All of the administration’s Middle East policies pointed to the same thing: America wants out of the Middle East. From the perspective of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the administration has unaccountably weakened its own negotiating position with Iran over the clerical regime’s nuclear weapons program. Why would you play nice with an adversary and relieve sanctions when the point is to crush your enemy and then show mercy? If the Iranians get the bomb, it’s a problem not only for Israel, but also Abbas, whose Iranian-backed rivals will be strengthened. For three years, the administration had no policy to address the Syrian conflict, which Obama called someone else’s civil war—i.e., not America’s problem. If the administration’s press surrogates, Washington insiders, and the Europeans think the American commander-in-chief pulled off a diplomatic masterstroke when he signed on to the Russian initiative to get Bashar al-Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons arsenal, this is simply not how it looks in the Middle East.