IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY BEING AN American, especially one who spends most of his time living in the Gulf region. I often find myself as the token Yank being called upon to justify US Senate decisions of which, I frankly admit, I know nothing at all.
For the record, I do not agree with all the foreign policy decisions coming out of Washington, indeed - especially during the Bush era - I actively disagreed with most. Like most of the civilised world, I was happy to see the back of the gun-slinging president from Texas who shot from the hip and pondered the repercussions of his decisions later.
With Obama, a new era of control and consideration seems to have descended upon the White House. However, during recent weeks of turmoil in Libya, I have had the distinct impression that actions more akin to those displayed by Mr Bush would have been welcomed in the region, and not only by the ruling families of the Gulf.
"Where are the Americans?", Arab friends and colleagues continually ask. "Why is Obama refusing to send in troops to crush Gaddafi?" or, "Why is the President sitting on his hands while innocent Libyans are massacred?".
I'm no expert but could it possibly be anything to do with the repeated carping and complaining about...