The president's gesture toward Israel is simultaneously nice and meaningless. It's also just about the only pro-Israel action that could ever conflict with U.S. interests.
After suffering two recent attacks by terrorists based in Syria, Turkey has ordered its military forces to prepare to enter Syria en masse and establish a "buffer zone." Turkey, seeking NATO-wide diplomatic affirmation for this risk-ridden decision, then demanded a NATO Article 4 consultation.
One hundred sixteen years is a long time to fight a war. But England and France did it from 1337 until 1453, misnamed in history as the Hundred Years War. Its a pretty good bet that the citizens of those two countries were awfully tired of fighting by the time there was a cessation of hostilities and peace was eventually declared.
As a US senator and a candidate for president a decade ago, John Kerry couldn't bring himself to worry overmuch about Islamic terrorism. Today, as a secretary of state trying to sell a nuclear accord that would lift economic sanctions from the world's leading state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, he still can't.
As I watched Secretary of State John Kerry testify before the Senate on the recently completed nuclear agreement between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, I could not help but notice Kerrys obvious exasperation with his former Senate colleagues, who were now serving as his inquisitors.
Culturally and historically, political leaders in the Middle East respect strength, and they exude it regardless of if they have it. Their legitimacy depends on presenting an air of dominance.