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wild1
11-23-2009, 11:57 AM
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662822,00.html

Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage
By Gabor Steingart


When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.

There were only a few hours left before Air Force One was scheduled to depart for the flight home. US President Barack Obama trip through Asia had already seen him travel 24,000 kilometers, sit through a dozen state banquets, climb the Great Wall of China and shake hands with Korean children. It was high time to take stock of the trip.

Barack Obama looked tired on Thursday, as he stood in the Blue House in Seoul, the official residence of the South Korean president. He also seemed irritable and even slightly forlorn. The CNN cameras had already been set up. But then Obama decided not to play along, and not to answer the question he had already been asked several times on his trip: what did he plan to take home with him? Instead, he simply said "thank you, guys," and disappeared. David Axelrod, senior advisor to the president, fielded the journalists' questions in the hallway of the Blue House instead, telling them that the public's expectations had been "too high."

The mood in Obama's foreign policy team is tense following an extended Asia trip that produced no palpable results. The "first Pacific president," as Obama called himself, came as a friend and returned as a stranger. The Asians smiled but made no concessions.

Lost Some Stature

Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.

In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever. There will be no binding commitments from China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A revaluation of the Chinese currency, which is kept artificially weak, has been postponed. Sanctions against Iran? Not a chance. Nuclear disarmament? Not an issue for the Chinese.

The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences.

Relatively Unsuccessful

A look back in time reveals the differences. When former President Bill Clinton went to China in June 1998, Beijing wanted to impress the Americans. A press conference in the Great Hall of the People, broadcast on television as a 70-minute live discussion, became a sensation the world over. Clinton mentioned the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when the government used tanks against protestors. But then President Jiang Zemin defended the tough approach taken by the Chinese Communists. At the end of the exchange, the Chinese president praised the debate and said: "I believe this is democracy!"

Obama visited a new China, an economic power that is now making its own demands. America should clean up its government finances, and the weak dollar is unacceptable, the head of the Chinese banking authority said, just as Obama's plane was about to land.

Obama's new foreign policy has also been relatively unsuccessful elsewhere, with even friends like Israel leaving him high and dry. For the government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace is only conceivable under its terms. Netanyahu has rejected Obama's call for a complete moratorium on the construction of settlements. As a result, Obama has nothing to offer the Palestinians and the Syrians. "We thought we had some leverage," says Martin Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel under the Clinton administration and now an advisor to Obama. "But that proved to be an illusion."

Even the president seems to have lost his faith in a genial foreign policy. The approach that was being used in Afghanistan this spring, with its strong emphasis on civilian reconstruction, is already being changed. "We're searching for an exit strategy," said a staff member with the National Security Council on the sidelines of the Asia trip.

'A Lot Like Jimmy Carter'

An end to diplomacy is also taking shape in Washington's policy toward Tehran. It is now up to Iran, Obama said, to convince the world that its nuclear power is peaceful. While in Asia, Obama mentioned "consequences" unless it followed his advice. This puts the president, in his tenth month in office, where Bush began -- with threats. "Time is running out," Obama said in Korea. It was the same phrase Bush used against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, shortly before he sent in the bombers.

There are many indications that the man in charge at the White House will take a tougher stance in the future. Obama's advisors fear a comparison with former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, even more than with Bush. Prominent Republicans have already tried to liken Obama to the humanitarian from Georgia, who lost in his bid to win a second term, because voters felt that he was too soft. "Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead," Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, recently said. And then he added: "This does look a lot like Jimmy Carter."

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 11:58 AM
What does anyone expect when a bankrupt nation has to visit bringing a begging bowl with him.

HonestChieffan
11-23-2009, 12:05 PM
He is even becoming a joke with India. The press is ripping him badly.

Otter
11-23-2009, 12:47 PM
Too bad the rest of the world isn't stupid enough to be afraid of being called a racist when disagreeing with bum fuck barry.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 12:48 PM
He is even becoming a joke with India. The press is ripping him badly.

Who cares. He's our president. And who gives a **** what Israel's hawk party thinks?

wild1
11-23-2009, 12:50 PM
I found it interesting he was even getting trashed in Der Speigel.

patteeu
11-23-2009, 01:50 PM
BEP loves her some Jimmy Carter.

patteeu
11-23-2009, 01:50 PM
I found it interesting he was even getting trashed in Der Speigel.

His weakness was SO predictable. In fact, many predicted it. I wouldn't be surprised if you were one of them.

wild1
11-23-2009, 01:56 PM
His weakness was SO predictable. In fact, many predicted it. I wouldn't be surprised if you were one of them.

It's common sense that, as the article states, world politics are conducted on the basis of interest and not on emotion.

BIG_DADDY
11-23-2009, 02:03 PM
Who cares. He's our president. And who gives a **** what Israel's hawk party thinks?

NMP

Calcountry
11-23-2009, 02:34 PM
Who cares. He's our president. And who gives a **** what Israel's hawk party thinks?Can I ask you a question? Are you in favor of Israels right to exist in "Palestine"?

Should the land have been given them in 1948?

Calcountry
11-23-2009, 02:39 PM
BEP loves her some Jimmy Carter.With the harshness of her reaction to all things Jewish, I am beginning to think she is a bit anti-semetic.

Iowanian
11-23-2009, 04:16 PM
3 more years and maybe this nice little experiment will be over and someone with a full sack will be back in the big chair.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 04:21 PM
Can I ask you a question? Are you in favor of Israels right to exist in "Palestine"?
I was asked that last week and I had already posted my stand. In fact I've posted it many times such as when this issue comes up.

It's just those who drink the NeoCon Kool-Aid can only think of the whole issue in binary terms—black & white or yes & no. Sorry that doesn't fly.

Should the land have been given them in 1948?

Was it given to them then? Or was it after WWI with the Balfour Declaration that it was given to them?
Who has the authority to give them that land? The UN....as in its partition? Are you now a UN fan? This is another reason why that institution has created more war when it was to end war.

And what did those who gave them that land promise to the Arabs of that area in order to even make that land available to be free to give? Most Americans are uneducated about the history of the ME including the modern ME of the 20th century. That's a bigger problem for me than anything else if only because it would provide some perspective and balance.

I thought they purchased land before WWI and after. I've got no issue with anyone doing that. This is not a one word answer, including that this is now and then was then. What do we do to move forward is what should be asked. And I have answered that. Don't forget Israel has it's liberal wing and it's hawk wing too. Most Jews in America are also liberal.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 04:29 PM
With the harshness of her reaction to all things Jewish, I am beginning to think she is a bit anti-semetic.

That's nothing but a blatant lie, assumption as well as a strawman. Is that all you got? I guess so. You're intellectually lazy or at a loss to defend your stand.
You sound like banyon now.

Israel is a state. Jewish is an ethnic group and a faith. Your anti-semitic claim is just a way to flame and shut down dissent. It has nothing to do with Jews. If Israelis can disagree, which they do all the time, about things their govt does then why can't anyone else? No govt speaks for all it's people. That would be a generality. In fact there's a new Jewish group that was formed called J Street which I am a member of. It's simply an answer to the Likud party. Not all Jews agree with one another. In fact most of my Jewish friends share my position which isn't even anti the existence of Israel. Not only is that the case but I have even offered what could be the best possible tactic to try to end the conflict.

It is NOT anti-semitic to cricize Israel. Anti-Semiticism is a hatred of Jews, and I might add Arabs. So the anti-semitic charge is a red herring.

Oh and your anti-American because of your FP.
You're also for people getting sick and dying because you don't support universal healthcare.
Same logic at work.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 04:32 PM
It's common sense that, as the article states, world politics are conducted on the basis of interest and not on emotion.

No they're not. Most things have some emotion underneath. We buy emotionally and we justify it analytically. That includes ideas.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 04:33 PM
BEP loves her some Jimmy Carter.
I just don't think he's bad across the board. Afterall, he did begin the deregulation process when his own party was calling for nationalization.

Let's talk about who you love—Cheney. Meanwhile, you love a man who makes his money off govt but try to pass yourself off as some free-market small govt type.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 05:12 PM
You're actually the real anti-semite since Arabs descended from Shem and are a semite people that trace their ancestry back to Abraham. I just don't don't hate Arabs.

RedNeckRaider
11-23-2009, 05:20 PM
He is nothing more than a great orator. He has associated with pure scum and has not a clue to what he is doing. His big claim to fame is a balloon loan false recovery and pushing a health care plan our government cant afford or handle oh and lets not forget cap and trade and the Nobel Peace Prize. A prize BTW that lost all creditability when Yasser Arafat won it and only got more hilarious when Gore and the Barry won it. Why would any world leader take him serious when nobody less the looney far left take him serious in his own country. The only people associated with him impressive are the campaign managers that packaged this moron and leveraged the anti Bush sentiment to get him elected

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 05:31 PM
the Nobel Peace Prize. A prize BTW that lost all creditability when Yasser Arafat won it

I agree.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 05:33 PM
BEP loves her some Jimmy Carter.

Yet, you're one that consistently made the argument that we Americans shouldn't care what the rest of the world thinks of our leaders. I'm not backing up Obama here, I am simply making the argument that this should not be anyone else's concern when it's ours. ( unless we're starting wars for no good reason because people have a right to object and even fear that no matter who is starting them)

patteeu
11-23-2009, 05:47 PM
I was asked that last week and I had already posted my stand. In fact I've posted it many times such as when this issue comes up.

It's just those who drink the NeoCon Kool-Aid can only think of the whole issue in binary terms—black & white or yes & no. Sorry that doesn't fly.

Yeah, CalCountry. I asked her last week and she wouldn't answer me either.

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 05:51 PM
Yeah, CalCountry. I asked her last week and she wouldn't answer me either.

That's a lie too. I had posted your answer earlier in that thread.* There's was no need for a repost...and you were told that so I didn't have to retype it.
You were foaming at the mouth, much like Calcountry is tonight, and looking for an argument.

Another lying NeoCon here. Nothing to see.


* not to mention I've posted it many time before but someone has a short memory...another sign of looking for an argument when there isn't one to be had.
There's even indication of my stand again in this thread. But you want an answer that fits your simplistic binary world of two-valued logic.

KCWolfman
11-23-2009, 05:54 PM
"A lot like Jimmy Carter".

Nuff said!
Posted via Mobile Device

KCWolfman
11-23-2009, 06:01 PM
Yeah, CalCountry. I asked her last week and she wouldn't answer me either.
I think you aqre missing the point. Personally, I don't care what Palestine, North Korea, or Zimbabwe think of us - on that we agree.

However, you have to bring a knife to cut the irony from the air as this is what the POTUS promised us, a new age of enlightenment where we are universally loved (I understand I am exaggerating the point, neocomm crybabies) and everything will be easily negotiated after a chorus of Kumbaya while holding hands.
Posted via Mobile Device

patteeu
11-23-2009, 07:26 PM
That's a lie too. I had posted your answer earlier in that thread.* There's was no need for a repost...and you were told that so I didn't have to retype it.
You were foaming at the mouth, much like Calcountry is tonight, and looking for an argument.

Another lying NeoCon here. Nothing to see.


* not to mention I've posted it many time before but someone has a short memory...another sign of looking for an argument when there isn't one to be had.
There's even indication of my stand again in this thread. But you want an answer that fits your simplistic binary world of two-valued logic.

Oh noooooooooo! BEP has secretly informed me that I'm back on ignore. LMAO

I guess it doesn't matter much since you refuse to answer even the most simple of questions. :shrug:

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 07:30 PM
Tee-hee hee hee hee....what a defensive and pointless question it is asking if any nation has a "right" to exist.
BTW my answer, which was over your head ( while you project that I can't read) was post #42 or #43 of that thread.


http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Q7YWP7U5PsTfdM:http://www.greatdreams.com/political/Don-Quixote-Windmill.gif

BucEyedPea
11-23-2009, 07:31 PM
I think you aqre missing the point. Personally, I don't care what Palestine, North Korea, or Zimbabwe think of us - on that we agree.

Exactly! Some one gets it. Unless they need to argue for the sake of arguing.

KCWolfman
11-24-2009, 01:12 AM
Exactly! Some one gets it. Unless they need to argue for the sake of arguing.

Tell that to the bootlicking, bottom kowtowing POTUS.

patteeu
11-24-2009, 05:54 AM
Tee-hee hee hee hee....what a defensive and pointless question it is asking if any nation has a "right" to exist.
BTW my answer, which was over your head ( while you project that I can't read) was post #42 or #43 of that thread.


http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Q7YWP7U5PsTfdM:http://www.greatdreams.com/political/Don-Quixote-Windmill.gif

When a "yes" or "no" would do fine, it's weird that you won't just answer the question. Your answer here might have been helpful if you'd have given it in that thread when I remembered which one it is, but now it's just another annoying dodge. I think I know why you're afraid to answer this question in a straightforward manner.

BucEyedPea
11-24-2009, 07:44 AM
Tell that to the bootlicking, bottom kowtowing POTUS.

When other countries own your debt you have lick boots or bring a begging bowl. We're bankrupt—hardly a position of strength.

KCWolfman
11-24-2009, 08:02 AM
When other countries own your debt you have lick boots or bring a begging bowl. We're bankrupt—hardly a position of strength.

If it were all just monetary, you would have a point. I would argue against it, but you would have a point.

BucEyedPea
11-24-2009, 08:03 AM
If it were all just monetary, you would have a point. I would argue against it, but you would have a point.

Not with him perhaps. But it is in fact a part of our problem.

Calcountry
11-25-2009, 01:26 PM
That's a lie too. I had posted your answer earlier in that thread.* There's was no need for a repost...and you were told that so I didn't have to retype it.
You were foaming at the mouth, much like Calcountry is tonight, and looking for an argument.

Another lying Jew lover here. Nothing to see.


* not to mention I've posted it many time before but someone has a short memory...another sign of looking for an argument when there isn't one to be had.
There's even indication of my stand again in this thread. But you want an answer that fits your simplistic binary world of two-valued logic.I don't believe I was ever your friend. To me, you are just some middle aged broad that is so full of herself, that she fancies a place like CP to lift herself and her thoughts up. Have fun with that. ROFL You were all too easy to chum up too. BTW, how is that protest in Iran working out for the people? Them dirty Jews won't do nothing about that, will they?

The Mad Crapper
07-10-2010, 09:08 PM
I'm still curious I'd like to see that tape...

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/10/nation/na-obamamideast10