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Egypt’s warning signs missed
It seems there are no good options for dealing with the unfolding disaster in Egypt right now. It is like the smoker who has developed cancer. The cure is a round of chemotherapy, introducing deadly poisons into the body to kill the cancer. It may work or it may not, but the patient is going to get extremely ill in the process, regardless of the outcome.
President Obama has lacked focus on growing troubles both at home and abroad. With unemployment, the deficit and rising foreclosures the top issues in the minds of Americans and the center of the candidate’s rhetoric, he romped around Washington focused on everything but those issues. The signature successes of Mr. Obama’s first two years did nothing to address them. Meanwhile, the Middle East simmered.
Candidate Obama was critical of President George W. Bush for “taking his eye off the ball.” Yet Mr. Obama never got into the right game. Mr. Bush planted two democracies in the middle of a region of dictatorships to spark freedom and democracy. The Obama administration appears to have missed the warning signs.
No doubt Mr. Obama will blame this fiasco on Mr. Bush as well. Certainly, Mr. Bush encouraged people around the world seeking freedom, but Mr. Obama bears the responsibility for ignoring the smoldering flame. If the people of Egypt find their own George Washington instead of their own Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, we might just weather this storm. Mr. Obama squandered his opportunity to help that happen. Now, we sit idly by and hope for the best, impotent, as Egypt goes up in flames.
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