There isn’t much of value in this Bret Stephens column, but it does contain at least one revealing lie:
This history is worth recalling because it underscores the unpleasant truth about America in the age of Obama. The president collects hard favors from allies and repays them with neglect and derision [bold mine-DL].
This isn’t true in general, and it definitely isn’t true in the case of U.S.-Israel relations. The Israeli government has done the U.S. precisely zero favors in the last six years. There have been no “hard favors,” nor for that matter any other favors. There has been nothing for the U.S. to collect because the client government has done nothing that might be collected. In exchange for this, Israel has regularly received diplomatic support, financial aid, military assistance, rhetorical praise, and more than its share of obsequious gestures. On very rare occasions, it has had to put up with mild rebukes and the occasional request that was quickly withdrawn at the first sign of displeasure.
On the whole, U.S. clients and allies have had little or no real cause to complain about how the U.S. has treated them over the last few years. Some of them have chosen to complain when the U.S. has failed to do everything that they want the U.S. to do for them. One might just as well accuse parents of child abuse for failing to indulge all of their children’s desires, no matter how foolish or self-destructive they might be. That is what Stephens is talking about here. That is the “neglect and derision” he refers to. There has not actually been any neglect, much less derision, but there has been an unwillingness to conform U.S. policies in every respect to the policies that our clients and allies would have liked. If one assumes that U.S. foreign policy exists to serve the interests of clients and allies above all else, one might say that the U.S. had been neglecting its client and allies in recent years, but then that would be an absurd standard by which to judge the policies of any administration.