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Obama's Middle East Head Spin

By Dickey & Barry, The Daily Beast - April 23, 2011

The president’s ineffectual statement on Friday’s massacre in Syria is latest act of a White House drama that begin in 2009, starring a brilliant intellect who is nonetheless confounded by events. Christopher Dickey and John Barry on Obama’s flailing foreign policy—which appears headed for unmitigated disaster.

From Washington’s vantage, every Friday is becoming Black Friday in the Middle East. Muslim prayers turn to protests that keep building toward full-scale uprisings faster than anyone had predicted, and with potentially cataclysmic consequences nobody dares imagine. This Friday, the shock came in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad runs one of the Middle East’s most repressive regimes. Across the country, protesters have grown ever more emboldened in recent weeks, and on Friday they poured into the streets by the tens of thousands to face the deadly fusillades of Assad’s security forces. As many as 70 died. What did the White House have to say? From Air Force One: “We call on all sides to cease and desist from the use of violence.”

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