The only country in the region that seems to bear much resemblance to its pre-Obama self is Iraq, where violence has reached its highest level in half a decade.
By losing our influence with Cairo, the United States is on a path to becoming marginalized in this critical part of the world. Leaders in other American allies, including Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are frustrated by Washington's unwillingness to assist itself in the Middle East.
Some in the U.S. concluded that at long last, Tehran desires a thaw in its relations with Washington and a normalization. I remain skeptical, hoping they are correct, but unwilling to make that leap for a number of reasons.
Obama has repeatedly called for other Middle Eastern governments to respect free expression, and he should do the same with the UAE.
If realists are really as businesslike as they claim, then foreign policy ought to look something like investment. And while short-term profitability is clearly one important element in choosing which countries to support, another is stability.
It seems idiotic and self-destructive for either Turkey or Israel to lose the other as an ally. These two countries can potentially do so much good for their citizens, as well as the Middle East.
Invoking the wisdom of Gandhi, Obama told the Israeli students that they must become and create the change they want to see. He could have also told them that Gandhi said, "in matters of conscience the law of the majority has not place."
By failing to give priority to bringing the Syrian civil war to an end as quickly as possible, and instead playing these clever games whose net effect (if any) will be to prolong it, we are undermining our own key interests.
Tthe best Obama can do, in the short term, is attempt to speak directly to both peoples reasserting his commitment to them and to a peaceful future in an effort to change the discourse in both societies away from the cynicism and hardline views that have made progress toward peace so difficult.
Despite all the experiments in styles of war-making, the American military and its coalition partners have ended up in the same place: stalemate. Only one thing is certain in 2014: it will be a year of American military defeat.
The United States of America has a moral obligation to stand up for the freedom-aspiring people of Syria.
A few weeks ago, a U.S. diplomat disclosed that the U.S. had secretly offered Turkey a bin Laden-style assassination of the top leadership of a Kurdish rebel group. But the rebels aren't al-Qaeda -- and assassination isn't the answer to the Kurdish question.
The United States can neither support democratic transitions nor effectively pursue national security interests unless it builds relationships with much broader segments of Middle Eastern societies, and doing so should be a top priority of the next administration.
A more astute understanding of Barack Obama might reveal that he devoted his time to what was more important than winning a debate, or even an election. Given the risks America faces today, you can bet it wasn't "anniversary sex."
Kurds understand that democracy and individual rights are compatible with Islamic values. The U.S. must not take its friends for granted and should take steps to consolidate friendly relations with the Kurds. Iraqi Kurds are proven, reliable partners.
The violent riots that have been going on at U.S. embassies and other places in the "Arab Spring" countries in particular are certainly cause for alarm, but what's really going on here?