Believe it or not, I, your simple-minded friend, have the answer.
The riots and discontent in the middle east have little to do with democracy and freedom. The extreme left socialists are once again sewing the seeds of discontent. If Obama truly wanted peace in the region, and throughout the world he could make a few changes here that would go a long way to those ends.
1. Cancel the moratorium on drilling and announce that the US will immediately lower all the roadblocks to American energy independence. Drill oil, natural gas, and build nuclear power plants at a rate not seen in human history. (Hint this may help the US economy and employment situation as well)
2. Cancel all EPA mandated corn ethanol requirements and subsidies. ethanol has been proven to cause engine damage in cars, raise global food prices, and is no better for the environment than gasoline. Global food prices are fueling the flames of discontent in the middle east. Driving down food costs will take the edge off of those tensions.
3. Stop all monetary foreign aid to despotic leaders. If a country is having a hard time feeding its citizens the US will provide food aid on the condition that the US can deliver it to the people in need. If a despot truly cares about his people or them getting hungry enough to overthrow him, he may consider allowing the US to deliver food aid directly to the people. (This also means that US aid CANNOT be relabeled as UN aid. We pay for it, we give it)
If the US followed these policies, gas and food prices would drop globally. The US would create jobs and Obama could talk about the US recovery without qualitative backtracking. The key to global peace and democracy is a responsible, strong, moral, and just United States. It is time for us to lead by example again.