While President Donald Trump was conducting his first foreign trip, winning plaudits even from his enemies, former President Barack Obama was rambling about at the ruin of the world he had left behind. On Syria, for instance, a butcher shop of competing, battling factions, including ISIS, Obama ruefully suggested that “at least we tried.” One is reminded of the line Yoda, the little green fellow in “Return of the Jedi,” which was, “Do or do not. There is no try.” When it came to preventing the Middle East from going up in flames, Obama did not.

On the other hand, Trump has done

President Trump, as he was in Brussels trying to bludgeon the members of the NATO alliance into paying their fair share of their common defense and joining in with more vigor in the war on terror, might have said something snippy which, fortunately, has not made its way to Twitter. He has already moved on from the passivity of the Obama years by pursuing ISIS with greater ferocity, Bashir Assad’s Syria has not escaped chastisement either, with the missile attack on the air base shows. He is also arming Syrian Kurds, the most efficient local fighting force in the region, and has instructed his generals to annihilate ISIS, not just to degrade and defeat the terrorist army.

The new strategy is one reason why the president was greeted with such warmth in both Saudi Arabia and Israel. ISIS has established a real world version of Mordor in the Middle East. But Aragorn, aka Donald Trump, has arrived to try to set things right.

Obama’s legacy in the Middle East

The Middle East has been a mess for thousands of years.

President Obama managed the unlikely feat of making things worse. From ignoring Bashir Assad when he crossed the red line by gassing his own people from sowing chaos in Libya by facilitating the gruesome end of Muammar Kaddafi, Obama blundered from one disaster to another. The chaos in the Middle East touched off the migrant crisis in Europe and a wave of terrorist attacks that has slaughter hundreds from Paris and Manchester to Orlando and San Bernardino.

Why is that man still talking?

One thing that can be said about former President Jimmy Carter, he did not spend the first of his post-presidency trying to justify his failures. Carter, unlike Obama, could at least point to success in nurturing the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement. For many, Obama can look back to nothing but failure. At least he could have the good grace to remain silent about it.