As with every election in Iraq –the next one is April 30– the legacy of America’s involvement in both countries grows more secure. President Obama has done little to assist Iraq in its effort to hold on to representative government, and his desire to scamper on Afghanistan is evident as well, but large majorities in both countries strive to hold on to self-government, which was the gift America gave them thanks to the force of the American military and the leadership of George W. Bush.
By contrast, Syria is a nightmare, Lebanon teetering and Egypt after two convulsions headed under new leadership –soon to be elected– into Russia’s sphere. Oh, and the “Middle East Peace talks” are on life support.
The Obama/Hillary narrative –most recently expressed by the former Secretary of State to Thomas Friedman– is that they “restored American leadership” in the world. This side-splitter gets a referendum in 2014 and a final verdict in 2016. If Hillary hopes to succeed President Obama, she has to be urging him privately to throw everything into maintaining Afghanistan self-rule and returning Egypt to friendly relations with the U.S.