Pat Buchanan

To the east lies Jordan, wracked by riots, a monarchy that looks to be a candidate for an Arab Spring uprising.

To the south and west are Hamas, a Sinai that is a no man's land, and an Egypt dominated by the Brotherhood, millions of whose people would like to see the Israeli peace treaty trashed.

Israel is as isolated as she has been in a region that is more hostile to her presence than perhaps at any time since the war of '48.

The time of Yitzhak Rabin, when Israel had treaties with Egypt and Jordan and had entered into the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat's PLO, seems ancient history. Looking back, with the Rabin assassination and Netanyahu accession, the window that appeared to be open may have closed for good.

Israelis appear now to have entrusted their future to a U.S.-guaranteed military superiority -- F-16s, smart bombs and an Iron Dome missile defense -- rather than peace talks and parchment.

Which is their call. But what of us? What do we have to show for decades of involvement in the Middle East?

Despite our "liberation" of Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya at a cost of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, despite plunging hundreds of billions into foreign aid, America's influence has never been lower.

Hillary Clinton, who cut off her Asian tour to fly to Israel and Egypt, was a bystander in brokering the truce. She is not even allowed to talk to Hamas. For we have designated Hamas a terrorist organization.

Astonishing. What was Joe Stalin when Harry Truman talked with him at Potsdam? What was Nikita Khrushchev when Ike invited the "Butcher of Budapest" to Camp David? What was Chairman Mao when Richard Nixon toasted him in Beijing in 1972?

We tie our own hands and wonder why we cannot succeed.

Today, as Obama is being pushed toward another futile round of peacemaking in the Mideast, prodded to intervene in the ethnic-civil-sectarian war in Syria and goaded to draw a "red line" for war on Iran, he should ask himself:

How would America's vital interests be imperiled by staying out of this particular quarrel, conflict or war? Why are all of these crises somehow ours to resolve? What are the odds that we can resolve them?

We are out of Iraq, and leaving Afghanistan by 2014. Should we go back in, or as Obama pledged, do our "nation-building" here at home?

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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