by David Frum, The Daily Beast.
Mitt Romney has received much (deserved) criticism for his maladroit comments on the 9/11 embassy attacks.
But you know what? There is a critique to be made of the Obama administration’s approach to Islamism, especially in Egypt – and it doesn’t require anyone to hurl false charges that the president “sympathizes” with the killers of Americans.
The critique is this:
The Obama administration has staked its foreign policy on the assumption that the best way to deal with radical Islam is by engaging with radical Islam, thus splitting the men of violence from the men willing to try politics.
By this theory, the problem with radical Islam was its method (terrorism), not its goals (establishing Muslim Brotherhood style governments).
Some in the Obama orbit hoped that the entry into government would modulate and moderate Islamist goals. Others believed that even if the Islamists did not moderate, it was still preferable to live with them than to do what was necessary to resist them.
My friend Dean Godson of the British think tank Policy Exchange has a fascinating letter – it would make a brilliant book – about how this approach derives from the British experience in Northern Ireland. Under Tony Blair, the British government had followed a double Irish policy: a more effective approach to kill or capture IRA terrorists – combined with vigorous negotiations that offered IRA leaders willing to abjure violence the very role in government they had been fighting to seize.
If you notice a similarity to the Obama policy in Afghanistan, it’s not a coincidence.
Source: The Daily Beast