic freedom.
Ferguson has spine. Today he is out with a new piece blasting Obama's pathetic Mideast policy. He takes no prisoners. The Harvard crowd will be on sedatives before the day is out:
Four years ago John McCain was campaigning on his foreign-policy experience when along came a financial crisis that killed his chances. This time around Mitt Romney has been campaigning on his economic experience. Now along comes a foreign-policy crisis. Will it kill his chances, too? Or can the Republicans finally land a punch on President Obama?
Hmm. I've been thinking about that, too. If you go back through Obama's political career, something usually happned in the middle of his election campaigns that unexpectedly gave him a big boost.
This is what Jimmy Carter said in a speech on Feb. 7, 1980, as the Iranian hostage crisis entered its third month: “I have been struck ... by the human and moral values which Americans as a people share with Islam..."
...Remind you of anything? Try this: “I’ve come here ... to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings ... Let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America.”
That was from a speech given by President Obama in Cairo on June 4, 2009...
...Here’s what happens to American presidents who look to be loved in the Middle East. In 2008, the year Obama won the presidency with his pledge to end George W. Bush’s wars, 75 percent of Egyptians had an unfavorable opinion of the United States. Today it’s 79 percent. Four years ago, that was the percentage of Jordanians with a negative view of the U.S. Now it’s 86 percent.
“It is much safer to be feared than loved,” Machiavelli teaches us. Today America is neither.
As for Syria, while Obama fiddles, its cities burn in a civil war that could soon eclipse Lebanon’s in the 1980s.
The president who was once a foreign-policy neophyte now makes much of his experience. That claim depends heavily on a program of targeted assassination that liberals would have denounced if it had been pursued by his predecessor.
If Mitt Romney wants to be Barack Obama’s successor, he urgently needs to launch a metaphorical drone strike of his own—against a Mideast policy that is flaming out.
COMMENT: Read the whole piece. Ferguson is always worth it. I wish he were one of Romney's speechwriters, for the current group isn't cutting it.
And Romney isn't cutting it. Time to wake up.
September 17, 2012