Thursday, September 13, 2012

Schooling Romney on diplomacy

Friends, Romans, countrymen -- both here and abroad -- lend me your ears. Underestimate President Obama at your peril. In crisis diplomacy at the world-class level, you first bide your time to marshal all the facts, size up the adversary, and decide which tool to best bring him to heel. Then you act with overwhelming force. With that in mind, the New York Times is reporting that yesterday Obama made a late-night call to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Obama was blunt. That's diplomatese for "furious." It lasted 20 minutes. Obama did most of yelling talking. Long story short: Condemn the violence, protect our embassy or risk losing our friendship, our alliance and our money. Sweet dreams -- Click. By midday Thursday, Morsi (who had been conspicuously silent) was all over national television condemning the unrest. Guess he got the message. In fact, the Times added, the entire Egyptian leadership, including the Muslim Brotherhood, was scrambling on Thursday "to try to repair the country’s alliance with Washington." Guess they got the message, too. That's how it done, Mr. Romney. You don't lash out in blind outrage at a provocation. Nor do you wait for the 3 a.m. phone call. You wake the other guy up at 3 a.m. It's called peace through superior brainpower.

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