HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): The Great Bugout: Obama’s retreat from the Middle East. “Even the president’s most ardent supporters are beginning to wonder whether the Obama retreat has gone too far. It’s a good time to ask the quintessential Ronald Reagan question: Are you better off than you were four years ago? Or rather, is the United States in a better position in the Middle East today than it was when Obama replaced Bush? Not to kill the suspense, but we’re much worse off​—​no better liked, no longer feared, regarded as an increasingly inconstant ally or as an enemy prone to blink. The simple facts make the case.”