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Obama Turns Failure into Success in the Middle East

http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1221492.html

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12903

Obama Turns Failure into Success in the Middle East

by Leon T. Hadar

This article appeared in Haaretz on March 22, 2011.

At a time when every official is packaging lousy policies as appealing "narratives," it might be appropriate to recall an old master of this game, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who knew how to use a good line to turn a strategic loss into a diplomatic success story.

Hence, after years of trying to isolate China's communists while maintaining the fiction that Taiwan represented China, Kissinger recognized the huge costs involved in pursuing that policy and initiated a dialogue with Beijing. The policy of befriending Mao, a bloody tyrant and of divorcing Taiwan, a long-time friend came to be known as the "Opening to China" — recalling Marco Polo's exotic expeditions.

In that sense, President Barack Obama's response to the uphe…