What's the Latest Development?

Longtime Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk says President Obama has missed many opportunities to promote pro-democratic reform in the region while maintaining alliances with some of its most repressive regimes. "Obama's failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the U.S. most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent on the overthrow of Ben Ali, only joined in the chorus of contempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, condemned the Syrian regime...but makes it clear that he would be happy to see Assad survive..."

What's the Big Idea?

While State Department officials talk openly about cultivating goodwill in the Middle East by supporting pro-democratic reform, have decades of double talk made American foreign policy Orwellian? And to what degree will Obama support a Palestinian state? "Obama says no Palestinian state must be declared at the U.N. But why not? Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says? Not even, it seems, the Israelis. The Arab spring will soon become a hot summer and there will be an Arab autumn, too. By then, the Middle East may have changed forever. What America says will matter nothing."