Morsi Demands Fundamental Changes From U.S.
JERUSALEM—In a recent interview with the New York Times, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said the United States “needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.”
According to the Times, Morsi “said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.”
Now Washington, remember, is currently supplying billions of dollars in funding to Egypt—despite the nation’s increased hostility toward the West, a decidedly undemocratic takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, and a complete disregard for its peace treaty with Israel. And Washington, of course, is largely responsible for clearing the way so that Morsi could be president!
It’s interesting when you compare what Morsi said about the U.S. needing to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, with what Barack Obama said just before he was elected back in 2008. Just days before the election, then Senator Obama said at one of his campaign rallies: “After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush … we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Many would say, now almost four years on from that, that he’s certainly had some success in transforming the United States. He’s certainly helped to radically transform the Middle East. In the Cairo speech from 2009, President Obama called for “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect ….”
This outreach, as Charles Krauthammer noted in his column last week, implied that the relationship had been based on disrespect in previous administrations.
“Curious,” Krauthammer wrote, “as over the previous 20 years, America had six times committed its military forces on behalf of oppressed Muslims, three times for reasons of pure humanitarianism (Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo), where no U.S. interests were at stake.”
And yet, look at where we are in the Middle East today after so many fundamental changes in recent years. It staggers the mind when you consider just how far the U.S. has fallen here in the Middle East today, in terms of power and influence.
“The Islamic world is convulsed with an explosion of anti-Americanism,” Krauthammer said. “From Tunisia to Lebanon, American schools, businesses and diplomatic facilities set ablaze. A U.S. ambassador and three others murdered in Benghazi. The black flag of Salafism, of which al Qaeda is a prominent element, raised over our embassies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan.
“The administration, staggered and confused, blames it all on a 14-minute trailer for a film no one has seen and may not even exist.”
To admit otherwise or to pin the blame elsewhere, would be to admit the abysmal failure of Obama’s fundamentally new approach, his new foreign policy for this region.
Krauthammer said, “Religious provocations are endless. … Resentment about the five-century decline of the Islamic world is a constant. What’s new—the crucial variable—is the unmistakable sound of a superpower in retreat.” That’s the new element that’s added here. That’s what’s bringing about these fundamental transformations that we see here in the Middle East and also back in America too.
For more on the failure of America’s Muslim outreach, be sure to watch “The Failure of America’s Muslim Outreach.”