*** Actually, what is laid bare here is not an Obama-specific problem but an indictment of the way false rhetoric becomes taken as fact as well as the notion that America can solve the world's problem by some magic wand. The guy HAS to use diplomacy - MUST be moderate - CANNOT be dictatorial. We all saw what the last guy did, right? Is that what America thinks will help them against terrorism? Got news for y'all - that aint how it works. MS ***
Obama promised radical change, but pragmatism has prevailed.
It was meant to be a disaster, but in fact it was a gift.
Faisal Shahzad hoped to kill as many people as possible, but in instead he gave the American intelligence community a unique opportunity to understand the current strategies and tactics of the Taliban and its relationship (if any) with al-Qaeda.
More importantly, he offered the administration of Barack Obama, the US president, and indeed all Americans, an opportunity to take a hard look at the motivations of the emerging crop of militants who are attempting to bring the war against the US back to US soil.
The question is will the Obama administration look a gift horse in the mouth?
Sadly, the answer is most likely yes.
The son of a retired senior Pakistani officer with roots in the war-torn Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, Shahzad did not mean to lay bare for the world to see the multiple fallacies at the heart of US foreign policy under Obama; but he did.
Neither, for that matter, did failed Nigerian "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who like Shahzad comes from a powerful family whose position offered him plenty of opportunity to observe the hypocrisy of his country's ruling elite and the role of US and European powers in perpetuating it.
But the narratives of both men, from their childhood to their botched bombings, offer pointed examples of how even the most well thought out policy strategies can produce the very opposite of the intended outcome.
Specifically, they challenge the basic orientation of the Obama administration's philosophy of governance: that moderation, compromise, and consensus are the only way to achieve meaningful policy goals.