Rich Galen

While we have been totally focused, for the past two months, on the amount of time it takes a webpage to load on healthcare.gov, the rest of the globe appears to be continuing to spin.

And it appears to be spinning away from us.

After more than a decade of what is known as kinetic action in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Americans are tired of being the alpha dog in the global pack.

According to a poll released by the Pew organization,

The public thinks that the nation does too much to solve world problems, and increasing percentages want the U.S. to "mind its own business internationally" and pay more attention to problems here at home.

Good thing, too, because everyone from China and Russia to Saudi Arabia appear to have come the conclusion that they want to grant the American public its collective wish.

This is not helping President Barack Obama's overall standing with the public. According to the poll the approve/disapprove of the President's handling of foreign policy is way under water at 34/56. "The public also disapproves," the poll says, "of his handling of Syria (30/57), Iran (37/53), China (30/52), Russia (37/47) and Afghanistan (34/57) by wide margins."

Seventy percent of the respondents think the U.S. is "less respected" by other countries than in the past, but less than half (46%) see that as a major problem.

Good thing, too.

Over the past week or so, China declared sovereignty over islands in the East China Sea that Japan has also said it owns. To make the point of its claim it declared an "air defense identification zone" over the islands leading the U.S. to send two B-52 bombers directly into the air defense identification zone without, presumably, identifying themselves.

The U.S. government did suggest, however, that commercial airliners do whatever they do to identify themselves if they were flying over the disputed airspace.

In Syria, which has dropped off the front pages after Russia stepped in regarding the chemical weapons issue, continues to be an international horror show. According to the New York Times, observers now say that some "126,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011." Additionally an estimated "seven million people in Syria are in urgent need of food and medical assistance, and that Syrian refugees in neighboring countries will total three million by year's end."

That was the one about crossing a red line, you may remember.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.