Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Niall Ferguson, Obama on Egypt:
"Flip followed by flop followed by flip"

Niall Ferguson, Harvard professor and new Newsweek columnist. Oh my. . . when you've lost Harvard and Newsweek--just sayin'. MSNBC had Ferguson on the "Morning Joe" show. The clip from the show is below.  Here's a link to his column that appeared in Newsweek.

Here's a partial transcript from the video, but first from a commenter at HotAir: Question: How many libs does it take to out-argue one man with a brain? Answer: Unknown, but obviously more than five.

"Mubarik was old and sick, yet nobody [in Obama's administration] seems to have considered the proposition that there would not be an orderly transition to his son taking over. You have to have a strategy, which means prioritizing, and you have to scenario-build. They did neither. . . . You cannot make up the foreign policy of a superpower as you go along." This guy really took off the gloves. When asked if O's administration was "overly sensitive" about looking like they were taking over in a soverign country (??), Ferguson said, "No, they just looked like they hadn't a clue. It was as simple as that. . . . We haven't got a plan here, and if we don't have a plan to build a secular democracy here in Egypt, it's not going to happen."

The professor was asked if he sees any stars or big thinkers in foreign policy this administration, "and if so, who are they." His answer: "None. The National Security Advisors have been mediocrities." The previous security advisor, Jim Jones, while Ferguson says, "I'm sure he's a very nice person," but as a strategic thinker, "he's a C-minus." The present person in that position was a lobbyist for Fannie Mae. "It's embarrassing."

"President Obama is one of the least experienced men in terms of foreign policy ever to occupy the White House, and yet he has advisors around him who are, frankly, second if not third-rate. . . . And some of us said this, when he ran for election, that it was a huge risk to put somebody with that kind of experience into a position of Commander-in-Chief of the United States. I think what we're seeing unfold in Egypt reveals the truth of that statement."

"I do think that the president regards making touchy-feely speeches as a substitute for having a strategy. . . . Most revolutions lead, not to happy-clappy democracies, but to periods of internal turmoil, often to periods of terror, and they also lead to internal aggression . . . .The scenarios that the Israelis are looking at involve a transition, not to some peaceful and amicable democracy, but to a Muslem Brotherhood dominated regime, which then leads to an aggressive policy towards Israel. This is not a zero-probability scenario; this is a high-propability scenario, and as far as I can see, the president isn't considering it."

"As far as I can see, President Obama's strategic concept is, 'I'm not George W. Bush--love me.'"

"Remember what was said in that Cairo speech, going back to 2009. Mr. Obama said, that in his view, Islam was a religion of peace and tolerance. Well, we'll just see how peaceful and tolerant the Muslem Brotherhood is if it is successful in getting into power in the months ahead. I think those words will come back to haunt Mr. Obama."

And here's the Rock Star himself, Cairo, 2009. That seems like about two decades ago. He was sure looking like Mr. Cool back then, at least in his own mind.

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