John on March 15, 2010 at 8:56 am
It’s titled “Losing Faith in the Messiah” and boy is this going to leave a mark:
Never before had a US president enjoyed such trust in the Middle East — and gambled it away in such a short time. Obama has vacillated to an extent that has confused friend and foe alike, even baffling veteran observers of the region.
And then it gets worse, much worse:
Obama’s failure in the Middle East is but one example of his weakness, though a particularly drastic and vivid one. The president, widely celebrated when he took office, cannot claim to have achieved sweeping successes in any area. When he began his term more than a year ago, he came across as an ambitious developer who had every intention of completing multiple projects at once. But after a year, none of those projects has even progressed beyond the early construction phase. And in some cases, the sites are nothing but deep excavations.
He hasn’t brought himself to back the protest movement in Iran, he has voiced only timid support for human rights in China, and he did not agree to meet with the Dalai Lama until after a second request had been made. In Saudi Arabia, he bows down before King Abdullah instead of championing democracy and women’s rights.
And now the coup de grace:
Obama continues to stand alone on the world stage, seemingly without a goal and oceans removed from achieving a solution to the toxic Middle East conflict. US historian Walter Russell Mead recently wrote of Obama in the journal Foreign Relations that “the conflicting impulses influencing how this young leader thinks about the world threaten to tear his presidency apart — and, in the worst scenario, turn him into a new Jimmy Carter.”
Click on that link at the top. This is a must read column.