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Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- if you go anti American protests spread across the Arab world this week over a film deemed offensive to Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
The demonstrations follow the murder Tuesday of four American diplomats including United States ambassador Chris Stevens in the -- Libya.
In what officials believe was a terrorist attack designed to coincide with the anniversary of September 11.
Joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan -- columnist Mary Anastasia.
O'Grady and editorial board member.
Matt Kaminsky so.
In what does what does this.
-- break protests and anti American protests across the Arab world this week tell us about.
Are standing in in that part of the world.
And the -- in in Arabia.
Well Paul I think what's happening here is essentially a repeat of where we came in -- when the -- spraying began in Tunisia and then Egypt and then spread to about twelve other countries.
And -- that came out at that time was.
The United States couldn't really supports any of these movements near spring because quote and quote we don't know who these people are.
Which is to say that the United States and -- State Department just was not that engaged with these countries at that time.
Now when you think of how to what extent Egypt or even Libya since these transitions have been in the news that has been basically not at all they've been on their own I think it's of -- With the Obama administration's approach to foreign policy which was -- -- work.
America's direct engagement with situations like this rather -- international institutions deal with it.
And I think what we're seeing here is the result of the United States would.
-- -- withdrawing entirely but pulling back from its engagement with these transitional government.
But marry the administration I think would say look we liberated it.
Yes it was a UN operation on the Arab would -- and so on got their first but we were participants and in fact our military assets were crucial.
And so we weren't as pass of his stance suggested it's.
Well -- I think that -- we can't forget that there is a you know an intellectual -- in the Middle East that wants to.
Restore this idea of it a tyranny -- -- come right and that -- may be a small percentage of the total population but it's very easy to engage the large air masses in this kind of violence if you find something -- -- -- off and I think it's very clear that you know it was not an accident that this happened -- of camera to write this this is sort of the agenda and they're not gonna give up -- little.
When we had the attacks on September 11 we knew this was going to be a very long war Hussein -- -- Who's a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States and a friend of ours wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week that this is really less about the YouTube video -- and that's just an excuse this is really about the battle inside Islam.
For the control of these countries.
You -- that as it did.
In the battle inside Islam the last 2030 years since the Iranian revolution what's new here is not many have mobs in the -- -- incited by some perceived grievance of -- YouTube video.
And -- -- and burn American flags which -- hears he no longer have authoritarian governments in place in Libya Egypt Yemen and and elsewhere.
Now I think the real test here -- is for these new governments Libya and Yemen to their credit the governments there reacted very well.
A move forces in I think there's great regret in Libya and -- -- -- -- American sentiment that's right.
The real question mark is about Egypt is actually pushing the most important one because it's the biggest and most important -- -- and we have been supporting the Democrat tradition there.
We sort of you know be back and how many -- -- in Muslim Brotherhood leader when he to congress president it was a very big delegation last week in Cairo of American business leaders.
-- want to forgive their debt.
It -- that we've we've agreed to forgive a billion dollars worth of debt only last week.
We have to sort of get congress to pass up on that still -- and let's go back harder -- -- absolutely this week but the question is I think it did to Dan's point.
Is that hands American passivity here.
The sense that well we really can't influence these events and if we try too hard.
We're going to be accused of meddling and so on so we have to step back.
And I've had people who understand what's going on in Libya say that aren't that by stepping back in Libya we'd like to -- east and the saudis and their money.
And the -- influence of Islam play a larger role in that transition between these -- still know that America is where you get legitimacy it's where the money ultimately is.
And we do have leverage.
But it would not using it as well as he could be.
Yes but I think -- that the idea of stepping back is perceived as weakness and it's a perceived as a sort of a dis -- did.
United States a disinterested President Obama who is not going to engage.
You know and and the very fact that the Libyan embassy was left so unguarded.
It really raises questions about with the way the president and views our vulnerability in that part in the world.
Well Mohamad -- -- -- understands that his economy is essentially a basket case the Egyptian privileged to -- Egyptian economy.
I mean that what happened in Egypt is essentially the result of the fact that there -- so many unemployed young people injured the unemployment rate for young people -- about 78%.
Morsi passed to engage with the rest of the world to raise his economy and I think.
That is going to be a complicated process -- nation has to lead.
The rest of the world and trying and that would be the United States it isn't going to just.
Happen on its own somebody has to exercise leadership mean.
While the other big event this week is that.
Argument public argument between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the the United States over what how firmly to draw so called red lines against Iran's nuclear program.
It was an hour long phone call 1 evening this week between Netanyahu and Obama seem to have -- The latest -- -- down but.
What message does that send to.
To our foes in the Middle -- -- fighting with our allies was actually I think that's message here is that you never have we had its contentious.
Relationship with the Israelis that we have right now.
And if we treat her friends that way that -- invitation just to treat Israel and foes say you know this is not a country which is serious about being a leader in the world and it is a lot of people people in this country think a power on the decline in the region.
And the message is that we're not willing to step up into a role in that -- of shaping outcome.
Which is more conducive to peace and prosperity -- that region but -- stability which is good for us would not -- -- to encourage any restraint on the part of Iran if it sees us fighting with.
With with Israel.
And it probably wasn't helpful.
You know for Netanyahu meet with Romney the way that he did because I think Romney's visit recently telling -- -- -- -- I -- think that Obama -- -- little -- -- -- -- That he sees it very clearly.
Little Netanyahu would like to see -- the two words were did work together I think it was at -- earlier abandoned somewhere in their career they were right.
So they they do have a relationship.
I think there's a little bit at that President Obama -- on but it paid back there.
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