May 19th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #850 'Over the falls'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is about to launch another great big Middle East speech. So I’m launching another letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

So you’re going to go wading above the treacherous Middle East falls again, are you? My, my, my. I don’t know what it is about that particular spot, but it draws presidents to it like a bug zapper draws mosquitoes. With roughly the same effect, I might add.

Perhaps you recall the last time you made a big speech about how we were going to improve relations with everyone over there. We were going to forge new friendships, strengthen old alliances, bring milkshakes to the desert; and it didn’t exactly work out that way. In fact, although a lot of things are happening on that part of the globe, it seems like most of that is despite everything we’ve tried, not because of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not faulting you. Like every president, you assume you can roll this skeeball and come up a winner, but the difficulties we face over there are… well, really difficult. There are political factions that don’t like each other, groups within the factions that feel the same way, families within the groups who have been feuding for years, and one guy in Syria who I’m pretty sure can’t get along with anyone. It’s a little like the Republican Party these days. Ha!

And whatever difficulties the good folks there are facing, at least they can say it is definitely their business. Seems like every time we start stalking around talking about big changes, the first thing we have to do is worry about the delicate balance between “being interested” and “meddling;” and being accused of just angling for the oil.

My point is, while I applaud your initiative, with things evolving as quickly as they are, I’m sort of thinking this might be a good time to just keep watching and keep the groundbreaking speeches on the shelf.

After all, the falls have sucked over a lot of presidents who thought they weren’t really that close to the edge to begin with.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. bluerose

    I agree Tom. I guess in the wake of his successful mission on the death of bin-laden, President Obama should engage his focus on the United States rather than the Middle East. We are already too involved int he MIddle East. I hope Obama carries his head on his shoulders and stops trying to be an eternal world leader. His efforts in the MIddle East is to bring back our troops as he had promised in 2009. The Middle East conflict cannot be resolved by United States alone, it seems they are relying on the powerful US military as their backbone in resolving their bloody wars. Their revolution is theirs alone and some of their leaders need to use their own intelligent resources to forge the revolution in a positive way. So Pres.Obama listen to your folks at home and bring them the money. We need you to resolve our conflicts.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |