By DAVID BEILSTEIN
I have routinely blogged about former Gov. of Massachusetts Mitt Romney winning the presidency unless he stumbles. That logic, well true, does include President Obama to a lessor degree. Lessor only, because he is the president and is given more latitude — deserved or not — in this regard.
The media’s reaction to Mitt Romney’s press conference after events in Libya spiralled into a violent fog is evidence of this double standard at work. While Romney’s performance was mixed, in my judgment, he was clear and concise most of the time and the media’s questions had little to do with the situation. The questions were a trap — intended for Mitt Romney to stumble over himself.
But the stumbling, apparently, lies firmly with the Obama Administration. The news continuing to reverberate out of Libya — and Egypt — illustrate an Obama team over its head with little options. Uprisings now tornado around the world … Tunisia and Iran now seem on the brink.
This is reminiscent of the Carter Administrations descent into the sump of Iran, 1979. The real problem is social engineering — from the left or the supposed neo-con right, doesn’t work.
Edmond Burke, father of classical liberalism, once said,
“Men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
We face such a situation in the Middle East now. The enforcement of democracies on people with no philosophical or religious presuppositions for free minds, free markets, individual sovereignty, freedom of speech, private property, will not rise to such convictions at the barrel of a gun.
Obama took the neo-con dream further — despite criticising its project when he was not president. But what did not work for the neo-con will not work for Obama. It will not work because foreign policy inspired social engineering is as bankrupt as the president’s economic and domestic social engineering. Obama’s ego is too large to get this … and so we face another incursion of radicals and American death on distant lands.
America must withdraw all support of these fanatics in the Middle East. In trying to place democracy in these countries, we have created a bonfire of Islamic fascism now ruling the roast — ruling and burning out of control aimed at American security.
The sad truth is hard men held the Middle East together because the philosophical underpinnings of those societies are hard — and radically barbaric. The Bush Administration sought to preach the common prayer of freedom for all — a universal calling of all people. But the conviction of liberal government in the classical sense does not arise out of a vacuum. It wafts out of specific ideas and convictions concerning the nature of men and women and governments. As our Founding Father’s said, the American Revolution began in ideas … almost a hundred years before shots were fired in the name of free men and ideas.
Philosophically, much of the Middle East rejects these philosophical moorings … these world views, as it were. That is exactly what these uprisings betray.
The Middle East is not America’s business … we are not the police force for the world. We protect our allies and ourselves. We dare not start fires we cannot put out. When the United States acts military, it is the complete destruction of the enemy — in protection of our national security, not of nation building or Wilsonian democracy planting. Conservatives should especially beware here — for such a trip history warns against. It has been tried and even the mounted power of the United States fails … because no country can implant — thus change people who have abandoned fundamental principals of liberty of the individual.
Still, given the new information flowing in … Obama has stumbled in the mud. I would suggest this is the wrong time and wrong season for such a stumble given the president’s precarious polls and the fact … coming sooner, rather than later, the election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.