“This is just really hard”

 Almost every element of Barack Obama’s once-heralded new “reset” foreign policy of a year ago either has been reset or likely soon will be.

Consider Obama’s approach to the eight-year-old War on Terror. Plans made more than a year ago to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 have stalled. Despite loud proclamations about trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, in a civilian court in New York, such an absurd pledge will probably never be kept.

Talk of trying our own former CIA interrogators for being too tough on terrorist suspects has also come to nothing. And why not put an end to the second-guessing of anti-terrorism protocols, since the Obama administration, in a single year, has quadrupled the number of assassinations by Predator drones of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan? After all, the targeted killing of hundreds of suspects is far more questionable than waterboarding three confessed killers.

The Obama administration seems to have embraced the once widely criticized Bush-Petraeus strategy in Iraq of gradual withdrawal in concert with Iraqi benchmarks. Indeed, Vice President Joe Biden in Orwellian fashion claims that our victory in Iraq may be one of the current administration’s “greatest achievements.” Was it not a defeatist Biden who not long ago advocated the trisection of Iraq into separate nations?

[…] President Obama was once a fierce critic of the former administration’s Mideast policies. A year ago, he thought new outreach to the Palestinians and rebukes to the Israelis might lead to a breakthrough. They did not. In a Time magazine interview with Joe Klein, Obama confesses of the 70-year struggle: “I’ll be honest with you. This is just really hard.”

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