Americans today still live in fear. The collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the nuclear arms race made the US believe its absolute military dominion guaranteed its national security.
The Clinton Administration confidently shelved Reagan’s Star Wars programme (the Strategic Defence Initiative). The Russian Bear was dead.
It proved to be a misjudged calculation. On September 11, 2001, the US realised its vulnerability. On that tragic day, America was badly shaken. The country had fought many wars but never before had the enemy hit so deep on its own soil. The Imperial Japanese Navy had come the closest when it attacked the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour. In that attack, 2,350 Americans lost their lives and 21 warships were sunk or severely damaged.
President Obama committed the US to back a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with UN Resolution 242 of 1967.
Offering an olive branch to Islam may not guarantee Mr Obama re-election but it would prove to the world that he truly deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.