Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsOpinion
(Page 2 of 2)

Opinion

Broken 'engagement' in the Middle East

A year of intense outreach to the Muslim world has revealed a disconnect between the priorities of the Obama administration and those of its potential Mideast allies.

February 21, 2010|Doyle McManus

In Qatar, Clinton called Gaza a "humanitarian crisis," but it's a practical political problem too: Arabs and other Muslims seethe at Al Jazeera's nightly reports on Palestinian suffering. Israel has made its point that Hamas has brought misfortune to Gaza; now it should find a way to let help in.

The U.S. should also step up advocacy for human rights in Egypt and other autocracies in the Muslim world. Obama has taken a big step back from the Bush administration's impetuous but often ineffective enthusiasm for democracy promotion. That shift has had an unintended result: Many Muslims think Obama has forgotten about their human rights as well.

Last year, Obama tried to do too much at once abroad as well as at home. He overestimated what his mandate and his charisma could achieve. Now, just as at home, he's being forced to lower his sights and aim at fewer targets. But domestic goals can sometimes be deferred. The stubborn conflicts of the Middle East don't afford that luxury.

doyle.mcmanus@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|