'In too many places, in too many ways, the region's foundations are sinking into the sand," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Arab autocrats in a remarkable speech in Qatar last week.
The Arab landscape all around her provided ample confirmation. In Tunisia, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, a despot who has been in power for nearly a quarter-century, was reeling. His people had conquered their fear and had taken to the streets. In Cairo, the Pharoah the Pax Americana has indulged through five American presidencies appeared to be losing his touch, his once-tolerant country engulfed by sectarian troubles between Muslims and Copts. Lebanon, which had once been a showcase of American success in the region, was once again in the throes of a political crisis.
But there was a truth that our secretary of state glided over. Sinking into the sand, too, is the worldview that informed President Obama's approach to the Middle East.
(photo credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page)