President Barack Obama pauses during a speech in Austin, Texas, Thursday. (AP File Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Kye R. Lee, Pool)
Diminished Obama fumbling in Middle East
The Middle East is in flames, and the president of the United States seems largely irrelevant.
Israel and Hamas terrorists are fighting another Gaza war. What was once touted by the administration as a success story in Iraq degenerated into a nightmare of bloodshed and triumph by Islamist fanatics.
The Syrian civil war plods on with the death toll at 150,000, millions turned into refugees and dictator Bashir al-Assad still in power despite Washington’s demand that he must go.
No one sees the United States as the power-player of yesteryear. President Barack Obama has squandered American credibility in foreign affairs, and confidence in U.S. reliability and commitment is at a low.
Obama’s famous 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim faithful was built on his personality, his background as someone who was familiar with Islam, and his belief that all that was wrong with the world and U.S. relations with it flowed from the presidency of George W. Bush.
But in the hard world of Mideast politics, talk is cheap and what you do defines who you are.