Syndicated columnist Doyle McManus was quite wrong to argue that "US Middle East policy is in a state of total disarray."
The Obama administration's activity in the world's greatest energy-producing region is just what previous administrations back to World War II have done; Obama is just more vicious.
What's now in disarray — jarred loose by events — is the U.S. government's propaganda cover for its decades-long insistence on controlling Mideast oil-flows. Control — not just access — is what the U.S. government has demanded, since before its 1953 overthrow of democratic government in Iran (which was done to control Iran's oil).
America's control over the Middle East "gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region," as President Carter's former national security adviser said, shortly after the invasion of Iraq.
Instead of acknowledging what that constant policy is, the Obama administration says it's fighting terrorism in the Mideast (and Africa). That's true, too — if we understand that "terrorism" is the term the U.S. gives to the armed resistance to our invasion, occupation and intimidation of countries in the region.
Obama's new Secretary of State John Kerry wrote last year that the U.S. "should preserve the model of 'lily pad' bases throughout the [Persian] Gulf, which permits the rapid escalation of military force in case of emergency." It's clear what "emergencies" are.
This policy is not in disarray — only the administration's cover story is.