When he took office Obama made it clear he realized how much of a treadmill American policy in the Greater Middle East was on. Striking out in just one area, to try something new with Iran, required -- and will continue to require -- tremendous effort and, yes, courage.
Bahrain still needs a radical, inclusive settlement to its political crisis to get itself off the path of repression and polarization. Shuffling political dissidents in and out of jail isn't real reform. By freeing all its political dissidents, it can begin to open a real dialogue about the country's future.
The restrictions were imposed in 2011 after the government of Bahrain violently put down the democracy movement there, and followed up with systematic human rights abuses. Not enough has changed in the past four years to justify a change of course.
Alas! how dreary would be the world if America were not exceptional. It would be as dreary as if there were no Washingtons. There would be no torch of liberty, no shining city on a hill, no Channing Tatum.
Arab media face major hardships with journalists on the receiving end of gross violations at the hands of authorities, armed groups, militias and others.
While many facts surrounding the Imam Sadiq Mosque attack remain unknown to the public, there is much to say about the context in which Daesh targeted Kuwait and the challenges that Kuwaiti officials face in terms of thwarting future Wahhabi terrorist attacks.
For too many opposition figures in the kingdom there's no Hollywood ending, no escape from Bahrain's miserable system of injustice, fake charges, and show trials. The country's judges show few signs of independence from the ruling family, and too often follow a dangerous political script that Washington should be trying to do everything it can to stop.
When I recently visited Bahrain, the TSA agent reviewing my passport looked at me curiously and asked me, "Why did you visit Bahrain?" Simple answer: The Kingdom of Bahrain is a great extension to a Dubai or an Abu Dhabi trip. The flights are inexpensive and under an hour.
Washington's determination to defend much of the globe has made the U.S. an international sucker, especially vulnerable to manipulation by supposed friends.
Demastani's September 2011 conviction, when he was tried along with 20 other medics by a military court, triggered international outrage. Although he was temporarily released while his case was appealed, the following year, a civilian court confirmed his guilty verdict and he was rearrested with other medics and put back in jail.
Apparently incapable of resisting the temptation to meddle in the Middle East, the Obama administration remains part of Saudi Arabia's ten-member "coalition" against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Alas, the entire campaign is built on a lie.
The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have for many years funded anti-Shia political and military movements in the Middle East without any substantial resistance from the international community.
The shock waves of the Dammam mosque bombing sent tremors through Bahrain. Although in Saudi Arabia, Dammam is only about an hour's drive from Bahrain's capital Manama. Sectarianism hasn't much respect for international borders. Bahrain knows the threat of sectarian violence, from ISIS or elsewhere, is real.
A few years ago it seemed almost unimaginable. Ireland's overwhelming support of legalizing same-sex marriage is a reminder of how fast political change can happen, and how apparent certainties can crumble at lightning speed.
Courting Arab leaders precisely as they undermine U.S. objectives gets it almost exactly backward. America's failures, under both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, stem from its unwillingness to break with allies taking actions that will result in disaster.
You'd think that more than 40 years of fixation on the Middle East, often to the exclusion of more important areas of the world, would at least enable sophisticated media coverage of Middle Eastern politics as it impacts American politics. But no.