Free Markets, Free People


Obama’s Return To Reality

I guess we’re fresh out of unicorns and rainbows and claims to have improved America’s standing in the world today.  As you recall, while in China and during an interview there, Obama made the claim that he had changed the world’s attitude about the US.  And his claim was based on some poll which apparently reflected that.

Well given that the poll he cited was good enough for him to make the assertion then, I’d be interested in how he’d describe this poll’s results (Pew Global Attitudes survey) in probably the most important region to the US right now (remember this is a survey the left loved to deploy annually telling everyone how detrimental GW Bush was to our “image” abroad):

Now those surveys of 2009 bring findings from the world of Islam that confirm that the animus toward America has not been radically changed by the ascendancy of Mr. Obama. In the Palestinian territories, 15% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 82% have an unfavorable view. The Obama speech in Ankara didn’t seem to help in Turkey, where the favorables are 14% and those unreconciled, 69%. In Egypt, a country that’s reaped nearly 40 years of American aid, things stayed roughly the same: 27% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 70% do not. In Pakistan, a place of great consequence for American power, our standing has deteriorated: The unfavorables rose from 63% in 2008 to 68% this year.

Eventually the left is going to learn that anti-Americanism isn’t a function of who is in the White House or what party is in power. It is a deep seated resentment in which whoever is in the White House or whichever party is in power is irrelevant.  They simply become the new face of the same nation the world despises. The reasons are varied and mostly irrational. The sentiment is fed by powerful internal political forces who have a vested interest in the continuation of anti-Americanism as one tool for maintaining power in their country. Such sentiment ranges from blatant anti-Americanism (Venzuela and Iran) to more subtle forms (France and Germany) but it persists whether a Republican or a Democrat is in office.

Obama’s return to reality (and hopefully the left’s) – given these numbers – should see him take a more pragmatic and nationalistic view of foreign policy than he has to this point. Words, as those numbers reflect, have failed him – and they were his greatest strength. Despite the favorable press he received as he made his world apology tour, the numbers have pretty well remained unchanged. A smart man would understand that lesson and learn from it. A leader would reorient his foreign policy when it becomes clear his first policy hasn’t achieved its goal (as if a reasonable foreign policy goal should ever be “to make others like us more”). Obviously putting the rest of the world before the US – while fine with the rest of the world – doesn’t change their perception of the US, but instead simply feeds their anti-Americanism. They do like a weaker US.  But that still doesn’t mean they like the US any better.

Obama’s job -should he ever decide to take it- is to put America first in everything he does in the foreign policy arena. He’s not done that and it has not paid off for either him or the US. As I’ve said any number of times, in the anarchy that is international politics, it is much more useful to be feared and respected than to be liked. It’s time the US got back to “feared and respected”. “Liked”, as always, is a bust.

~McQ

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31 Responses to Obama’s Return To Reality

  • “Obama’s return to reality (and hopefully the left’s) – given these numbers – should see him take a more pragmatic and nationalistic view of foreign policy than he has to this point.”
    No chance.   Imeme’s arrogance will allow him to continue on his cognitive dissonance, he’s still great and wonderful – the problem is that he hasn’t been the ‘Un Bush” long enough, and that Bush made us sooooo hated that we’ll need to keep Imeme in office another 4 years, plus ‘undo’ so much of what makes the US the US before even the annointed’s ones power and influence and charisma can ever hope to get us out of the deep hole that George W. Bush put us into in the eyes of the world.
    That and only that, will be the left’s answer.  When you believe in unicorns and happiness farting moon ponies, a poll like this isn’t going to stand in the way of your version of reality.  It’s no coincidence that the same people are denying the debunking of their Global Warming scam.

  • Obama’s return to reality (and hopefully the left’s) – given these numbers – should see him take a more pragmatic and nationalistic view of foreign policy than he has to this point.

    I am afraid that you give this President far too much credit, McQ.  The more the rest of the world maintains their disdain of America, warranted or not, the more will be Obama’s determination to convert the US to the world view in order to gain the support of the world he so desperately craves.  If his words and Mea Culpas do not generate the necessary homage then his next phase is to match his words with like actions.  Hence his ridiculous pressure on the Israelis to eliminate all construction in the territories and turning on Honduras.  I am afraid those were just the tip of the iceberg.

    Just look at how this man has reacted to negative criticism of his domestic agenda.  Opposition to his ideal of government health care gets only a redoubling of efforts to pass the bill – even to the extreme of bribing Louisiana with $300 million to gain Landrieu’s vote – and his far left power base applauds him for it.  Opposition to Obama’s attempt to eliminate AIG bonuses only got him to threaten to release the Pitchforks and all came to heel – and again his far left power base applauds him for it.  The only reason he is still in Afghanistan is that he made a campaign promise to do so.  I expect his speech tonight will just give us a glimpse of how quickly he will pull the plug on that war.   Because the only ones he answers to is his far left power base.

    Just watch him and his maneuvering to take the lead on CO2 in Copenhagen, regardless of other nation’s lack of commitment or even getting Senate confirmation of anything he signs us up for.  I anticipate that continued opposition to Cap & Trade will only mean he will turn to the EPA to impose draconian measures on Corporate America to the extent that they will come crawling back begging him to give them another chance to pass Cap & Trade.  And don’t believe for a second that the EPA will not take to his draconian measures with a will – trust me, some of the greatest AGW true believers  reside deep inside the EPA.

    I’m sorry, McQ, but I do not believe any poll or series of polls will dissuade this President from doing what he believes is his destiny to lead the US out of the wilderness where he believes we currently reside – except one, 2012! 

  • Fear and respect will never occupy the same person at the same time. Hasn’t history shown you enough examples?
    Seriously, do you walk around inside your life causing fear wherever you go?
    Doubtful, because if you did you would quickly find you will not be respected at all.
    Liked and respected is most likely how you live your life and that is a good thing, for people to respect you because they like you.
    Causing people to fear you everywhere you go will get you shot in the back of the head.
    Read between the lines for the proof.
     

    • Seriously, we’re talking here about a US President who is neither loved, respected or feared.
      Most of the world (and about half of the US electorate) think he is a either naive or a moron.
      He lives in his own private Gitmo .. we are stuck with him and the rest of the world doesn’t want him either.

    • Are you implying that we’re advocating the world fear us because we note that President Imeme’s foreign policy blunders aren’t fixing our standing in the eyes of the world?   Are you implying the world in general feared George W. Bush?  The only people who  feared us were the ones that needed to, and there’s one less of them now.  The new ones, they’re laughing at Imeme, they know he’s an empty suit with a hand printed  “Hello – My name is Messiah” sticky label on the left breast pocket.

    • You’ve confused (perhaps intentionally) a person who terrorizes with someone who you fear to engage in a conflict or entanglement. 

      Yes people walk around all the time guaging whether they can walk all over people.  And if they don’t “fear” the outcome of a conflict to be a loss instead of a gain, they will proceed with treating that person with disrespect. 

      The worst thing you can do to not be respected is to fail to follow through on your demands because you don’t have the ability or will to literally go to the mat to make it happen. 

      There is nothing more disrespected where it counts than a Paper Tiger.

    • Fear and respect will never occupy the same person at the same time.

      That’s an assertion, not a premise.  I reject it as unproven.

      Seriously, do you walk around inside your life causing fear wherever you go?
      Doubtful, because if you did you would quickly find you will not be respected at all.
      Liked and respected is most likely how you live your life and that is a good thing, for people to respect you because they like you.

      Are you seriously equating interpersonal relationships with international politics?  Do me a favor:  go look up the word “sophistry”.

      Causing people to fear you everywhere you go will get you shot in the back of the head.

      Another unproven assertion.  But since you seem to like those, here’s one for you to mull over:  the best defense is a good offense.  If you make sure nations know what’s in store for them if they start trouble, they will be much less likely to start it.

      • Steverino - Are you seriously equating interpersonal relationships with international politics?

        BINGO!

        As I ponder it, I am starting to think that this is a central problem with the left in general and Imeme in particular: the belief that countries are people and hence subject to personal appeals.  Imeme seems to think that (for example) Red China can be charmed in the same way that David Frum can be charmed.  Doesn’t quite work that way.

      • @Steverino: the best defense is a good offense.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++
        What is the largest terrorist organization on the face of the earth right now?
        You know, the one that goes around offending everybody foreign and domestic as a matter of regular function?
        If you defend this sort of thing don’t be alarmed when the thing offends you.
        Your premise is flawed and you haven’t a clue.

         

        • Apparently, you haven’t looked up “sophistry”, because you’re still engaging in it.
          Come out and prove your assertions, state your case in plain English for all of us to see.
          That fact that you keep trying to cloud your words in nebulous phrases tells me you don’t have one bit of fact or logic on your side.
           

    • George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell. While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth. Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he was finished the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.
      Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she was finished the devil informs her that cost is 6 million dollars, so Queen Elizabeth writes him a check. Finally George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he was finished the devil informed him that there would be no charge for the call and feel free to call the USA anytime.
      When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush got to call the USA free. The devil replied, ¨Since Obama became president of the USA , the country has gone to hell, so naturally it’s a local call.”

    • When I say “fear and respect” I figure you’re smart enough to understand that I’m talking about our enemies fearing us and our allies respecting us. Whether either set “like” us is absolutely irrelevant.

  • You can’t make this stuff up …

    He talks too much,” a Saudi academic in Jeddah, who had once been smitten with Barack Obama, recently observed to me of America’s 44th president. He has wearied of Mr. Obama and now does not bother with the Obama oratory.

     

  • Jimmah Carter, Jr., better known as The Clown™, is simply a man too small for the suit he is wearing. Does anyone remember the movie “Big,” with Tom Hanks? If you do, you remember at the end when Josh Baskin is dropped off by his “girlfriend,” and she watches as he runs down the block back home, and as she is watching, he goes back to being a little boy and the adult suit he is wearing looks oversized and he looks rather silly. It is the same way for Jimmah, Jr. He looks out of place as President, wearing a suit that just does not fit him. And no matter what he does, he will never fit into it.

  • The only reason Jimmah Carter, Jr., is flying to West Point to deliver this speech is that he can get back into Air Force One and fly around some more. I sometimes think he ran for President just so he could have that plane for four years. Bush delivered his “surge” speech in the Oval Office. Jimmah Jr. is headed for West Point, then around the country to sell this crappy plan, then to Europe next week to sell our economy out on the fraud of “climate change” and to get his undeserved Nobel Prize for the Most Lackluster Performance as a President Wannabe.

    37 months to go for Jimmah until he is removed from the Oval Office and sent back to Chicago and the waiting arms of fellow nutjobs Jerry “I Hate America” Wright and Bill “I Bombed America” Ayers. And the rest of the crooks in that city.
     

  • I think that Obama (and many on the left) genuinely believe that if you make nice on the international scene, it makes it easier to conduct foreign policy.  Much like the comment above that equated international politics to personal, one-on-one interaction between two individuals.  After all, a person who likes you is more willing to work towards a mutually beneficial arrangement, isn’t he?

    But aside from such a naive view, is that for the leadership of some nations (Venezuela and Iran were Bruce’s examples), there is no value in being “friends” with the USA or its leadership.  One of the themes that they use in order to garner support at home is that of playing the underdog, of playing David to the USA’s Goliath.  That doesn’t hold up very well if they decide that the USA has become an ally.  Thus, any attempt to find common ground is rudely dismissed or even turned around to generate more criticism.

    And if you decide to ignore the insults for the sake of being the nice guy, other world leaders take note of the fact that you’re willing to allow yourself to be made a fool of.  And no one wants to be friends with a fool.  So the end result is what we’re seeing– low ‘favorability’ ratings in spite of Obama’s attempts to reach out and be a friend to the world.  Sadly, the reaction to this will probably be more attempts at playing the patsy, with predictable results.

    • Tonus said: “I think that Obama (and many on the left) genuinely believe that if you make nice on the international scene, it makes it easier to conduct foreign policy.”

      Yep…it’s called APPEASEMENT. Look it up: you will see Neville Chamberlain, the ultimate Demmie who went to Berlin and sold his soul to make nice with Hitler, then was shocked (SHOCKED!) that nice Mr. Adolf lied to his face and invaded Czechoslovakia. Poor, poor wittle Neville.

      Now, we have poor, poor wittle Barry Carter, alias Jimmah Jr., alias The Clown™, who is just a naive and inexperienced doofi who believes that if he just made nice with Mahmoud the Goatfugger from Iran, or Osama bin Laden somewhere in Pakistan, or some other world thug or loon, he could make the world a much nicer place. As I said, look up “appeasement,” and you may very soon see the old photo of Neville Chamberlain, who defines “appeasement,” being replaced by the new photo of Jimmah Carter, Jr.

  • I think that the premise here, if the premise is that Obama has done nothing but miscalculate, is wrong.

    If you look at the evidence – the Castro/Chavez line taken on Guatemala, the free passes issued to Iran (including the non-support of protesters/dissidents), the capitulation to the Russians on missile defense in Poland, the bows to heads of state (especially the bow to the Saudi king, the head of political Islam), the limp wrist on Afghanistan (where the signal to the world was “the U.S. is weak and ready to toss its commitments under the bus”), the serial apologies for and criticisms of the U.S. around the world, and worst of all in my view, the decision to try war criminals in civilian courts – then that’s a plan, my friends. And if I’m not mistaken that plan is the destruction of American prestige in the world. It’s a plan to lose anything that can be lost. The goal was never anything so nebulous as to get “the world” to like the U.S. The goal was to put the U.S. in a position where it can be had, and had bad.

    • … but Joe Biden walked the missile defense in Poland thing back.
      I’d love to know what Hiliary is thinking .. nothing here is so big as to make a resignation on principle look good, but meanwhile all of this will be put at her feet … and then there is her seat in Senate that she gave up for what ?

      • Predicated on my theory Obama is a willing 1-term president I have a possible followup theory concerning Hillary.

        I’m not saying this is a high possibility, but still a possibility.  Not only does Obama accept the possibility he won’t be re-electable.  He’s planned for it.  He’ll say ‘he’s so contriversal that he can’t in good conscience run for the Democrat ticket and guarantee a loss’

        That opens the door for Hillary.  Possibly Biden as well. 

        That may have been the pre-election deal that brought peace to the two front runners.  It might explain why so many Clinton Cronies ended up in Obama’s Administration. 

        When you consider Obama will benefit financially just as much with one term under his belt as two and he doesn’t seem to care about doing the job, he may be looking forward to getting out as soon as possible and starting to collect some real money. 

        • If Obama doesn’t run in 2012, I don’t think he will be able to choose his successor (just look at what happened with his Senate seat with Burris).  There are enough up and comers in the Democratic side that Hiliary won’t get a free pass.

        • 2012 is gonna come up on America like a freight train loaded with lepers clutching plutonium. It’s not clear to me that the “political process” will be a big player in that. But the political process will play it. A minimum of 50 million Americans will need to lay in an abundance of ammo to keep that train from crashing.

        • jpm100I’m not saying this is a high possibility, but still a possibility.  Not only does Obama accept the possibility he won’t be re-electable.  He’s planned for it.

          Yeah, it’s possible, but my thought about Imeme* is that he is so vain that it’s EXTREMELY unlikely.  As in, as unlikely that Hugh Hefner will drive up to my house with a bevy of Playmates and ask me whether I’d like two or three!

          —–

          (*) I think that nobody with even a normal-sized ego runs for the presidency, and people with large egoes sort of by definition don’t “step down” from much of anything unless forced.

      • Joe Biden and Hillary are in a raft that’s going over Niagra Falls.

        And that’s about as close to being in the loop as they’ve gotten.

        No one is going to want Hillary, for anything. She’s damaged goods.

        Biden’s ready for a rest home.

        • Martin McPhillips said: “Joe Biden and Hillary are in a raft that’s going over Niagara Falls.”

          (Actually, Martin, you misspelled “Niagara,” but I won’t nitpick on this one.)

          They asked Jimmah Carter, Jr., at his state dinner last week, what his favorite vegetable was.

          He turned to the dais and said, “Joe Biden, of course!”

          (Old joke, looking for fresh laughs.)

    • Yeah.  I can’t remember the exact speach but it was pretty clear he was interested in diminishing the US roll in the world.  And to make that have permanance he has to do things like throw Poland under the bus. 

  • Paragraph 4: “The left is going to learn”

    Stop right there.  Fatal error.

     The left will ignore.  Or fabricate new excuses.  Or blame the messenger. Or blame (immediate past Republican president).   But the left will never learn.

  • Return to REALITY ???   It’s worse than anybody believed …
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