The largest failure of Obama's approach to the Middle East is its apparent geopolitical randomness. Support for Iran's Green Revolution was late and grudging — as though courageous reformers were intruding on Obama's engagement of the regime. The president dramatically escalated the Afghan War, before conveying an impression of heading for the exits. After wringing its hands, the administration took needed action in Libya. After wringing its hands, it has remained on the sidelines in Syria. The main consistency has been the wringing part.
In the absence of an organizing principle, flexibility becomes ambiguity. Other nations know exactly what Iran is after, what Russia is after, what Israel is after. They are left to guess at American intentions. The risk is that they will cease to care.
- Doug Robinson: We are in the midst of an era...
- From 'Con Air' to the classroom and sideline
- Michael Gerson: The gospel according to JC...
- My view: Fix Obamacare, don't replace it
- Robert J. Samuelson: Government programs...
- Most popular letters to the editor of 2013
- In our opinion: Don't raise the minimum wage
- Matthew Sanders: Nelson Mandela's goodness...
- In our opinion: Don't raise the minimum... 62
- My view: Fix Obamacare, don't replace it 59
- Robert Bennett: Create wealth before... 41
- Letter: Doctors unite 40
- Andrew Morriss: No, Congress should not... 32
- Michael E. Kraft: Yes, Congress should... 22
- Letter: Foreign aid 17
- My view: Utah needs to expand Medicaid 14