Free Markets, Free People


Has the world fallen out of love with Obama?

Mort Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of US News and World report writes a blistering piece that certainly seems to indicate that’s the case. Zuckerman says the world sees Obama as “incompetent and amateur” and that on the world stage he is “well-intentioned but can’t walk the walk”. That’s a nice way to say he’s a lightweight in an arena where only seasoned heavyweights prosper.

Zuckerman’s opinion is not one to be taken lightly. He was a huge Obama backer. He voted for him. His newspaper, the NY Daily News, endorsed him and was enthusiastic in his support of the Obama candidacy.

Now, 16 months into his presidency, he’s obviously very disappointed in his choice. And, it would appear, has come to understand that which he didn’t know or didn’t bother to find out about Obama at the time – that he has no leadership skills or abilities and is, in fact, more of an academic than a Commander-in-Chief.

Zuckerman is a keen and long time observer of American foreign policy, and as such he has the ability to compare and contrast what American foreign policy has seemed like under different presidents and under this one. He begins his critique of Obama by saying he actually inherited a “great foreign policy legacy enjoyed by every recent US president.”

Of course to hear Obama talk about it you’d think he’d been handed the worst mess in the world. But even assuming that, what has Obama done? Not much – and that’s beginning to become evident to the rest of the world. Says Zuckerman:

Yet, the Iraq war lingers; Afghanistan continues to be immersed in an endless cycle of tribalism, corruption, and Islamist resurgence; Guantánamo remains open; Iran sees how North Korea toys with Obama and continues its programs to develop nuclear weapons and missiles; Cuba spurns America’s offers of a greater opening; and the Palestinians and Israelis find that it is U.S. policy positions that defer serious negotiations, the direct opposite of what the Obama administration hoped for.

So success in the field that is exclusively the President’s has been elusive. Then there’s Obama the “leader”:

The reviews of Obama’s performance have been disappointing. He has seemed uncomfortable in the role of leading other nations, and often seems to suggest there is nothing special about America’s role in the world. The global community was puzzled over the pictures of Obama bowing to some of the world’s leaders and surprised by his gratuitous criticisms of and apologies for America’s foreign policy under the previous administration of George W. Bush. One Middle East authority, Fouad Ajami, pointed out that Obama seems unaware that it is bad form and even a great moral lapse to speak ill of one’s own tribe while in the lands of others.

Seems to be common sense to the rest of us, yet it is hard for anyone, even his most ardent supporters, to deny he’s engaged in more of that than any useful diplomacy.

Zuckerman also notes something I commented on months ago. He has no personal relationship with any of the world’s leaders. And that is critical to success in foreign diplomacy:

In his Cairo speech about America and the Muslim world, Obama managed to sway Arab public opinion but was unable to budge any Arab leader. Even the king of Saudi Arabia, a country that depends on America for its survival, reacted with disappointment and dismay. Obama’s meeting with the king was widely described as a disaster. This is but one example of an absence of the personal chemistry that characterized the relationships that Presidents Clinton and Bush had with world leaders. This is a serious matter because foreign policy entails an understanding of the personal and political circumstances of the leaders as well as the cultural and historical factors of the countries we deal with.

His meeting China was also a disaster and he was treated almost disrespectfully there. And he’s all but deep sixed our “special relationship” with the UK and certainly isn’t much loved by Sarkozy of France. Don’t even begin to talk about Israel.

These sorts of problems and perceptions have an effect in international affairs. A perfect example?

Recent U.S. attempts to introduce more meaningful sanctions against Iran produced a U.N. resolution that is way less than the “crippling” sanctions the administration promised. The United States even failed to achieve the political benefit of a unanimous Security Council vote. Turkey, the Muslim anchor of NATO for almost 60 years, and Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, voted against our resolution. Could it be that these long-standing U.S. allies, who gave cover to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, have decided that there is no cost in lining up with America’s most serious enemies and no gain in lining up with this administration?

So they go their own way in the absence of US leadership. This week, Russia’s President Medvedev criticized the US for placing additional sanctions on Iran, above and beyond the UN’s rather pitiful ones.

Obama has been a foreign affairs disaster to this point, and as Zuckerman points out, this has sent a very clear message to many of those out there who wish us ill as well as those who count themselves as allies:

America right now appears to be unreliable to traditional friends, compliant to rivals, and weak to enemies. One renowned Asian leader stated recently at a private dinner in the United States, “We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends.”

I think at this point, that’s a perfectly defensible and accurate assessment. This is why I continue to say that there are some pretty heavy storm clouds brewing on the international horizon. US leadership is seen as missing or weak – a perfect time for those who take advantage of power vacuums to step forward and make their particular grabs for power.

Don’t be surprised to see it happen soon.

~McQ

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35 Responses to Has the world fallen out of love with Obama?

  • Obama projects the two most dangerous things a POTUS can project; weakness and ambivalence.  These lead to war, as cause —> effect.
    If he resigned in the very near future, there might be time to avoid another conflagration.  Maybe….

    • This clown is gonna get a lot of good people killed

    • China invades Taiwan in 3…2…1
      It sounds flippant, but what the hell would the clown do?  Not a single damn thing.

      • I’m sure the thought is crossing their minds.

      • Not at all.  I’m sure that, in the event the ChiCom’s grab for Taiwan, Imeme will undertake a very serious response, including:

        1.  An apology to China for the US involvement in World War II, the Boxer Rebellion, the Opium Wars, and the Mongol Invasion;

        2.  A party;

        3.  Several round of golf;

        4.  The appointment of a czar for eastern Pacific affairs;

        5.  A party;

        6.  Demands for swift action by the Congress on a global warming bill to save or create ten billion jobs in shovel-ready education and health care projects

        7.  Keeping a campaign promise to Michelle to take her on a four-week trip to Hawaii;

        8.  An unprecedented speech about his unprecedented efforts to secure a historic peace between China and its runaway province

        9.  Trip to Stockholm to pick up his second Nobel for both his efforts to make peace in eastern Asia and end the Jewish occupation of Palestine

      • Luckily, Taiwan elected their own version of Obama, and he is pro-China unification. So China won’t do anything until this guy goes away and they get another pro-independence leader in Taiwan. Then all hell could break loose.

  • Those of us who recognized what a walking disaster Obama was going to be, feel vindicated.   We are angry that his empty rhetoric and ability to hide almost every facet of his background worked to sway 53% of the voters.  But, our anger pales in the face of those who, like Zuckerman, feel they were deceived and mislead.

    I suspect Zuckerman will not agree that Obama is a “giant”.  When Scott joins the Zuckerman camp, we will know Obama is finished.

    • I expect cats to bark first…

    • Rick CairdThose of us who recognized what a walking disaster Obama was going to be, feel vindicated.

      A feeling of vindication is small comfort to offset the sick feeling of horror at what this awful man and the gang of thugs and fools who comprise his “administration” are doing to our country.

      Rick Caird[O]ur anger pales in the face of those who, like Zuckerman, feel they were deceived and mislead.

      I’m not sure that Zuckerman and his fellows in MiniTru feel anger.  At least, not yet.  Even when it becomes accepted – indeed, mandated – that they subject Imeme to the sort of routine criticism he has generally escaped thus far, I’m not sure that they will be “angry”.  First of all, they will still have Jones Bush to blame for many of our national problems.  Second, they still have an emotional investment in him.  Finally, at the end of the day, he and they are still on the same side: he wants what they want.  He is pursuing the very policies that they have always advocated.  He is giving them everything that they want.

      At any rate, the anger is on MY part toward MiniTru.  If they were “deceived and mislead”, it was due to willful neglect on their part.  That they did everything in their power to see to it that the rest of us were deceived and mislead about Imeme, his background, his associates, and his plans for our country represents nothing less than a monstrous conspiracy against our country.

  • With a more effective ji’Qlllework, Obama can get his priorities completed.

    • we should never let that word die.  It should be hung around Obama’s neck like strategery was hung on Bush.

  • Zuckerman’s opinion is not one to be taken lightly. He was a huge Obama backer. He voted for him. His newspaper, the NY Daily News, endorsed him and was enthusiastic in his support of the Obama candidacy.

    >>> And at the end of the day…..he/they will still support him in the next election.

    They’re all in on this guy, they cannot afford to let him be a 1-termer.  Can’t admit their awful mistake.

    • I disagree.  I think Hillary will resign in the next year and announce her candidacy.  The left will pull out the long knives on the clown and support Hillary.

  • We  have the ongoing birth certificate uncertainty, which is deemed “nothing” for the same reason we “lost” the Viet Nam war… our big media wishes it so.
    We have the new Social Security account question, which is deemed “nothing” for the same reason stated above re: Mort Zuckerman… the media has not yet come to the decision Zero is costing them $$$$ worldwide.
    But I DO wonder about the Clintons and the dem party as a whole…
    At what point do they realize how much damage has been done and start searching desperately for a reason, ANY reason to cut him loose?
    At that point either the birth certificate or Social Security issues will suffice, and the “crazy right” will smugly smile.

  • {eyes rolling} You guys are grasping at straws. Obama is almost certain to be re-elected. I decree it.

    Just look at that Christlike visage, that fine crease in the pants, that magnificent forehead that is never covered with a vulgar cowboy hat. And his elegant wife, who doesn’t either look like a Klingon, so don’t start!

    You want him to fail. Because you’re mean. But he has accomplished so much already that he will go down in history. He has led us into committing to healthcare as a moral right. Thank goodness he’s a carbon-based form of life who can create new rights on the fly that don’t depend on those stupid natural rights you guys think are so important, but don’t even exist.

    His slim countenance, his even temperament — he’s the greatest leader of our lifetime and he thinks like me and he’s going to accomplish so, so mumbalumble. Sorry, excuse me, had to spit.

    But you primitive, aborigine-like, code-word-racist, Nazi-like, sterile, inbred righties just can’t stand to see a wise leftist exhibit his godlike powers for all to see. It grates on your nerves every time you look at him, doesn’t it? Good. You should suffer for your impiousness.

    Instead, you worship the false saint of Sarah Palin. You worship her full lips and ample bosom. You venerate her naughty librarian glasses, and consider it a sacrament when she winks at you. If only you could know the true Lightworker. You would so fulfilled. Like me. Why sometimes I’m so fulfilled I have to spit some of it back out.

  • And his elegant wife, who doesn’t either look like a Klingon, so don’t start!

    I always see James Brown…   A really mean James Brown….

  • Zuckerman has his nose in the wind. He’s hearing bad things about Obama. That’s coloring how he sees him.

    But his first mistake, other than ever supporting Obama, is declaring Obama well intentioned.

    Obama is not well intentioned. Assuming that Obama is an amateur misses the point. He most certainly is an amateur, but he is quite deliberate in his actions. He is antagonistic toward allies of America; he is magnanimous toward enemies of America. This worries allies. This emboldens enemies.

    If we get a big time WMD attack in the U.S., followed by the assumption of emergency powers, that assumption of emergency powers will be to protect this administration from the people.

    The normative terms of American politics do not apply to this man. He can only be understood if you start by taking his actions at face value: He is an enemy of the United States. That rings right out of everything he has ever been or done. And it is the only way to make sense of this guy.

    Mort Zuckerman is two years late and a dollar short.

    • It strikes me that he states that Obama is well intentioned because he wishes it so. He’s trying to hold on to something. It is hard to accept when you are so wrong about something.

    • Mort Zuckerman is two years late and a dollar short.

      Yep.  It’s nice that the press finally noticed that Obama is in over his head as President.  But this shouldn’t have caught them by surprise in the first place.  The press vetted Sarah Palin pretty thoroughly, and she was the candidate for Vice President.  Meanwhile, the candidate for President wasn’t vetted at all, he was celebrated.  So now the press realizes that he wasn’t up to the task?

      And they wonder why mainstream media isn’t trusted anymore?

    • I count it a great mercy that the person that the Left managed to finally elect to the Presidency, with every trick in the book, is also an incompetent boob that is likely to discredit them for a generation.

      It did not have to turn out that way. Granted, hard-core leftism comes with a certain critical detachment from reality, but history shows that its policies can be competently administered. They lead to competently-administered disaster, but that still lets the useful idiots drive us off a cliff. Obama is losing the critical support of the useful idiot contingent, and that’s very good.

      When he was elected, I figured he represented either the final victory of liberalism or its last gasp. While I still fear what he may do in his remaining time, I am increasingly (if tentatively) confident that it is the “last gasp”. The no-jobs no-growth “recovery”, the increasingly-likely collapse of the EU (even centralizing its authority is IMHO only able to put off the inevitable by a few years), the immanent and really already-happening collapse of the welfare state… I don’t look forward to the next couple of years, but I remain cautiously optimistic that it will yet be a good thing in the long run as the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of liberalism finally becomes clear to all. (Well, nearly all.)

  • Over a year ago I said, “when the press finally turn on him, it will be a horror to behold” .  I just did not think they would turn on him so quickly.

    • Yeah, I’m suspicious of the notion that the press is turning on him. They might be doing their equivalent of a modified limited hangout. And faint damnation could soon enough turn into another round of praise. Maybe they’re waiting for another opportunity to accuse all who oppose him of being racists, to sort of get the attention off of how great their disappointment is.

      On the other hand, continuously playing in the background are the twin towers of this administration: their delusional approach to the economy and the plague they unleashed on the American medical industry. Both are catastrophes, much like the oil spill itself, that cannot be turned off anytime soon. We can never get back the $800 Billion “stimulus” that was a political payoff that was never going to work as anything but a political payoff. That was the biggest pure heist in history.That’s down the drain and is tagged onto the national debt. And they want now to take more.

      The health care thing is a virus injected into the American blood stream and getting rid of it will be monumental work. That’s why the next Republican who says “Mitt Romney” to me could elicit an event of projectile vomiting.

      The damage that these people have done makes the oil spill look small. The oil spill will end. Agonizing as it is, it will end. But look at the bank shot Obama tried to play off of it for cap and trade. That was the play of a power mad madman. There is no other way to explain it. That was not simple old-fashioned political opportunism.

      I’ve said a couple times before that Obama is more dangerous to the United States than Hugo Chavez is to Venezuela.

  • I think both the World and the Left who usually values ‘World Opinion’ need to be reminded that they got the leader they wanted.  Often.

    Very Often.

    • There’s no talking to the Left. If they were not reminded of how stupid they are by the 20th Century, then an arched eyebrow about Obama isn’t going to clue them in.

      They’ll press the reset button and either go back to loving Obama or go back to loving Hillary or find the next Obama, even newer and more improved, like Tide.

      • As applied to convicted collectivists, I think that largely true.  But I’ve seen even some of them wake up.
        But as to most Americans, the metrics show a strong shift toward more conservative political themes.  You can’t have a “transformative” figure like Obama without some transformin’ goin’ on.

      • The fight has always been for the benefit of the middle.

        The left never misses an opportunity to denigrate the right with criticism real or imagined and usually the latter.  The idea is to make the middle want to stay away from being associated with the right or take them as credible.

  • Zuckerman can scream all day about how incompetent this administration is.  He’s not likely that a great deal of objection these days from just about anybody.  That includes former Obama supporters like himself.  But I’m not inclined to be quite so a generous in my assessment of the situation.

    I think that when viewed through the standpoint of a strong America internationally speaking , and a strong private sector economy within America, and individual freedoms, or bomber has gone precisely the wrong direction with a batting average that approach is as close to 1000 is no matter.  Given that, it does not seem unreasonable to me to question whether this is a case of incompetence or malice. frankly, one does not screw up  totally every single time without a certain level of competence.   It seems more likely to me that what’s happening is that Obama and company have a completely different goal  than the stated  strong America.
    As a microcosm of this, let’s examine the handling of the oil spill.  If a leftist wanted to create an anti oil-drilling sentiment in this country how would one go about it?  How does this differ from what Obama has done?

    • I wish I could dismiss this as daffy.  But to do so would require ignoring the history here, and the certainty that even Bill Clinton would not have done so consistently badly.  Since many of the same people are populating the inner circles, it is deductible that the POTUS cannot be getting advice that simply ignores the laws of economics, human nature, and statecraft.  That leaves us a very dark conclusion.