09.17.2012 0

Obama’s 3 a.m. call comes; he hits snooze button

NRD Editor’s Note: This column first appeared at TheHill.com.

Riots in Egypt

Riots in Cairo, Egypt

By Rick Manning — Reading the pundits, you would have thought that Mitt Romney said something wrong about the failed Obama Middle East policy.

However, the predictable reaction from the left shows us that in fact, Romney hit the nail on the head.

Obama’s policy of overthrowing stable governments that kept the lid on the radical Islamists in their own country in favor of the mob on the street has led to a more unstable, dangerous time in the region. Team Obama preened and crowed about the Arab Spring; now they own it.

News reports indicate that it is reasonable to question whether Obama understands the severity of the situation. His habit of missing his intelligence briefings reveals a president who is disengaged from the fundamental responsibilities of his job. Obama apparently prefers to read the briefing book without the regular give-and-take from the experts who can fill in the gaps. At best, this left him less prepared than he should have been when that 3 a.m. call finally came.

Foreign news media are now reporting that the U.S. government had a full 48 hours’ warning that our missions in the Middle East, and perhaps specifically the one in Libya, were likely to face some kind of attack on Sept. 11. Yet they were left virtually naked from a security standpoint. If these reports prove true, this is an inexcusable dereliction of responsibility by this administration and someone should be fired.

Rather than indignation at this president’s failure to perform even his most basic functions, what do we get from our pundit class?

It’s Romney’s fault. The left blames the Republican candidate for pointing out that a policy that offered no support for the legitimate democratic, anti-Islamist movement in Iran during their electoral attempt to replace a mad nuke-seeking regime, but chose to spend eight months bombing Libya to put a radical Islamist mob in control, is inconsistent and weak. Obama’s failure to provide consistent, strong leadership in the region is to blame for his policy failure, not Romney’s pointing out this fact.

Somehow, in the warped world of the left, Romney got it wrong, because they believe the problem lies not with the mobs, and Obama’s policies that unleashed them, but in the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States.

Yes, to the left, the problem is that a couple of U.S. citizens freely exercising their constitutional rights made a poor movie that shows the Muslim prophet in an unfavorable light. To them, it is that freedom of expression that needs to be restrained.

Perhaps Team Obama also believes that the Dutch cartoonist who tooned an image of Muhammad that resulted in riots across Europe and the Middle East was to blame for that violence.

The truth is that we have a problem. It is time that our nation has an adult discussion about the ongoing Islamist jihad against the West. Thank goodness that Mitt Romney has shown that he is willing to lead that discussion.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government, and served in the Bush administration’s Labor Department.

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