Back in 2009, Barack Obama gave a much-lauded speech in Cairo promising a "new beginning" between the US and the Muslim world, based on "mutual respect." Charles Krauthammer found that "curious, as over the previous 20 years, America had six times committed its military forces on behalf of oppressed Muslims," he writes in the Washington Post. "But no matter. Obama had come to remonstrate and restrain the hyperpower." Ever since, we've seen "policies of accommodation and concession" designed to win Muslim hearts and minds.
Now, we're seeing the results. "Look around. The Islamic world is convulsed with an explosion of anti-Americanism." Krauthammer isn't buying that this is all because of "a 14-minute trailer for a film no one has seen. … Religious provocations are endless. (Ask Salman Rushdie.)" No, he thinks this is a response to "the unmistakable sound of a superpower in retreat." As America shifts its strategic focus to the Pacific, "Islamists rush in to fill the space." It all amounts to "a foreign policy in epic collapse." Read the full column here.