One of the great mysteries of American foreign policy concerns the way President Obama has stayed mostly silent during the slaughter in Syria. After first coddling Syrian butcher Bashar al-Assad and calling him a reformer, the White House has turned its head from the carnage.

The humanitarian crisis and the Arab nation’s noxious role as a helpmate to Iranian terrorism argue for at least strong verbal support, yet Obama is not even leading from behind. He’s missing in inaction.

Comes now one of my favorite writers with an explanation.

Fouad Ajami, a scholar at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal where he argues that the Syrian government and protesters both know the score. “An American president ceding strategic ground in the Greater Middle East is no threat to the Damascus regime,” he writes.

And then Ajami adds this devastating view: “With an eye on his bid for re-election, President Obama will boast that he brought the Iraq war to an end, as he promised he would. That applause line precludes taking on Syrian burdens.

“In Obamaland, foreign policy is full of false choices: either boots on the ground or utter abdication. Libya showed the defect of that choice, yet this remains the worldview of the current steward of American power.”

The brave and brutalized Syrian people, Adjami concludes, “are on their own.”

Surely, America can do better.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist. To continue reading his column on other topics, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan, click here.