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Krauthammer: America "Now In Retreat" And "Irrelevant" In The Middle East

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think that's exactly right, but the issue goes way beyond the Libya attack. You know, to hear Jay Carney talking about this as as a result of a movie, or result of frustration. Provocations and frustration are a constant in the Middle East. They've been there for 1,000 years. But all of a sudden American interests, American embassies, American schools are aflame in the region. Why?

The answer, we heard from General Keene, he's a strategist. The reason is, people have looked in the region, the friends of America and enemies of America and they see the United States, which has dominated the region since 1970, when Kissinger did the strategic shift, Egypt from a pro-Soviet enemy to a pro-American ally. We have dominated the region. We are now in retreat.

Obama himself said we’re doing a pivot out of the Middle East into the Pacific. He's proclaimed the tide of war is over. He took us out of Iraq, leaving no residual force. He announced a withdrawal from Afghanistan on a timetable. When it came to the Arab Spring, he was indecisive. When you had the Green Revolution in Iran he would not support the protesters. Libya, half in and half out.

Everybody in the region understands that America, which had been the dominant element, is now in withdrawal, is not interested. The Gulf Arabs are apoplectic about Iran going nuclear, it’s not just Israel. And now our friends are looking around and saying, ‘Do we really have anybody who'll support us?’ And the extreme jihaddists and the moderate jihaddists in the region are saying ‘This is our time.’ That's what's happening.

I’ll give you one example of the withdrawal of our influence. Syria. Does anybody in the region ask what is the American position? Everybody wants to know what Russia is doing and thinking and what supplies it’s sending. What’s Iran doing? What's Hezbollah doing? America is irrelevant. In the region, our word, which used to be important, is now null and void.

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