In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, President Obama referred to the problematic relations with Middle Eastern governments as “bumps in the road.” These “bumps” (failures, in reality) are the result of a policy based on profound naiveté and shortsightedness.
When he came to office, President Obama attempted to portray himself as the antithesis to President Bush. Striking a conciliatory tone in his inaugural address, President Obama projected weakness in the place of leadership. He told hostile regimes that “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
But he failed to realize that regimes in Iran and Syria could not unclench their fists without risking their hold on power, which was based on uncompromising hostility to America. Obama’s naïve Middle East policy made life easier for these tyrannical regimes and amounted to an open invitation for Iran to continue its nuclear weapons program.