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.