As already mentioned, Obama's apparently messianic belief in the 'dangers' of global warming is quite ludicrous and may, if pursued to the extremes internally, weaken America's economy far more than any supposed enemy. That aside, it seems to me to have been eminently sensible for the USA to simply stand on the side-lines of the Middle East and to deploy the long-range sophisticated weaponry it possesses. The fact is that America is simply no good at running other countries in the way that we did at the height of the British empire. To be fair, I don't think we would have succeeded as well as we did in the 19th century if, in this era of global communications, we tried the same thing again. Our pathetic attempts in Iraq and Afghanistan should be enough to convince anyone! Goldberg's article in The Atlantic was entirely right in praising George W. Bush's effort in Kuwait when he patiently drew together an international force acting under UN aegis and drove the Iraqis out. Sensibly (although I didn't agree at the time!), he did not follow the road all the way to Baghdad. Alas, his son fell victim to the worst sort of hubristic Defence Department agitation and tried to do what dear old Dad had failed to do! Well, we all know now how that turned out!
Obama has learned and his determination to stand aside militarily from the swamp of Middle East and inter-Islamic warfare is, in my view, eminently sensible. That is not to say that there will not be unexpected repercussions but standing back from the fray leaves options open. However, what can only be described as his courtship of Iran is a far more delicate operation. Yes, he is right to distance himself from the abominable Saudi hierarchy, a government which treats half its population as slaves and executes anyone who demurs from its religious (actually, political!) fundamentalism. It is necessary to remind ourselves that only a few decades ago Iran was a prosperous, modern, almost westernised, nation and I suspect that a considerable proportion of its population are as disgruntled with Islamic fundamentalism as we are. The application of increasing amounts of American pressure is exactly what the mullahs want in order to tighten their grip on society. Obama's 'courtship' is precisely what they do not want not least because it takes away 'the Great Satan' nonsense they rely on.
I do not discount the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran but I rely on Israel to do our dirty work for us if the threat becomes real. Some time ago I suggested that if the Iranian nuclear threat was as real as we all supposed, then we could rely on Israel to do the necessary. So far they have not acted except, possibly, in assassinating the odd Iranian nuclear scientist or two! However, if and when Iran becomes a real threat then I think we can depend on a ruthless realist like 'Bibi' to do the necessary. Again, it needs to be stressed that nothing is certain in an exceedingly uncertain world but calm cool thinking will beat hot-headed belligerence every time.
Sorry, but another post on this subject will appear later.