The outstanding Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami has written an important piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. Among other points, he makes this one:
All this plays out under the gaze of an Islamic world that is coming to a consensus that a discernible American retreat in the region is in the works. America’s enemies are increasingly brazen, its friends unnerved. … The shadow of American power is receding; the rogues are emboldened. The world has a way of calling the bluff of leaders and nations summoned to difficult endeavors. Would that our biggest source of worry in that arc of trouble was the intemperate outburst of our ally in Kabul.
These are typically elegant words by Ajami. And they are, unfortunately, apposite.