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Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama advisers pat themselves on the back

In what has to be one of the biggest puff pieces written by a fawning media in recent memory, the Washington Post's David Ignatius reports that 'leading experts' give the Obumbler 'high marks' for improving America's 'battered image abroad.'
Six months on, how is Barack Obama doing in foreign policy? Some leading experts give the new president high marks for improving America's battered image abroad, but they warn that the hard work is still ahead.

Obama's first priority was boosting America's standing in a world angered by the Bush administration's arrogance and unilateralism. Obama rightly saw this as a major national security threat, and he used his charisma to change that image in a hurry. [How's that for an unbiased piece of journalism? CiJ]

And to a large extent, Obama has succeeded. "We have taken off the table reflexive anti-Americanism as a reason not to deal with us," says Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff. "We're not shimmying in the end zone. But we are a long way from where we began."
Of course, Emanuel is about as unbiased a source as one could conjure up to discuss the Obama administration. And after all, he's 'connected to Israel' so he must know everything, right?

Well, who was angered by the Bush administration's 'arrogance and unilateralism'? Iran. North Korea. Venezuela. Do I need to go on? If you ask whether America's image has improved in the homes of America's (former) allies like Britain, Israel, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, Germany and many more, you'd likely get a very different answer than Emanuel gave. But Ignatius continues to introduce the chorus line:
Obama's success in defusing anti-Americanism wins plaudits from Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser for Republicans Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. "Obama had to tackle the mood first, and I think he has done a brilliant job," he says. "The change around the world is dramatic."

Similar praise comes from Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as national security adviser for Democrat Jimmy Carter. But Brzezinski adds the caveat that changing America's image is the easy part. "They made a good start by setting a new tone. But it's too early to say if they have sufficient steadiness and determination to implement it." Scowcroft expresses a similar concern: "I'm worried because I don't see much happening [on substance]. It's all still mood-setting."
Ignatius doesn't mention that Scowcroft heads the National Intelligence Council, and has been called the eminence grise of Obama's foreign policy team. And he forgets to tell you that Brzezinski has been an Obama foreign policy adviser since at least August 2007.

And then Ignatius moves on to 'substance.'
This danger -- of a mismatch between expectations and delivery -- is evident on the four major challenges Obama is confronting: the Israeli-Palestinian problem, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Obama has boldly pushed Israel to freeze settlements as a way of prodding the Arabs to make reciprocal concessions and get the ball rolling toward a peace agreement. But the Arab side is wary of U.S. incrementalism and wants Obama to offer a "big bang" by enumerating the framework for a Palestinian state. If Obama takes this decisive step, he will lose Israeli support; if he doesn't, he'll lose the Arabs.
The Obumbler has already lost Israeli support and no one has agreed - nor will they agree - to 'freeze settlements.'

So what has this administration really 'accomplished' on the foreign policy front?

What Obama has done - at least in the short term - is aligned the United States with dictatorships like Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, Daniel Ortega's Nicaragua, Evo Morales' Bolivia, and Manuel Zelaya's attempt to reclaim the Presidency in Honduras. He has sucked up to the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Nasrallah with his ridiculous notions of 'engagement.' He's been bitch-slapped by the Russians. And he has left America's staunchest allies flailing on the sidelines.

It took Jimmy Carter nearly three years to turn the United States into a world laughingstock. It's taken the Obumbler six months.

Obama's advisers don't need a pat on the back. They need a kick in the butt.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The US is very much alone and its policies have left it scorned by its foes and seen its allies keep it at arms' length. Obama has managed to worsen America's standing in the world in the relatively short time he's been in office. And the real test for America is yet to come. The White House would do well to hold off on the premature celebrations.

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Gail said...

We need to take back control of our government. Self government works, what Obama is doing is an abomination and violates everything America stands for.

No one is going to help us. Every organization, politician, media outlet and business has vested interests that conflict directly with the best interests of the American people. It is up to us.

Here is one plan, it may not be the best, but it is the only one I know of: Conservative Action Plan at http://backyardfence.wordpress.com

Best regards,
Gail S


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