Foreign policy follies

While Obama fails, media insist on pouncing on Romney

U.S. embassies are attacked while the president sleeps. His mission in Cairo sends out an apologetic statement on an anti-Muhammad movie – a statement which the White House, itself, later rebukes. The president continues on with a campaign trip to Vegas. There are reports our embassies were forewarned of the attacks.

So the crack American news media do the only thing they can do: They attack Mitt Romney.

Come again? And they claimed Romney is the one who was trying to make political hay from all this? What the heck are they doing if not trying to influence the election in the president’s favor?

And what did they savage Romney for? For disparaging a Cairo embassy press release that essentially apologized for the nutty Muhammad movie and threw the First Amendment under the bus – the same statement that, again, the Obama White House has also disavowed.

Wow, you really got Romney on that one. Not!

Let’s be crystal clear: This isn’t about Mitt Romney, as much as the media want to make you think that. It is an Obama administration public relations disaster – at best. Information from a British newspaper alleges the disaster may have involved catastrophic intelligence and security failures as well.

Don’t you think the government’s actual failings are a bit more newsworthy (which used to mean “important”) than a trumped-up controversy over a legitimate bit of criticism from the opposition?

“The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” the Obama administration, itself, said in retracting its embassy’s statement.

“So the White House can walk away from its own diplomats, but Mr. Romney can’t criticize them?” The Wall Street Journal asked.

Correct. At least as far as the American media are concerned. They’re more worried about an assertive Romney candidacy than a weak Obama administration and its foreign policy follies. They’re not much interested, for example, in whether Mr. Obama’s support of the “Arab spring” was a historical miscalculation that has only emboldened radicals in the Mideast and made the region more unstable.

The European media aren’t as timid in confronting the important truths of this debacle.

“U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins,” writes Die Welt newspaper in Germany. “Like no president before him, he tried to win over the Arab world. After some initial hesitation, he came out clearly on the side of the democratic revolutions. … In this context, he must accept the fact that he has snubbed old close allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian military. And now parts of the freed societies are turning against the country which helped bring them into being. Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It’s a bitter outcome for Obama. ...

“Washington has provided the image of a distracted superpower in the process of decline to the societies there. This image of weakness is being exploited by Salafists and al-Qaida, who are active in North Africa from Somalia to Mali.

“For a superpower, it is not enough just to want to be loved. You have to scare the bad guys to keep them in check.”

You won’t see such weighty issues explored in many of the American news media. They’re too busy worrying about how Mr. Romney looks – and how Mr. Obama comes out on election day.

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