Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner
The editors asked several analysts: “What does the deadly violence against U.S. officials in Libya and Egypt say about the Arab Spring? Is Mitt Romney ready to lead in this international atmosphere? Is our current president?” For replies by Shoshana Bryen, Douglas J. Feith & Seth Cropsey, Caroline Glick, Brian T. Kennedy, Seth Leibsohn, Emanuele Ottolenghi, James Phillips, Claudia Rosett, and Benjamin Weinthal, click here.
For starters, could we grizzled conservatives delete the perky and inaccurate “Arab spring” term from our vocabulary in favor of something neutral like “Middle East upheavals”?
The recent violence against American missions is a small part of the large and growing instability in the region, ranging from Turkish insurgency to Syrian civil war to Yemeni chaos to Indian Ocean piracy, from Libyan tensions to Iraqi lawlessness to Afghan disorder. In brief, the name of the game is anarchy and it, rather than the more familiar tyranny, is the region’s great challenge. As the Arab saying goes, better a thousand years of tyranny than a day of anarchy. It also presents unique difficulties for a great power.
Barack Obama has shown himself unfit to lead. For one, his focus is domestic, with foreign affairs an after thought. For another, he shies away from asserting American interests, seeing this as a form of imperialism.
As for Mitt Romney: he lacks a record in this area but his executive experience looks good and he has a crew of competent advisors, making me optimistic.