Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"The New Diplomacy: Capitulation"

This following excerpt came from a piece discussing the recent trip by Team Obama to the G20. It should be noted that it has long been a policy of presidents to leave the country for glitzy overseas tours on the heels of bad news domestically. Seeing that Gates is cutting defense spending at a time when Team Obama is ramping up for Afghanistan makes little sense. It also has the double whammy of disrupting the manufacturing process due to shutdowns and putting yet more people out of work. It may look good on paper, and it may make the Leftist Doves in Congress happy, but to the rest of the world it smells of surrender and defeat. It's Jimmy Carter's "Malaise" all over again. Pair that with his obvious gaffes such as BOWING TO A KING and APOLOGIZING FOR AMERICA and you have a guy who thinks every problem in the world is caused by US and that we must shell out money to solve them all. I don't know if he realizes that there is an end to this bottomless pit, but you can't keep dishing out money and not limiting anything else. He won't cut spending, he won't enforce illegal immigration laws, he won't listen to anyone and he won't reel in Pelosi and Reid. It almost seems like we are going to have to see massive unemployment coupled with riots in the streets before these Ivory Tower Stuffed Shirts change their tunes. And by then it may be too late.....
"...The leaders of Europe came naked to the Nato meeting last weekend, shorn of the cover provided by Bush-hatred. As the American commentator Robert Kagan puts it: "George W Bush did the Europeans a great favour by giving them the best excuse for inaction in transatlantic history." Europe's leaders have always claimed they would co-operate with America in all things, were it not for that toxic Texan with his unilateralist belief in spreading democracy and free markets.

Barack Obama persuades Nato allies to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan

Well, George W Bush is safely back in Texas, Barack Obama wants to listen as well as lead, and Michelle Obama, after a touchy-feely visit with the Queen, proved to have more crowd-appeal than Carla Bruni. One astute observer told me that British and European crowds "went weak-kneed in the presence of the Obamas". But popularity on the streets means little in the conference room.

At the Nato meetings, "weak-kneed" took on an added meaning – no significant permanent deployment of fighting troops to aid the Americans. Obama was prepared for the turn-down, although he did harbour the illusion that in the end Gordon Brown would come up with more than a few poll-watchers. After all, the President had gone out of his way to sprinkle some of his stardust on the embattled Prime Minister. Unfortunately, Obama had not been briefed by Tony Blair on Brown's capacity for gratitude.

Turkey was a somewhat better stopover for the travelling President, who had no specific requests that could be turned down. The persistently fawning New York Times reported that the President was "showing more self-confidence each day on his maiden overseas trip as President", although how Obama could show more self-confidence than he already has is difficult to imagine: this is a man confident in self to a point that is slightly unnerving.

Obama had won favour with European audiences by proclaiming that America has shown inadequate respect for Europe's accomplishments. So he carried his I-am-not-George-Bush campaign to Ankara by implying that the US bears responsibility for "the difficulties of these last few years" between Muslim countries and America. No need to mention the World Trade Centre, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole or his support in the Senate for labelling as "genocide" the killing of Armenian Christians by Ottoman Turks. More politic to support Turkey's application for membership in the EU, despite a mind-your-own-business warning from President Sarkozy, who earlier agreed to accept one – yes, one – of the 245 Guantánamo detainees because that is "what being allies is about'..." Link is in headline

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