David Bromwich: Obama's Middle East

05/22/2011 09:12 pm ET | Updated Jul 22, 2011

Being president of the world has sometimes seemed a job more agreeable to Barack Obama than being president of the United States. The Cairo speech of June 2009 was his first performance in that role, and he said many things surprising to hear from an American leader--among them, the statement that "it is time for [Israeli] settlements to stop." But as is now widely understood, the aftermath of Cairo was not properly planned for.

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