"Bibi" Netanyahu, elected on a platform of no negotiation with Hamas, no Palestinian enclave in Jerusalem and no withdrawal from the West Bank, a la Gaza, has defied Obama's demand for an immediate halt to any and all expansion of settlements. Not only has Bibi gone unpunished, his poll ratings have soared in Israel, and Obama has capitulated completely, leaving Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas so disillusioned and demoralized he is considering not running again.
The hopes raised by Obama's Cairo speech have disappeared, as our traditional Arab friends like the Egyptians and Saudis have been hung out to dry.
Hillary Clinton may have pressed the reset button on relations with Russia -- but there has been precious little reciprocity for the U.S. decision to scrap the ballistic missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Moscow has recognized Georgia's breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent republics and is now busy meddling in Ukraine to inflict a humiliating defeat on our man in Kiev, President Viktor Yushchenko, in January's election.
Again, none of the above represents a grave threat to any vital U.S. interest. Nevertheless, this lack of reciprocity, this lack of respect, this indifference to what the president is demanding or even asking is revealing about the era we have now entered -- and about Barack Obama.
All that bloviation we heard for two decades -- about the "Second American Century," the "End of History," the "New World Order," America as "omnipower" and "indispensable nation," the "New Rome" seizing its "unipolar moment" to impose "benevolent global hegemony" on mankind and "ending tyranny in our world" -- it was, all of it, bullhockey.
Second, though Obama may be liked and admired by people all over the world, this counts for next to nothing in global power politics.
Brazil, Japan, China, Russia and Israel are all countries with their own national interests that do not necessarily comport with those of the United States. All have come to see Obama as a diffident, dithering, doubting dilettante who can be dissed with impunity. And none of these nations is going to sacrifice what it considers critical to win a smile from Barack Obama.
Multilateralism and globalism are on the way out. Unilateralism and nationalism are on the way in.
As other countries look out for their national interests first, why do we not do the same?
If we Americans will not put America first, who will?