Michael Barone
In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered Tuesday. Earlier that day, protesters in Egypt stormed the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag.

It was "the day the roof fell in," proclaimed blogger and historian Walter Russell Mead. Barack Obama's "efforts to reconcile the U.S. and moderate Islamism -- in part by distancing the U.S. from Israel -- have angered Israel without reducing Islamist bitterness against the United States."

In other words, his Middle East policies are in shambles. His assumption that a president "who doesn't look like other presidents" would endear America to Arabs has been proven unfounded.

So have other assumptions. Like the idea that Iran's mullah regime would negotiate with us if we uttered soothing words and turned a cold eye on Iranian dissidents, as Obama did in June 2009.

And the idea that creating distance between the United States and Israel would lead to a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama came to office believing that America had a lot to apologize for. For the "tension" between the U.S. and the Muslim world that "has been fed" by colonialism and the Cold War, as he said in his June 2009 "New Beginning" speech in Cairo.

There, he implicitly contrasted George W. Bush's emphasis on universal human rights by admitting that "America does not presume to know what is best for everyone."

Since the 9/11/12 attacks on America, Muslims have been protesting over much of the world, from Tunisia to Yemen to Bangladesh, and in some cases, have been assaulting our embassies.

The ostensible reason for the protests is a video produced by someone in the United States criticizing the Prophet Muhammad. But that's obviously just a pretext, used by Islamist terrorist organizers to whip up frenzy in nations with large numbers of angry unemployed young men.

Unfortunately, some of our government officials have taken the complaints about the video seriously. Before the attack, the Cairo embassy issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."

When Mitt Romney condemned that statement, he was widely criticized by mainstream media. But his judgment was confirmed when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ordered the statement taken down.

Even so, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the protests were directed at the video rather than the United States -- wishful thinking. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the FBI was sent to Los Angeles to track down the video maker. The Los Angeles Times reported that the State Department asked YouTube whether the offending video violated its terms of service.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM