In advance of President Obama's Middle East speech tomorrow, Thursday, May 19th, Danielle Pletka, Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), writes:
"Having urged the President to speak out, to use his bully pulpit and to stop standing there and bloody well do something on the Middle East, it would be hypocrisy to now wish he wouldn't speak. But I confess, I'm starting to worry.
The New York Times reports this morning that Obama has 'been searching for ways to link the region's historic transformation to the long-stymied peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.' For real? This is the big speech we have been waiting for?
The President has been slammed by both Left and Right for failing to step up on Syria, ignoring the plight of the Syrian people and giving the brutal Bashar el Assad a pass. He has been almost indifferent to the transformation of Egypt, silent on the question of Bahrain, and confusing on the subject of Yemen. Tunisia is not even on the Barack Obama map of the world. He has presided over a drastic decline in U.S-Saudi relations--not, mind you, because of his stand on democracy or freedom, but because the Kingdom is horrified by the President's apparent lack of interest in the threat posed by Iran. Ditto the rest of the GCC.
And so, in the midst of this American policy vacuum, when the eyes of the Arab world are on America, Obama decides that Arab freedom is inextricably linked to… Israel?
It's important to underscore here that this is not an argument about the merits of whatever foolish peace-process ideas Obama will float tomorrow. We already know he's no fan of the Jewish state and thinks Israel is a big problem. This is about what he's NOT saying or DOING for the Arabs. It is as if decades of Arab tyrant agit-prop--'it's not us, it's the Zionists who are the problem'--has sunk in and he genuinely believes that the only thing that matters in this region of hundreds of millions is the malfeasance of the Jews."
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