Obama’s new Middle East paradigm

By Abraham H. Miller – Originally published in The Hill

As President Barack Obama was busy heaping vengeance on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for attacking the administration’s Iranian nuclear deal, Iran was expanding its power in the Middle East. An Iranian ship was unloading 185 tons of weapons for the Shi’ite Houthi militias that have overthrown the government of Yemen. Yemen’s third largest city, Taiz, is now on the verge of collapse as the Houthis consolidate their victories.

As Yemen descends into violence, the last U.S. troops are being evacuated. The Houthis have indicated they have no desire to talk to the United States or negotiate their principles.

Against this backdrop, you would think that Obama had far more to worry about than the Israeli prime minister’s latest campaign rhetoric.
To believe that the conflict between Obama and Netanyahu is merely personal is to believe that Obama has all the emotional sophistication of a pre-schooler.

I prefer a different interpretation. The conflict is a fig leaf for a seismic change in Middle East policy that has been ongoing. Obama is extricating America from the Middle East.

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