This morning, The New York Times offers a lengthy look at President Obama’s relationship with leaders in the Arab world, full of revealing detail. It never quite comes out and explicitly says the president’s approach has failed, but the overall picture is withering and bleak.
Among the highlights:
Let’s set the wayback machine to June 16, 2009: “President Obama said Tuesday that it would be counterproductive for the United States “to be seen as meddling” in the disputed Iranian presidential election, dismissing criticism from several leading Republicans that he has failed to speak out forcefully enough on behalf of the Iranian opposition.”
So the Republican critics were right, and President Obama was wrong. Now he sees it.
Obama 2012: Because he now realizes where he botched his Iran policy early on!
The article summarizes, “the stark difference between the outcomes in Cairo and Bahrain illustrates something else, too: his impatience with old-fashioned back-room diplomacy, and his corresponding failure to build close personal relationships with foreign leaders that can, especially in the Middle East, help the White House to influence decisions made abroad.”