The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy. I'm not at all sure that that's what the Obama administration believes.
The Arab population of Palestine are victims of genocidal actions, their lands are confiscated or deprived of water supplies in the semi-desert areas, and their homes are destroyed with heavy wrecking equipment.
Only individuals have ends and can act to attain them. There are no such things as ends of or actions by 'groups,' 'collectives,' or 'States,' which do not take place as actions by various specific individuals.
Bush administration officials, of course, deny that they didn't take the threat urgently enough, but there is no debating that in their public utterances, private meetings, and actions, the al Qaeda threat barely registered.