President Obama and Secretary Clinton at a ceremony
the remains of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya
Chris Stephens: In
the midst of a presidential campaign,
renewed Arab unrest raises
the stakes for the president
and the nation.
Muslim Unrest Raises Stakes of U.S. Election Even Higher (Die Tageszeitung, Germany)
"In the hottest
phase of a U.S. campaign, the logic of action in Washington often shifts to the
winning of short-term points. But at stake is more than winning a second term:
If and how Obama succeeds could decide whether there is war or peace."
Less than two months before the U.S. presidential election,
more and more factors out of the candidates' control are having an influence on
the campaign. Domestically, in the ongoing teachers strike in Barack Obama’s
hometown of Chicago, the president's loyalties are being tested between the unions,
his electoral allies, and his former chief of staff Rahm
Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago.
On the foreign affairs front, attacks on U.S. facilities and
harsh criticism by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Obama’s Iran policy
has been a challenge for Obama.
That foreign policy is suddenly playing a role can be good
or bad for a sitting president: On the one hand, there is the U.S. tradition of
closing ranks behind the incumbent in the face of external threats. On the
other, a truly sustained period of troubled relations with the Israeli
government, coupled with the incorrect impression of a president that is shaky
in dealing with the Muslim world, puts the president in danger of losing critical
That could lose Florida’s 29 electoral votes to Romney -
without which it will be hard to win the presidency. There are more than a few
people who believe that this is the real goal of Netanyahu’s attacks.
Already, conservative U.S. media are calling anti-U.S.
protests in Cairo, Libya and Yemen "flash points" - and interpret
them as a result of Obama’s “weakness.”
It is Obama's good fortune that his opponent behaves
so ineptly. Instead of a statesmanlike condemnation of the attacks and assuring
the president of his support, Romney criticized the administration's alleged "apology"
to the demonstrators. Not only was that nonsense, but it was party politics in
a moment that called for patriotism - not a self-serving attempt to score
Posted by Worldmeets.US
However: there is plenty of evidence to suggest that foreign
pressure will only increase as the election draws closer.
In the hottest phase of a U.S. campaign, the logic of action in Washington often
shifts to the winning of short-term points. But at stake is more than winning a
second term: If and how Obama succeeds could decide whether there is war