Our president has been in office for seven years – nearly two terms in all. Our president's Middle East policy is centered on establishing peace and stability in that region.
Yet our president this week made his first visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Israel is our staunchest ally in the very region in which our president wants to foster democracy. It's also a flash point for the one cause that continually foils overarching peace and stability in the Middle East: the Israeli-Palestinian question.
Yet our president, despite the glaring importance of pushing for talks and a possible resolution to Israeli-Palestinian strife, never found the time to visit until now.
Saudi Arabia is arguably our closest Arab ally, a friendship built on economic (read: oil) and strategic (read: American military bases) planks. Yet our president, despite record high oil prices and growing military threats in the region, never found the time to visit until now.
Our president led America and a few other countries in an invasion of Iraq. The purpose has shifted over time, but let's go with his administration's current justification: To establish a democratic model for the region.
Saudi Arabia is not a democracy. It is an oligarchy.
Egypt is not a democracy. It is an autocracy.
Syria is not a democracy. It, too, is an autocracy.
Iran is not a democracy. It is a theocracy.
Jordan is not a democracy. It bars some parties from participating in elections.
Lebanon is not a democracy. It is a mess.
Turkey is a democracy. But it was before our president entered office.
Five years and 3,000 American bodies later, even Iraq is not a democracy. Its government, writes Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East specialist for the Congressional Research Service, "is the product of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce a democracy, although many now believe it produced a sectarian government."
The returns are in. Our president's foreign policy is a joke.
And I'm not laughing.