Where is President Obama during the Egyptian crisis?

Only time will tell as to what kind of government change the world will see in Egypt, but the likelihood of an improvement is pretty slim given the current atmosphere of Muslim growth there. If we do in fact see a more aggressive or militant Muslim leadership develop there, the world is in for some serious unrest. One thing to consider with the future is President Obama’s appeasement tactics and how that has lent empowerment to some pretty radical ideologies already in the world. As an example, look at Ahmadinejad and think about how he has practically laughed in the face of Obama’s foreign policies of lightweight sanctions lacking a sense of “hard deadlines or else” with regards to Iran’s nuclear agenda. Also, consider the likelihood of Iran sharing technology with Syria who is right at Israel’s side door and you can see an escalation of tensions in the Middle East coming.

If we hope to see some sort of stability in the region we must assert some sort of diplomatic yet truly strong position in order to quell the anti-Israel sentiments that are really aswirl in the region. We need for the President to finally speak on the matter rather than remain silent and hedge his bets. Speaking on America’s behalf has come primarily through Secretary of State Clinton and even VP Biden laid a somewhat opinionated tone out there but we’ve yet to get a true sense of what President Obama wants to see come from the uprising. The world has always looked to the United States for some sort of position on world security matters and they turn to the President to set the tone. Whether other nations agree or not, they always wait anxiously to hear our stance. We’ve failed to give that statement to the world and in doing so, we’ve left ourselves coming off as weak rather than soft-spoken. There were no tangible comments of direction or strength, just a bunch of double entendres that can go with wherever the winds of change take us. Our allies count on us to give them a sense of where we stand so that they can muster strength in their positions. In turn, our opposition awaits our word to know how they must adjust their strategies.

In light of the silence, our allies are left anxiously hanging and our potentially new enemies are garnering strength in resolve. These are the contributors of instability and President Obama will be complicit in what may come of the region. We don’t need to be the world’s police force but as the world’s pre-eminent leaders of military strength and champion of democracy, we owe the world a voice of calming or to give direction in turbulent times. Failure to do so will burden America with a greater threat to democracy throughout the world. It might be the preferred tactic of liberals to buy time with our enemies but they don’t go away. They never will go away. If they hate us already, how could we possibly curry favor with them by simply ignoring them? That won’t change their opinion of us just because we played nice today… In the Middle East, we’re still infidels and non-believers. Whether we are to cower to them by saying that we welcome Islamic beliefs or not, we are not Muslims and for that reason alone, we can never be accepted by the dangerous element of Islam. If we hope to avoid conflict with them, then we must not allow them to seize control of yet another country in the region. We must stand for a burgeoning democracy that will support the rights of Israel to exist in the region.

A policy of appeasement when faced with a growing threat only prolongs the reality of having to deal with that threat later on. The reason that Israel is likely to take more aggressive action in the region(pre-emptive strikes) is because they recognize that the longer that an enemy has, the better that enemy can build their might. Israel is backed into a corner(literally by the Mediterranean Sea) and they really need to prepare themselves for the fight of their lives or else their lives will be lost without a whimper. If they cannot count on the US or any of their allies to know that they have more force behind them, then they will have to take a stand on their own. There is no question that if a radical and militant Muslim leadership takes over in Egypt, then Israel is surrounded on all sides and penned in like in a shooting gallery.

Furthering the need for an immediate and democratic resolution is the fact the Suez Canal is the primary shipping lane in the region. If the control of the Suez falls into anti-American hands, there will be drastic pains in America with regards to oil supply. This may work into Obama’s strategy of developing green energy technology in America but with only .7 of a percent of our energy coming from wind and solar energy, the ramifications are potentially devastating to America. Can we suddenly count on sunny and breezy days forever? Now, I recognize that of our top 15 oil importers, only three are from the Middle East(Saudi Arabia at number 3, Iraq at number 8, and Kuwait at number 12) but we still rely on them for a combined total of better than 1.7 Million barrels per day of crude oil. Taking a loss on that will force us into some serious economic woes at home. It will spur the onset of domestic strife like we’ve seen throughout the world in recent years and if the oil stops flowing from the region, the only hope for stopping that unrest is to demand domestic oil production.

Perhaps eschewing dictatorship throughout the world is necessary but when faced with the alternative, as in the event of the Muslim Brotherhood gaining control of Egypt, the world may fare better with a moderate dictator and employ foreign diplomacy to help develop a democratic process within that government. It is less a case of appeasement in that situation as it is a case of picking your battles and we may not have a choice with our battles in the coming decade unless we pick this battle today.

There are a number of philosophies on aligning ourselves with foreign countries. Some say we should not enter war at all, no matter what. That does no good, war happens. Some say we must enforce our position throughout the world. That’s too expensive and frankly, un-American. The Founders spoke a bit on this matter and one source of opinion can be found in George Washington’s Farewell Address…

“a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld.”

To a certain degree, there is merit in using President Washington’s words as they might relate to our relationship with Israel prior to this time of instability. Perhaps we have overstated our connection to Israel through the years but it is in the interest of the world for America and her allies(what remain of them thanks to President Obama) to stand strong with Israel and with President Mubarak now. Alliances with foreign nations in times of instability are not the concern in President Washington’s sentiments, he was merely inferring that longstanding allegiances with foreign nations during times of agitation are generally bad. It is the concept of policing the world versus standing by our allies when they come under attack.

President Washington was referring to the kinds of concessions towards foreign nations that we see with our involvement in the UN. Are we to think that we have common interests with other UN members like Iran, Cameroon, or China? We are involved in a parasitic relationship with these nations by abiding with the UN. No greater example of the disunity between us and other nations can be found than what came in the aftermath of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton submitting a report to the UN regarding what this administration deems to be human rights violations in America. That was our President leveraging the world(via the UN) opinion against the Arizona Immigration Bill. How ridiculous are we to have Cameroon tell us about human rights violations? The rest of our “UN allies” lined up to tell us what a terrible nation we are. …But we have wandered off-track slightly here.

To properly consider the stability in the region that we will lose with Mubarak being removed, we must remember that he was in agreement with the US about Iran’s nuclear program. At the same time, Mubarak was also in favor of Israel giving up their established nuclear weapons program. Despite President Obama’s clear agenda of nuclear disarmament throughout the world, it would not be in the best interest of stability in the Middle East if Israel were to be shut down. They have demonstrated a longtime policy of nuclear safety and reluctance to use their advanced technology. This is almost like the debate over the second amendment… should no one have guns or only those who have demonstrated sanity, safety, security, and abide by laws of restraint. If you recognize that no matter what measure of gun control is implemented or even if the repeal of the second amendment were to happen, guns will never be eradicated. The only ones with guns, will be the criminals because they weren’t interested in following laws to begin with. Allowing for a radical Islamic regime to take over Egypt will give yet another criminal an opportunity to have a chance to possess the greatest weapon of all.

Egypt and her recent history has teetered around the development of nuclear weapons technology. In a series of treaties and meetings over the last half century, Egypt has decided to stand against nuclear proliferation in the region and for that we can trust the current leadership. It provides a stable and common ground ally in the region. We may not agree on their process of maintaining leadership of the nation but we should agree with their necessity to the region’s future as a stable region if we are to avoid future wars in the Middle East. Whether we like it or not, should anything happen to Israel, we are almost without question going to have to stand by her.

The rest of the world awaits our leadership in this quagmire. Sadly, they may have to wait until the dust settles because we have a weak President who has repeatedly demonstrated a pattern of non-leadership in times of uncertainty. For a man that is as arrogant and self-absorbed as President Obama is, he always seems to be missing in action when all eyes are on him. Time to plug in the teleprompter, President Obama… the world is ready for you now.

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4 Responses to Where is President Obama during the Egyptian crisis?

  1. An excellent essay. I wish I had positive news for you but such is not the case. It may be that the Obama administration has been working behind the scenes to bring the Egyptian government down. You might want to read Bunkerville’s latest post here:

    • Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, I saw B-Villes post shortly after I published this piece. No surprise there with Obama. I continued to read up more on the latest developments and it all looks bad! I hadn’t been following the blogs on this matter, only a few small tidbits from Fox News when I could steal the TV back from my boys. It’s just been too chaotic here this week to try and get much reading and research done to include with my post. Now I’m wishing that I had done some reading because there are some very important details starting to break.

      I think that we have a huge mess on our hands and the future of the region is far less certain than I originally speculated on. Obama has screwed our country into the ground plenty but now his complacency has left it’s mark on the world. With the immediate rush to judgment on Bush all those countless times during post-Katrina, we got a really good look at the disparity in equal standards within our media analysis of Obama after the Deepwater Horizon mess. What seems to be lost on me is, where is the voice of the world? I mean I expect our media to just say positives over Obama here but why isn’t the world speaking out about the US not offering an official State position… We have only given some loosey-goosey weak statements that an be interpreted no matter the outcome. Why isn’t the rest of the world expecting more of ys? Are we being held to a lesser accountability under Obama than under all prior Presidents? In matters of global security, our voice rang the loudest and most often, the truest. Why now do we not get reamed for Obama taking his time? When will the world speak up about how Obama has destabilized a majorly important region through his lackluster leadership? Ugh!!!
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • Do you think the world isn’t demanding more from Obama is because they don’t expect much from this boy-man that was some how elected to be President of the greatest nation on earth? Or is a case where all find themselves between a rock and a hard place; they believe people have right to choose their own destiny on one hand and their desire to preserve stability in the region on the other hand? It irritates me that if we had had different energy policies over the last decade or two, the US would be energy independent and that would have dramatically changed the geopolitical importance of the entire Middle-East. Sorry, but I too have more questions than answers.

      • I agree with your assessment that if we had improved upon our energy policies over the years, our dependence on the Middle East would be mitigated. There would likely be some still relying on the MidEast but I think the overall importance of the region would be dramatically less and stability would be greater. It’s all about gaining control of the world’s demands because they currently have the supply there.

        One more possibility in your choice of “rock and a hard place”… I wonder if there is an underlying concern that because we haven’t taken a harder stance, other nations are afraid to because they don’t want to rile the Islamic contingent within their borders? As smaller nations, they may not want to risk becoming the center of the overflow of rage for speaking out against the uprising of Muslims without the US also being in the hornet’s nest. I think the whole damned area is a source of confusion for the world, not just us. If we don’t figure out their intentions soon, we’re going to find ourselves drawn into a conflict that will have barely any recognizable boundaries. The war won’t be just fought in the Middle East… it’s going to be fought practically within each and every major nation around the world. Instability reigns in the Middle East now but it will soon find ways to rear it’s ugliness at home here in America as well as all through Europe.

        Too many unknowns with this one… But I definitely don’t like the idea of “wait and see” on this one. We have to get in there and try to strengthen what is left of Mubarak’s power or find a potential replacement that is not a radicalized Muslim before it’s too late.

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