BY Michael Barone, September 15, 2012
In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered Tuesday. Earlier that day, protesters in Egypt stormed the U.S. Embassy and tore down the American flag.
It was “the day the roof fell in,” proclaimed blogger and historian Walter Russell Mead. Barack Obama’s “efforts to reconcile the U.S. and moderate Islamism — in part by distancing the U.S. from Israel — have angered Israel without reducing Islamist bitterness against the United States.”
In other words, his Middle East policies are in shambles. His assumption that a president “who doesn’t look like other presidents” would endear America to Arabs has been proven unfounded.
So have other assumptions. Like the idea that Iran’s mullah regime would negotiate with us if we uttered soothing words and turned a cold eye on Iranian dissidents, as Obama did in June 2009.
And the idea that creating distance between the United States and Israel would lead to a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.
Obama came to office believing that America had a lot to apologize for. For the “tension” between the U.S. and the Muslim world that “has been fed” by colonialism and the Cold War, as he said in his June 2009 “New Beginning” speech in Cairo.