Arab Diplomats Miss George Bush



Mr. Obama

Some Arab foreign ministers would like to see Mr. Bush back in office after five years of Mr. Obama. One senior Arab diplomat said, “I have to tell you, I miss President Bush. I disagreed with almost every political decision he made. But I knew where he stood and what his views are. He told us personally and he told the world at the U.N. General Assembly. We could disagree and move on with it. With Obama not only don’t I know, I just don’t understand.”

The Arab minister is not alone. I challenge any citizen to tell me what Mr. Obama’s policy on the mid-East is.

There was a lot of drama on Tuesday at the UN about whether or not Mr. Obama would agree to shake hands with Hasan Rouhani, his Iranian counterpart, and, as it turned out, his counterpart wouldn’t shake hands with him. In fact, he ignored three invitations from Barack Obama. That snub speaks volumes about how we are viewed by Iranians.

The loss of respect is far more widespread than just Iran, however. Diplomats in the UN General Assembly are very disappointed in Mr. Obama’s performance on mid-East affairs.

He didn’t lead in Syria and he mishandled Egypt. His confusing signals over the chemical weapons in Syria left the diplomats scratching their heads. His decision to go to Congress appeared weak in the minds of the Arab states.

They see this same lack of leadership repeating with Iran. Obama, they believe, is weak, indecisive, and was outmaneuvered. The Arab states are concerned that they cannot trust their American friends and that Obama’s actions will embolden Iran and Assad.

One Arab foreign minister said Obama has no clear cut approach to the region.

Referring to Obama’s speech to the UN, the same minister said, “The president’s speech explains why nobody counts on U.S. leadership anymore. It was an academic, scholarly examination of the problems and all of the arguments involved. He should pick one and stick with it.”

After five years, Mr. Obama’s impulsive decisions compare unfavorably with Mr. Bush’s. Bush’s policies in Iraq are the subject of valid criticisms but, he had policies and he could articulate them. Bush comes out as a leader while Obama does not. How ironic.

Full story at CNN