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  • Niall Ferguson Slams Obama's Handling of Egypt on 'Morning Joe'

    Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson was on Morning Joe yesterday morning to talk about the cover story he wrote for the latest edition of Newsweek on President Obama’s foreign policy failure in Egypt. During his appearance, Ferguson made it clear that he felt the President had mishandled the crisis in Egypt—a perspective that clearly shocked the show’s hosts. Disabusing them of their optimism, Ferguson noted that parliament had been dissolved, the Egyptian constitution had been suspended and that the country was under control of the military—hardly the expected signs of a budding democracy.

    Ferguson also noted that the President’s lack of a coherent foreign policy was a major hurdle throughout the crisis. Each day, the official opinion of the Administration seemed to change depending on who was being interviewed and the President’s addresses to foreign audiences in recent years has been, as Ferguson put it, “I’m not George W. Bush, love me.”

    The President’s policy in Egypt has been completely consistent with The Obama Doctrine as identified by Heritage analysts Kim Holmes and James Carafano. Unfortunately, the world needs far better leadership than that.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Niall Ferguson Slams Obama's Handling of Egypt on 'Morning Joe'

    1. angela - nj says:

      Another conservative critizing Obama, what else would you expect?

    2. Bobbie says:

      Oh yeah, did he mention he was conservative? I missed it.

      Mr. Ferguson wasn't using cue cards, was he? Talk about articulating honest observation. The hosts couldn't debate the truth all that well except to know he wouldn't be invited to Christmas, where most honest people aren't.

    3. Paul, New Mexico says:

      Dear Mr. Ferguson:

      Apparently, you missed the entire 2 week's of demonstrations. The Egyptian people wanted it this way! They trust the Army and not the politicians. Sorry you didn't get whatever you wanted but then again the "people spoke" and that's what a democracy is all about.

    4. Kevin H, college par says:

      Yeah, Obama handled this whole thing terribly – tens of thousands of civilians did not get killed, the country was not blown to pieces, their museums were kept intact, terrorists did not flood the city. he did just awful – not like the beautiful way that the previous adminstration handled iraq and afghanistan. Where is the shock and awe?!?!? Why aren;t we spending trillions more in combat?!?!?

      Seems to me, when it comes to removing arab regimes, Obama has 2 scores, GOP has none.

    5. Lance, San Jose, CA says:

      The funniest thing about the appearance was that the show's hosts were completely stunned. They must have assumed that anyone from Harvard would follow the liberal party line. The female host characterized the impostion of a military government, suspension of the constitution, dissolution of parliament and decree of martial law as "things are going pretty damn well."

    6. Chuck - New Jersey says:

      Upon reading Niall Fefguson’s article in Newsweek on President Obama’s failures in Egypt, I at first thought I was reading a Press release from AIPAC, or from Majority Leader Cantor’s office. Some of the errors are sweeping in their ignorance of historical fact, but they lead to a path of thought that is dangerous even to Israel’s long-term interests.

      To claim that the Iranian revolution was far greater a catastrophe for America than Vietnam merely illustrates the depth of his disdain for America. Over 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam. Perhaps among them the next Lincoln, or Edison. In Iran no Americans died, the oil still flows, and US arms were still sold there, just ask Ollie North. The Islamic revolution was a catastrophe for it’s people, and for the legitimate security interests of Israel, but not America. On his hero worship of Kissinger, remember he failed in his singular goal of achieving “Peace with Honor”, and the argument can easily be made that the opening to China was inevitable once the Chinese themselves realized that the Soviet model was broken. But Niall consistently under-estimates a countries or a people’s ability to make decisions that are aligned with their perceived interests. Egypt won the 1973 war against Israel, it lost the 1973 war against America and the US Air force’s C5 air transport. The singular fact that America could maintain and re-supply Isreal after it suffered devastating losses, and from a much farther distance than Egypt’s Soviet mentor could, succinctly explains to a large extent the change in Egyptian foreign policy (along with several billions in foreign and military aid). Each generation has it’s crisis, but what Nixon and Kissinger faced, or Carter for that matter, was peanuts compared to FDR had to face in the 1941. History is about context, not hysterical ranting.

      It would seem Niall spent his time in Jerusalem complaining about the lack of vision of President Obama. He implies that President Obama can not see that Egyptian’s need a firm hand to rule them. One man can make a grand change in the world I assume with grand words or actions, but the will of the people is truly inconsequential to great events. His view may give great comfort to his Jerusalem hosts, but to believe that Israel can continue it’s current policies of subjugating the Palestinians while maintain a cold peace with it’s neighbors is a foreign policy fools gold. Both Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama have conferred this message to Netanyahu. President Bush spent a trillion dollars and thousands of lives to replace an Iraqi dictatorship with a semi democratic regime which is closer to Iran. Is this the type of intervention we need to pursue?

      Throughout history, radical groups have been used to justify Imperial intentions. The Muslim Brotherhood is no more popular than the extreme right or left wings of the political / religious discourse in America, yet Niall rolls out this canard to support his arguments. Mubarak was in existence for 30 years, but the country most impacted by his removal, Israel, has no plan B. Or was plan B that the Egyptian’s themselves would recognize their inherent weaknesses and would forever support autocratic rule? In reality, this rhetoric is more aligned with the British Empire, than American policy. Until the bitter end, British political establishment did not believe India was capable of democratic government, or most of their colonies, including America. They played religious and ethnic groups off against each other to maintain British superiority. Muslim Brotherhood anyone?

      I think Obama’s discrete tone and none manipulative style is best described by George Washington who famously said, “Beware of foreign entanglements”. Between an apologist for Empire thinking and a man with George Washington’s accomplishments, I think the course for America is clear.

    7. Bobbie says:

      There is nothing stronger than truth. Observation comes in second. The potential along with history, is there.

    8. Kennon Rohbock Diamo says:

      I am sorry I just cannot feel respectful to Ferguson's statements. He seems to have some sort of agenda that he following to dissavow Barack Obama. While it is obvious to everyone that if all the facts were known a better position could have been taken. I find it more than just a little curious that he blames it all on Obama and doesn't mention that the damage has been to the United States. The fact that Obama is only the messanger is lost on Mr. Ferguson.

    9. Bobbie says:

      A messenger doesn't give instructions or opinions, Kennon. What was his message that everybody didn't already know?

    10. Marcella Lorfing, Sa says:

      Bobbie, if you really missed the fact that Ferguson is conservative, let me give you this.

      These are his views, expressed in "The New Republic" in Aug. 2005:

      .• Replacing the personal income tax, corporate income tax, FICA payroll tax, estate tax, and gift tax with a 33% Federal Retail Sales Tax (FRST), plus a monthly rebate, amounting to the FRST a household with similar demographics would pay if its income were at the poverty line. See also: FairTax;

      • Replacing the Old Age benefits paid under Social Security with a Personal Security System, consisting of private retirement accounts for all citizens, plus a government benefit payable to those whose savings were insufficient to afford a minimum retirement income;

      • Replacing Medicare and Medicaid with a Medical Security System that would provide health insurance vouchers to all citizens, the value of which would be determined by one's health;

      • Cutting federal discretionary spending by 20%

      A national sales tax? Privatizing Social Security? Medical vouchers? I'm impressed with The New Republic and Newsweek's open-mindedness in allowing this far-right ideologue the space to express his radical views.

    11. Bobbie says:

      Thank you, Marcella. I do agree its the responsibility of the individual to their own medical costs and social security. I'm not sure where conservative or far right comes in? Common sense comes to mind regarding some. Government control regarding others.

    12. RSDallas says:

      These news pupits are disgusting!

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