Author Fawaz Gerges argues that this is the end of the United States' moment in the Middle East.
In "Obama and the Middle East," Gerges argues that President Barack Obama's policies in the region have failed to live up to his rhetoric, especially the theme of his historic address in Egypt soon after he was elected president.
Obama said he came to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim world. Gergez, who chairs the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, says action did not follow, mainly because there has been no change in the Israeli-Arab peace process.
Gerges says part of the problem is that Washington has changed President Obama more than he has changed Washington.
Book Excerpt: "Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment"
By: Fawaz Gerges
After more than three years of miasma in the White House, the fog has lifted, and there is clarity to Obama’s foreign policy record. There is no longer any ambiguity about where he stands on the important challenges facing the United States, particularly in the Middle East. It is time to evaluate Obama’s stance. This book will attempt to answer several critical questions: To what extent is Obama’s foreign policy transformational or centrist-realist? Does Obama, despite his uplifting rhetoric, represent continuity rather than change? Has he challenged the basic premises on which US Mideast policy is based—the Israel-first school, America’s relations with oil-producing regimes, and the war on terror? How high does the Middle East stand on Obama’s foreign policy agenda? What does his response to the Arab popular uprisings in early 2011 say about American influence and engagement in the region? What does the Obama presidency reveal about American foreign policy toward the Middle East and the potential for continuing failure? What is it about the broken American political system that so often makes the practice fall short of the rhetoric? What can be done to close the gap between rhetoric and reality in US foreign policy, or, rather, to repair the dysfunctional political system in order to overcome the legacy of bitter relations between America and Middle Eastern societies?
From Obama and the Middle East by Fawaz A. Gergez. Copyright © 2012 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
- Fawaz Gerges, author of "Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment"
This segment aired on May 24, 2012.