While I take issue with the authors assessment of Mitt Romney’s statement as a gaffe, I think most clear thinking Americans viewed the statement as correct and presidential, the rest of her article is an excellent take on President Obama’s foreign policy failure.
What exactly is the nature and intention of Barack Obama’s foreign policy? What has the net effect been of his emphasis on apology and reconciliation with the Muslim world? How does he now see America’s global role? Bizarrely enough, none of these questions was being discussed in the immediate aftermath of last week’s attack on the United States consulate in Libya, which resulted in the first killing of an American ambassador since 1979. A spectacularly successful White House spin operation saw to it that the only topic for debate in the media was Mitt Romney’s Gaffe – a statement by the Republican presidential candidate that was diplomatically inept and mistimed, but trivial in comparison to the monumental issue of the President’s stance on America’s future relations with the Middle East.
The central questions remain, of how an Obama second term would affect America’s position in the world, and of how committed the President is to the basic principle that every American schoolchild is taught: that his country not only believes in freedom for its own citizens, but that it has a moral mission to support and defend those who seek liberty everywhere in the world. Its people are instructed by their own founding documents not to think of themselves merely as the fortunate residents of a lucky country but as the bearers of an eternal truth – the universal human rights to which all peoples can and should aspire.
The failure to understand the significance of this is one of the things that makes so much foreign commentary on US politics seem obtuse: idealism is not a romantic spasm of the American national psyche. It is central to the act of will that brought the country into being. Without that constantly renewed commitment to that fundamental principle, a belief in the “God‑given” rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the US would be nothing more than a bolthole for economic migrants.