Watching the unfolding disaster in Egypt there are no good options right now. This is like the smoker who has developed cancer. The cure is a round of chemo-therapy introducing deadly poisons into the body to kill the cancer. It may work and it may not but you are going to get deathly ill in the process and your hair is going to fall out.
President Obama by ignoring his primary responsibility (protecting the United States) while focusing on cramming health care down our throats missed the opportunity to step up to the plate and prevent a crisis. Faced with an escalating disaster within one of our most important regional allies, there are no good solutions for America.
This isn’t unique for this President. With unemployment, the deficit, and rising foreclosures the top issues in the minds of Americans and the center of the candidate’s rhetoric, the new President romped around Washington focused on everything but those issues. The “signature successes” of this President’s first two years did nothing to address them. Meanwhile the Middle East simmered.
Candidate Obama was critical of George Bush for “taking his eye off the ball.” Yet President Obama never, ever got into the right game. President Bush planted two democracies smack, dab in the middle of dictatorville to spark freedom and democracy in that region. The Obama administration appears to have missed the warning signs. In the cancer analogy this was ignoring the warnings plastered all over ads, cartons, and packs of cigarettes. Oh wait – he is rumored to do that too.
No doubt President Obama will blame this on George Bush as well. Certainly Bush bares some responsibility for people seeking freedom, but Obama bares the responsibility for ignoring the smoldering flame. If the people of Egypt find their own George Washington instead of their own Ayatollah Khomeini we might just weather this storm. However President Obama squandered his opportunity to help that happen. Now we sit idly by and hope for the best (perhaps the real meaning of “Hope and Change”) impotent as Egypt goes up in flames.