My new piece out today looks at the Obama Administration’s culpability in allowing Mohamed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood to drive Egypt to the brink of a new dictatorship — one far less liberal than its predecessor.
Those of us observing foreign policy from the outside have a tendency to think of it in abstract terms — conflicting ideas, interests, and values. But, as anyone who has ever observed diplomacy up close will tell you, the human factor is also vitally important. And sometimes it actually obscures those far more important considerations. Writing at Politico, Rich Lowry nails this one:
Morsi staged his latest power grab on Thanksgiving Day in the immediate aftermath of working with Obama to get a cease-fire in hostilities between Hamas (a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot) and Israel. In a New York Times piece that ought to be preserved in amber as a record of 21st-century liberal naiveté, the paper reported that in his talks with Morsi, “Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection.” How sweet.
“He was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence.” And who can resist the lure of pragmatic confidence?
“He sensed,” the paper continued, in a gushing tone, “an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology.”
This is the most embarrassing man-crush misjudgment of a noxious foreign leader since George W. Bush claimed to have peered into Vladimir Putin’s soul.