Foreign Policy And The Muslim World

Obama foreign policy, the Romney dissent, and the fury in the Muslim World.

An Egyptian youth protester reacts during clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP)

An Egyptian youth protester reacts during clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. (AP)

American foreign policy has lived largely on the outskirts of the 2012 presidential campaign.  Yes, the Obama camp has spoken early and often of the killing of Osama bin Laden.  Yes, Mitt Romney has taken his shots at Russia and China.

But the world has been largely off stage – until last week, when suddenly American embassies in the Arab world were burning.  A US ambassador was dead.  Mitt Romney attacked while the crisis still raged.  President Obama had a difficult panorama of outrage to explain.

This hour, On Point:  Obama, Romney, and the fight over US foreign policy in the Arab world.

-Tom Ashbrook


Susan Glasser, editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine.

Robert Malley, program director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

Reuel Marc Gerecht, serves as senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focusing primarily on the Middle East, Islamic militancy, counterterrorism, and intelligence.  Earlier, he served as a specialist at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

From Tom’s Reading List

Daily Beast “The scene in Tahrir Square was a familiar one Thursday night. Surging crowds of demonstrators faced off with riot police along a heavily guarded street. Tear gas canisters flew through the air, and a sense of defiance filled the square. But for Mahitab Elgilamy—one of Cairo’s seasoned democracy activists who took part in the protest movement against former president Hosni Mubarak, the one against the military council that took his place, and many others besides—the situation didn’t feel right. “All these people are gathered like cattle,” she said.”

New York Times “The violently anti-American rallies that have roiled the Islamic world over a video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad expanded on Friday to more than a dozen countries, with demonstrators breaching the United States Embassy in Tunisia for the first time and protesters in Sudan’s capital broadening the targets to include Germany and Britain.”

Foreign Policy “For ordinary Americans, the understandable reaction is one of anger, even betrayal. We liberated them — this time for humanitarian reasons, and even though our vital interests were not at stake. And now they besiege our embassy and kill our ambassador. When I woke up today, a friend asked me half-jokingly, “What’s wrong with Muslims?” That is, whether we like it or not, the question that many — including American liberals who have, time and time again, given “Muslims” the benefit of the doubt — will be asking.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 25, 2015
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Pulitzer Prize winning Iowa writer Marilynne Robinson, arrives to the State Library of Iowa in the Ola Babcock Miller Building, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On the day before Thanksgiving, we talk with Marilynne Robinson – one of America’s greatest authors, thinkers, moralists — about fear and hope in a hard, frightening time.

Nov 25, 2015
Three of baker Renee McLeoud's delicious pies, on display in the WBUR studios. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Bring your appetite! We’re gathering around the radio table with three chefs and new Thanksgiving recipes.

Nov 24, 2015
An archival image of a McKinley - Hobart Presidential Campaign Poster from 1896. (Public Domain / WikiCommons)

Republican political strategist Karl Rove is thinking about the McKinley 1896 campaign and the GOP field right now. Karl Rove is with us.

Nov 24, 2015
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks  hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

ISIS, Inc. The terrorist organization is raking in billions –from oil, grain, antiquities, and taxes. We look at how to break the ISIS bank. Plus, Turkey downs a Russian plane. We’ll have the latest.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »