Governor Romney’s speech accurately described the cascading failures of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. He did a good job in stressing the link between the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the broader struggle against Islamist totalitarians. He recognized that many Libyan Muslims reject Islamist extremism and are potential allies in this struggle and called for greater support for Syrians opposed to the Assad dictatorship and al-Qaeda terrorists.
The speech also gets high marks for exposing the myth that the tide of war is receding in the Middle East and focusing on Iran’s nuclear challenge. Obama’s failed engagement efforts have not slowed Iran’s accelerating uranium-enrichment program, which provides one of the strongest arguments for a change of course for United States policy in the Middle East.
— Jim Phillips is senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation.