SOURCE: National Interest
comments powered by Disqus
Doug Bandow: Washington's Mideast Follies
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.
An American ambassador murdered. A consulate ransacked. Multiple embassies under siege. A U.S. school looted. Protests in “liberated” Afghanistan and Iraq. Americans again wondering: Why do they hate us?
Yet some Washington policy makers never learn. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the latest attacks on Americans resulted from a lack of U.S. “leadership.” GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan blamed administration weakness and Pentagon spending cuts. The cause, according to the last Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, was President Obama’s “weakness” and “feckless foreign policy,” most notably Washington’s failure to impose its will on the Muslim world—by intervening in Syria, coercing Egypt, continuing to occupy Iraq and more.
Although the administration reacted more responsibly, it sent drones, ships and Marines to Libya in an attempt to track down the Benghazi killers. It’s a worthwhile objective, but striking back blindly would be worse than doing nothing. Extensive drone campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen have inflamed anti-American sentiments. In fact, the Benghazi airport was closed after hostile militias fired missiles at U.S. drones.
The GOP attack on the Obama administration’s foreign policy reeked of desperation. Republicans offered no plan of their own. Nevertheless, Romney aide Rich Williamson claimed: “There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation.” Yes, the situation likely would have been worse.
In practice, there is very little difference between the Bush and Obama administrations on foreign policy...
comments powered by Disqus
- Shipwreck Found Under World Trade Center Traced Back To Colonial Era Philadelphia
- Bob Dallek in the NYT gives a rave review of John Dean's history of Watergate cover-up
- Ex-President George W. Bush Authors Book About His Father
- Tears, and Anger, as Militants Destroy Iraq City’s Relics
- Europe notes 100th anniversary of World War I
- Why Benny Morris is both right and wrong
- Professor Ilan Pappé: Israel Has Chosen to be a 'Racist Apartheid State'
- History Professor: Convicted Cop Killer Mumia Should Be Celebrated Like Martin Luther King Jr. in Schools
- Robert Drew, Cinema Verite Documentarian, Dies at 90
- Rick Perlstein: “Ronald Reagan absolved America almost in a priestly role not to have to contend with sin. The consequences are all around us today”