In “A World Learning to Manage without the U.S.,” he argues there is an emerging Russia-Saudi-Chinese axis. (All three have reasons to hate the Muslim Brotherhood, for one.) A grimly fun piece in which Mr. Goldman understandably touts how many times he’s been right on foreign policy issues.
I haven’t had much more to say about recent Egypt developments because I put my cards on the table very clearly in two essays here: Facing the Likelihood of Muburak II, and Denial is a Robert Kagan Column on Egypt. I side with Spengler on the main Egypt issues, while nonetheless thinking he and other conservatives should have been more charitable to Obama administration efforts to try out the postulated half-democratic proclivities of some Muslim Brotherhood members, given that this was the official stance of most Egyptian democrats anyhow, and became probably unavoidable when one of their number was, do remember, elected to the presidency.
But my word, I cannot believe just how idiotic the U.S. and E.U. response to the post-coup situation has been. As in utterly childish, dogmatic, and contemptible. Sisi and the military imprison Morsi, unconstitutionally remove him from power, in other words do the political equivalent of raping the man’s mother, again I think for unavoidable reasons, but the bottom line is once it’s done it’s done. Some of the Brotherhood comes out onto the streets for an apparently do-or-die try against the yet-uncertain authority of the military, out for blood, burnin’ churches as they go. And our defense secretary is made to bleatingly repeat that the violence must stop! the violence must stop!
Sisi knows he’s lucky only about a 1,000 have died so far, as the worse-case scenario could be as bloody as the Muslim v. Hindu rioting that followed India’s and Pakistan’s independence in 1947. And Obama threatens—or does he?—aid cuts with elementary school stuff like this: “Our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual as civilians are being killed in the streets.” He said that on Thursday. Yes, very good, Barry: violence is bad. Another gold star for you, and extra recess time after our nap.
Has no-one around our President reflected upon a single stinkin’ chapter of Machiavelli? Thucydides? Xenophon? …Anyone? Anyone? Not to mention Hamilton, Clausewitz, AJP Taylor, Raymond Aron, and so on and so forth? (And does no-one around him tremble for the fate of the Copts?) Why do we even have departments of International Relations, or prestigious journals like Foreign Affairs? But apparently there is no-one around Obama capable of hammering home the basic situation.
Yeah, and again, it’s a permanent blot on Robert Kagan’s reputation (Reuel Marc Gerecht also, but less so) that he lent his name to this sort of idiocy, that he failed to see that whatever good arguments he might have had against doing the coup, they all became pointless to air in public, and dangerous to if by U.S. officials, once it was actually done. (See Krauthammer from Thursday if you still need to see why we have to support the coup, a conclusion deducible from day one.)
So maybe Spengler was right after all, that to have even entertained the possibility of division within the Brotherhood was to have let a sense-destroying intellectual virus into one’s brain. I don’t think so, but Kagan, and more seriously, Obama and his State Department, seem to be evidence of it.
And I haven’t even had the heart to discuss the E.U. response. All-in-all, even if the U.S. and E.U. correct course now, it’s a pretty disheartening episode for the concept of democratic foreign policy and the hope of Western leadership. My prayers for God’s guidance must go out to my President first of all, but reading Spengler, I find my hopes imaginatively reaching out to places like India, Japan, Eastern Europe, and even Sub-Saharan Africa, thirsting for some solid leadership, even if of a merely temporary or exemplary sort, to get us through this season of extra-daft Western debility.