Thinking you can bribe your enemies as easily as you can bribe your representatives in Congress. Dropping your allies and clients for a regime that has made hatred of you a key principle of its rule for 40 years. Cheating the American people of their elected representation, then boasting about it. The mullahs call this sort of thing ‘imperial arrogance’ — and they’re right to.
Somehow, the Obama administration arrived at Middle East policies that were as vain and fantastical as those of the second Bush administration. The result was more of the same: the waste of Arab lives, the fracture of Arab states, the collapse of America’s moral and strategic standing, the strengthening of the anti-Western quasi-empires of Turkey and Iran.
Joe Biden now claims credit for the single success of this failed play, pushing Israel and the Gulf Arabs into a defensive alignment against Iran. At the same time, the Democrats and the left-wing media are claiming that the Israel-UAE breakthrough isn’t a breakthrough at all; that the Trump administration, the first to avoid foolish wars in decades, is perpetually about to press the button; and that Mike Pompeo, who inherited chaos and is building a stable 21st-century strategy, is somehow a threat to world peace. Meanwhile the Europeans, who complain that the Trump administration has left them exposed, continue to conspire with the Democrats, even if it means exposing themselves to Iranian missiles.