Niall Fergusson, one of my favorite currentÂ historians recently wrote a piece in Newsweek that perfectly captures whatÂ I think is the best way to use history as a guide in determining the best way to act in the present. Of course, he is slammingÂ the current US AdministrationÂ in this piece so that rather makes me happy too. The piece is here. He also went on “Morning Joeâ€ on MSNBC and expanded on his views.
His biggest point is that the administration blew it with Egypt because they changed their mind so many times. I love it how he uses a quote from Otto von Bismarck to illustrate what Obama did not do. Here is the quote from the story:
“The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.â€ Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europeâ€™s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.
Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity â€¦ and missed it completely.