Mr. Obama viewed George W. Bush as a menace and was determined to show the world he is the anti-Bush. Whatever one may think of Mr. Bush, he was a man of action and his sins were those of commission. Mr. Obama’s sins, however, have been ones of omission. His fear of doing anything stupid has paralyzed his foreign policy for much of his presidency.
Paradoxically, his first foray into foreign policy was did little to inspire confidence. He decided to put Israelis in their place in the naïve belief that sympathizing with the Palestinians would somehow bring about peace. Instead, he succeeded in creating distrust among Israelis, which has only grown worse during his tenure, and the Palestinians made a fool of him by refusing to engage in negotiations and rejecting his envoys’ peace initiatives. Worse, the Palestinian Authority openly defied the president, demonstrating from his first year in office that he was weak. Continue reading