America under Barack Obama has begun the big geopolitical pivot from its fateful over-engagement with the Islamic world of the Middle East and Central Asia to greater engagement with Asia and the Pacific. But this week showed that the transition is going to be anything but smooth.
Eight years ago, my son graduated from West Point. George W. Bush was the commencement speaker; his speech confirmed the policy underpinnings of that future war. Last Saturday, Obama delivered a very different message to the graduating class.
Here is the Obama pattern: Choose a foreign leader to pressure. Threaten him with dire consequences.. When he refuses to submit and instead responds vigorously, back off quickly and overcompensate for failure.
The president should take a hint from the Christmas movie classic and behave a little more like the guardian angel Clarence. Instead of communicating our errors, he'd be better off showing the world all the good America has done.