Ferguson starts out by pointing out some mixed messages from the administration that many have noted and suggests that, in the process, "The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo." That mirrors some of the criticism we've been hearing, so I thought perhaps he would point out how this happened and its affects going forward.
But in the very next paragraph, he tips us off about where he's going with this:
Last week, while other commentators ran around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hyperventilating about what they saw as an Arab 1989, I flew to Tel Aviv for the annual Herzliya security conference. The consensus among the assembled experts on the Middle East? A colossal failure of American foreign policy.
So the assembled experts at a security conference in Israel thought Obama's handling of Egypt was "a colossal failure?" Surprise, surprise.
Next we get Ferguson's opinion on which American diplomat he admires in terms of how to handle this kind of thing. Want to take a guess who that is? Well, here's the answer:
No one has ever done this better than Henry Kissinger. But the crucial thing about Kissinger as national-security adviser was not the speed with which he learned the dark arts of interdepartmental turf warfare. It was the skill with which he, in partnership with Richard Nixon, forged a grand strategy for the United States at a time of alarming geopolitical instability.
Excuse me, but wasn't it Kissinger's exclusive focus on "realism" in US foreign policy that led us to partnerships with dictators like Mubarak who had no time for issues such as human rights?
But then, finally Ferguson makes the move to expose how he views this moment in history. First of all, he quotes from Obama's speech in Cairo.
America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
And then he responds.
Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia.
So this is all about the Muslim Brotherhood's goal to establish a caliphate and Sharia.
Hmmmm...where have we heard that before?
You expect this kind of thing from Glenn Beck and Faux News. But in Newsweek?