In the coming months, if he can be taken at his word, President Obama will open talks with Syria and invite Iran to join a regional conference on Afghanistan and Pakistan. China will have to play some part in this conference, too, as it will with forums on North Korea. And if any progress is made toward Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, he will have to pressure the Israelis to make compromises on policy toward Gaza and the settlements.
All of these things will be difficult enough. They will be harder still if domestic critics can scream that Obama's policy is being manipulated by "that Saudi agent" or "that Chinese apologist" who's running the intelligence community.
They will anyway, of course. But the point is well-taken.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.