Despite Barack Obama’s view that his presidency would repair relations with the Muslim world, America’s standing on the Arab street has never been lower.
1. Egypt policy
The administration has been consistently one-step behind events in crafting an Egypt policy. The White House’s initial backing of President Hosni Mubarak lost any support it might have gained from the crowds in Tahrir Square. Then the United States shocked its Mideast allies by pulling support from the Egyptian leader. The United States is now faced with a hostile regime in Cairo, where a Muslim Brotherhood-headed government could hardly be bothered to act when a mob tried to overrun the U.S. embassy.
2. Iran nuclear program
During his 2008 campaign, Obama posited that the Iranian leadership was bellicose mostly in reaction to misguided policies of the Bush administration. Unlike his predecessor, he would be willing to sit down and talk with the mullahs, confident that his powers of persuasion would convince them to lay down their nuclear ambitions. Four years later, Obama seems has been more concerned about cutting back our nuclear arsenal than trying to stop Tehran.
3. Diplomatic security
How could a U.S. ambassador be at an unsecured consulate in a hostile location in the Arab world on the anniversary of September 11? Christopher Stevens’ murder by a terror mob need could have been avoided if the U.S. heeded the warnings that violence was afoot. The State Department had even issued a travel alert to Americans about going to Libya, yet the consulate had minimal security.
4. Libya explanation
Long after the entire world knew that the strike on the Libyan consulate was a terrorist attack, the Obama administration continued its laughable explanation that the assault was solely the result of a spontaneous mob enraged by an anti-Islamic film. As Sen. John McCain pointed out, protesters don’t usually bring rocket-propelled grenades to a political rally.
5. Disdain for Israel
The one ally the United States could always count on in the Middle East—Israel—has consistently gotten the shaft from the White House. Obama has shown nothing if not disdain for the Jewish state, at one point offending Israeli officials by urging a return to 1967 borders. Now Obama can’t even find time in his schedule for a face-to-face meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
6. Leading from behind in Libya
Hillary Clinton asked, “How can this happen in a country we helped to liberate?