President Obama kicked off his presidency with his famous Cairo speech in which he extolled Muslim contributions to the American polity and promised a "new beginning" for the United States and the Middle East.

So nearly eight years later how is that working out?

Hillel Fradkin and Lewis Libby write in today's Wall Street Journal that one group of Middle Eastern leaders and thinkers will be glad to see the last of President Obama:

‘Obama’s lean years are over and we are now witnessing a new chapter which we hope will be an alternative to the mistakes of the abysmal past.” A Trump supporter’s postelection boast? Hardly. It’s how Turki Aldakhil, a Saudi broadcaster who is general manager of the Al Arabiya news service, greeted President-elect Trump in a recent article.

Some American observers fear that Mr. Trump’s comments on the alleged danger from Muslim immigrants cripple his prospects for effective diplomacy in the Middle East. But at the mid-November Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, held by the Emirates Policy Center and the Atlantic Council, Mr. Aldakhil and most Arab and Muslim participants were upbeat about the change in U.S. leadership.

Many principal speakers, including Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, the chairwoman of the conference, and Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah, the former foreign minister of Kuwait, as well as speakers from the floor, returned again and again to the threat Iran had become and the failure of President Obama’s policies to deal with this threat. They professed to be intrigued by Mr. Trump’s statements that seemed “very different” and promisingly so.

Summing this all up, Mr. Aldakhil wrote in the Saudi daily Okaz on Nov. 13, “No one will weep” for Mr. Obama’s departure. The president “brought our region nothing but hesitance toward the Iranian axis, while flirting with and rewarding it, and strictness toward the Gulf axis, while evading agreements.” He was referring to security-related guarantees and promises made by Mr. Obama at Camp David in May 2015 to calm Arab fears about the Iranian nuclear deal.

In all the set piece press conferences of the Obama administration, nobody ever got to the bottom of Obama's policy of elevating Iran.  Was he really so naive as to believe that being nice to Iran would lead to taming its nuclear ambitions? Or perhaps he saw Iran, which enjoyed relative political stability (through oppression) as the building block for a new order in the Middle East. Nobody ever sufficiently probed this.

Now, it's all over–all that is left is a worse mess in the Middle East than when he took over.

Fradkin and Libby suggest that the participants at the Abu Dhabi meeting would welcome a reverse of U.S. disengagement and a hope that the United States will become more reliable and that it will once again distinguish between America's friends and enemies and join with allies to serve the interest of the former.