How megalomania explains Obama’s response to the Arab Spring

This critical look by the New York Times at President Obama’s responses to the “Arab Spring” is very much worth reading. It describes the “hard lesson[] the president ha[s] learned over almost two years of political turmoil in the Arab world” as follows: “bold words and support for democratic aspirations are not enough to engender good will in this region, especially not when hampered by America’s own national security interests.”

How is it that an American president didn’t know this from the beginning? The explanation, the Times makes clear, resides in Obama’s megalomania. Thus, the Times finds that Obama’s “handling of the uprisings demonstrates the gap between the two poles of his political persona: his sense of himself as a historic bridge-builder who could redeem America’s image abroad, and his more cautious adherence to long-term American interests in security and cheap oil.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president whose foreign policy rests primarily on adherence to long-term American security and economic interests, and not at all on his absurdly inflated self-image?

The Times also tells us:

Mr. Obama felt keenly, one aide said, the need for the United States, and for he himself, to stand as a moral example. “He knows that the protesters want to hear from the American president, but not just any American president,” a senior aide to Mr. Obama said. “They want to hear from this American president.” In other words, they wanted to hear from the first black president of the United States, a symbol of the possibility of change.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who doesn’t suffer from the delusion that, because he is unique and so special, the world is hanging on his words?

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