The Price of the New American Virtue

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The article below is reprinted from The Globe and Mail.

By insisting that Mr. Mubarak immediately resign, Mr. Obama undermines the possibility of a peaceful transition that could empower democrats, rather than the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Allowing Mr. Mubarak to remain in office until September, as he has offered, would allow the secular opposition to begin organizing for the election. So far, the only organized opposition is the Brotherhood.

Israelis fear that the haste with which the Obama administration turned its back on its own closest ally in the Arab world has signalled other pro-U.S. leaders in the region that Washington can’t be trusted. A cartoon in the newspaper Maariv showed Mr. Mubarak as an astronaut drifting in space. “Houston, I’ve got a problem,” he says. “Houston … Houston …” The fear here is that Israel could become that astronaut. Both left and right commentators are warning that, even as the region turns increasingly Islamist, the Jewish state can’t depend on Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world in atonement for America’s sins of arrogance has created a new American sin: abrogating the responsibility that comes with power. The accelerating radicalization of the region – from Turkey to Lebanon – is the price of the new American virtue.

In the fall of Mr. Mubarak, Israelis don’t see a harbinger of a better Middle East. That’s partly because of the very real possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover. That would lead to the collapse of the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement, which the Brotherhood vehemently opposes.

However corrupt, Mr. Mubarak is hardly the root of the Arab world’s torment. The dictators now being forced out of power are vulnerable precisely because there’s a limit to their venality. They won’t use unlimited force against their own people. Meantime, the region’s most vicious dictatorships – in Iran and Syria – remain stable. Deposing Mr. Mubarak while Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stays in power doesn’t help heal the Middle East. It only makes the region more vulnerable to Islamist expansion.

Yet, Mr. Obama has abandoned the very dissidents trying to topple the region’s worst regimes. When pro-democracy protests in Tehran were brutally suppressed in 2009, Mr. Obama stayed aloof. Chanting demonstrators demanded that Mr. Obama choose between them and the regime. Mr. Obama, in effect, chose the regime.

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  • geez

    Barack Hussein Obama is the greatest leader the Muslim Brotherhood has ever had. For Americans, he's an epic failure.

  • EVAbeliever

    Great article. Our Muslim President is totally dedicated to the advancement of Islam. Barack Hussein Obama must go!

  • Andres de Alamaya

    They killed Sadat who let them open an office in Egypt and operate there; they weaned Osama bin Laden, they sponsored Hamas and they're the peaceful religionists who Obama wants to run Egypt. Democracy doesn't work in Muslim Cultures. And if we look at the economic performance of Democracies today – China is light years removed from Democracy – one must recall George Bernard Shaw's definition of Democracy: The right of the incompetent mass to elect the corrupt few. In our case it has been the INCOMPETENT AND CORRUPT FEW. In Islamic states where the majority is illiterate Democracy doesn't work at all. You get a dictatorship run by the Mullahs or by a benign or nasty dictator. Mubarak has kept the Brotherhood in check. Obama wants Mubarak out NOW. Obama is either a total idiot or a Muslim or both. If we could resurrect the Spirit of '76 and put a million people on the streets of Washington then we could demand Obama leave NOW. We can't wait for 2012. NOW. Perhaps Mubarak could call Obama and encourage an orderly transition. But NOW.

    • StephenD

      I've been asking folks the same question. What if…Washington was marched on and even after he said he wouldn't run in 2012 we said no. GET OUT NOW! and another head of state, say France or England made it public that they wanted him out now and that he should not use the police or military but let the protesters continue. What do you think would happen? Do you think for a minute Obama would let a million folks march on the W.H. peacefully? Do you think he would listen and leave? Do you think that THIS really would be good for us? (I know, worst example…but you get my point)

  • Gerard Ekofo

    Americans, Americans.. Wake up!!! For crying out loud! Your country has becomed the most corrupt country in the world, That babylon the great…. Your government are tying Israel hands while encouraging the radical muslims in taking over the world..

  • Gerard Ekofo

    You are encouraging one the most criminal exercising president Kagamé of Ruanda and imposed his puppet Joseph kabila in Congo to spoile, rappe and kill the people who are naturally friendly toward americans… You are rewarding your natural ennemis and punishing your natural friends all aver the world. Worse of all, You have elected your worst nightmare in the white house to bring an end to your great country turned evil… an african who weep for your sake..
    Congolese people have been weeping( 6 millions Dead in RDcongo) over 14 years because of a war…started by Kagamé with the blessing and backing of Bill Clinton to overthrwon the old regime and Hijacked the democratic process.. Now, With Obama help, You want the muslims brotherwood to take over Egypt so Israel can be encircled and destroy.. I have a bad news for you, Unless all the people really repent and get rid of all your Corrupt politicians, You will be destroy by the same people you are trying to appease but Israel will survive and overcome all his ennemis.. It's evident that there is curse over your land.. as you are calling evil good and good evil.. This is a mascarade of evil.

  • william wallace

    He continues to support our traditional enemies and consistently works against the interests of the USA. By the time the majority catches on, it will be too late.

  • James Pawlak

    It would be better for the USA and true civilizations if Mr. Obama were to "depart". Although he claims to be a Christian, lying to "unbelievers" is a core tactic of Jihad.

  • Leo

    Israel or any genuine American ally can't trust BHO . Because BHO is more comfortable with American foes than American friends. Just ask yourself where BHO was during the Iranian uprising against the mullahs and where he is now? Easy, He's with the Muslim Brotherhood. Enough said.

  • sneed5

    This would be a good time to start pulling out of all the countries in which we have our noses and U.S. taxpayer money. Cut off the funds we give them, reinforce our defenses here at home, get busy drilling for oil and natural gas, produce more coal, and strive for more renewable energy(with no taxpayer subsidies)! To a man, all countries of the world hate us!! So I say, let them go on their own and let's take care of our own people. We are now being held hostage by the Islamists!! The following link can give you an idea of what can happen when other nations are
    left to their own devices!!,8599,171

  • USMCSniper

    Paul Heisch says: "There's nothing wrong with pursuing one's rational self-interest in economics, romance, and life. That's our essence as human beings. This sort of selfishness does *not* include screwing others, robbing, rape, etc. — those acts are immoral because they aren't rationally selfish. It's a long-standing mistake to lump together in a package-deal both "selfishness" and abhorrent behaviours such as those. The truly selfish man neither wants to trample on others or be trampled himself — he merely wishes to be left free to produce and trade values with others, and seek his own happiness. In contrast, Obama's calls for "service" and "sacrifice" are just disguised calls for submission to the authority of the state, i.e., slavery — something I find profoundly ironic coming from someone who aspires to be the first African-American president of the US.

  • Ghostwriter

    And sadly,we may be paying this price for a long time,thanks to Obama's foolishness.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    A Palestinian state would ease Israel’s growing diplomatic isolation.

    Excuse me but I feel I must rain on your exceedingly naïve parade, a so-called Palestinian state would lead to far more jihad and bloodshed as the jihad being waged against Israel is permanent and will continue to be waged perpetually against Israel as long as Israel continues to exist, just like the greater global jihad is permanent too and will continue to be waged perpetually as long as unbelievers exist that haven’t been forced to submit to the authority of Islam.

  • Wesley69

    Obama has NO moral authority to tell the Egyptians what they should do about their government. He says he supports the people: that Mubarak should do the right thing and step down. The Egyptians, unfortunately are not educated in the ways of democracy. The biggest factor in their lives is their religion. That is indeed the worry. Though Mubarak was a dictator, he was our dictator. He was our ally. Should he be thrown aside, the Muslim Brotherhood could be thrust into the leadership role. That would be the will of the Egyptian people. There are those in this administration that would support it. They had better be ready to shoulder the responsibility for LOSING EGYPT IN 2011. And there will be other dominoes to fall after Egypt.

    About Obama's moral authority – When the people of Iran rebelled due to President Ahmadabad‘s reelection, which was manipulated by the Mullahs, WHERE WAS OBAMA THEN???????

    When the Supreme Court of Honduras deposed President Manuel Zelaya for trying to hold a non-binding referendum despite their ruling that such a referendum was unconstitutional on whose side did Obama come down on? NOT ON THE SIDE OF DEMOCRACY.

    When the US restarting the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks, did Obama put pressure equally on both parties? No, Obama told the Israelis they need to stop building settlements in the West Bank. What was demanded of the Palestinians? NOTHING.

    Egypt under Mubarak have been an ally of the US for over 30 years. It is clear that the people of Egypt want Mubarak to go. If he does, it must be on Egyptian terms, not the US. He is in charge of their government. Obama needs to take into account the biggest institution in that country, the army. They can possibly bring stability to that country. Let them work out the deal. Obama has no right saying that the next government of Egypt should include all parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

    What is clear is that Mubarak & the army know more about the danger the Muslim Brotherhood poises. Just as the people in Gaza, when given the vote, which group did they vote into power? HAMAS. Obama, suddenly the great freedom supporter, seems to be ignorant of this fact. Can he be that naive??????? Or is there something more sinister at work here?????

  • Jont

    The price of American virtue has always been the same.: Vietnam, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africaf, Middle East as a whole, Latin America, etc etc etc.

  • Raymond in DC

    "Palestinian independence would extricate Israel from the demographic threat of a Palestinian majority"

    The only development that would result in a Palestinian majority between the Mediterranean and the Jordan is the *creation* of a Palestinian state that will have to take in Palestinian "refugees" driven out of Syria and Lebanon as well as Palestinians who've been stripped of their Jordanian citizenship.