August 19, 2012

US Foreign Bungling Policy

What else would you call a policy that misreads world affairs on a regular basis?

In the space of one week, Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsy has transformed Egypt from a military dictatorship into an Islamist dictatorship. In an excellent piece below, columnist Caroline Glick asks (and answers) the question “Who Lost Egypt?” and is on its way to losing the entire Middle East?

“The rapidity of Morsy’s moves has surprised most observers,' writes Glick, "but Obama administration officials have behaved as though nothing has happened, or even as though Morsy’s moves are positive developments." 

And reports last week that Muslim Brotherhood supporters were CRUCIFYING Morsi opponents naked on trees in front of the presidential palace, while abusing others and terrorizing the secular media and several Arabic websites, appear to have done nothing to disabuse the Obama administration of its positive views of the MB, Morsy, et al.

Anyone surprised? We’re not, nor should our readers be, because we and others have been writing about this administration’s (as well as previous administrations’) failure to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood for what it is. 

The fruits of our foreign bungling policy can be seen today not only in Egypt, but also in Iraq – the New York Times reported on Saturday that Iraq is helping Iran skirt sanctions – Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.

Churchill was right when he said “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.” But Americans (and their friends and allies) often pay a VERY high price for getting it right later rather than sooner, a price that could be significantly reduced if America's leaders were more knowledgable and better informed about world affairs.

When it comes to matters of foreign policy and national security, being perceived as a bungling teddy bear (at best) or ignorant fool (at worst) is not an image befitting the world's only superpower.  |  August 19, 2012

Who Lost Egypt?

By Caroline Glick

Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.jpg
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsy. (Photo credit: Getty Images/courtesy:

In 1949, the Communist takeover of China rattled the US foreign policy establishment to its core. China's fall to Communism was correctly perceived as a massive strategic defeat for the US. The triumphant Mao Zedong placed China firmly in the Soviet camp and implemented foreign policies antithetical to US interests.

For the American foreign policy establishment, China's fall forced a reconsideration of basic axioms of US foreign policy. Until China went Red, the view resonant among foreign policy specialists was that it was possible for the US to peacefully coexist and even be strategic allies with Communists.

With Mao's embrace of Stalin this position was discredited. The US's subsequent recognition that it was impossible for America to reach an accommodation with Communists served as the intellectual architecture of many of the strategies the US adopted for fighting the Cold War in the years that followed.

Today the main aspect of America's response to China's Communist revolution that is remembered is the vindictive political hunt for scapegoats. Foreign Service officers and journalists who had advised the US government to support Mao and the Communists against Chiang Kai Shek and the Nationalists were attacked as traitors.

But while the "Red Scare" is what is most remembered about that period, the most significant consequence of the rise of Communist China was the impact it had on the US's understanding of the nature of Communist forces. Even Theodore White, perhaps the most prominent journalist who championed Mao and the Communists, later acknowledged that he had been duped by their propaganda machine into believing that Mao and his comrades were interested in an alliance with the US.

As Joyce Hoffmann exposed in her book Theodore White and Journalism as Illusion, White acknowledged that his wartime report from Mao's headquarters in Yenan praising the Communists as willing allies of the US who sought friendship, "not as a beggar seeks charity, but seeks aid in furthering a joint cause," was completely false.

As he wrote, the report was "winged with hope and passion that were entirely unreal."

What he had been shown in Yenan, Hoffmann quotes White as having written, was "the showcase of democratic art pieces they (the Communists) staged for us American correspondents [and] was literally, only showcase stuff."

Contrast the US's acceptance of failure in China in 1949, and its willingness to learn the lessons of its loss of China, with the US's denial of its failure and loss of Egypt today.

On Sunday, new president Mohamed Morsy completed Egypt's transformation into an Islamist state. In the space of one week, Morsy sacked the commanders of the Egyptian military and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, and fired all the editors of the state-owned media and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists.

He also implemented a policy of intimidation, censorship and closure of independently owned media organizations that dare to publish criticism of him.

Morsy revoked the military's constitutional role in setting the foreign and military policies of Egypt. But he maintained the junta's court-backed decision to disband the parliament. In so doing, Morsy gave himself full control over the writing of Egypt's new constitution.

As former ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel wrote Tuesday in The Jerusalem Post, Morsy's moves mean that he "now holds dictatorial powers surpassing by far those of erstwhile president Hosni Mubarak."

In other words, Morsy's actions have transformed Egypt from a military dictatorship into an Islamist dictatorship.

The impact on Egypt's foreign policy of Morsy's seizure of power is already becoming clear. On Monday, Al-Masri al-Youm quoted Mohamed Gadallah, Morsy's legal adviser, saying that Morsy is considering... more here


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