Friday, November 20, 2009

After 11 Months, You Can't Just Chalk Up Obama's Diplomatic Failures To Being A "Novice"

Diplomatic failure seems to be not just a consequence but rather an actual way of doing business.  The "grovel and  cave" routine is getting old, is unacceptable and is ultimately very dangerous.  Obama must now take ownership of his failing diplomatic style.  It is not working and has not  accomplished anything of substance.  Are we more respected in the world?  Only to the extent that some may be relieved to have a weakened United States. But respect is not spelled "a-p-p-e-a-s-e-m-e-n-t."

Obama has to learn from his mistakes or else the voters will do it for him - starting in 2010 when they will (pardon the expression) begin to "pin his ears back."

This from Jennifer Rubin:

"The media did not miss the way the Chinese leadership handled Obama. Even such a purveyor of the conventional wisdom as David Gergen wrote on to compare Obama’s poor performance with that of another young and inexperienced president, John F. Kennedy, whose disastrous 1961 meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave the Russians the impression that the Americans didn’t know what they were doing and that they could be pushed around. That led to the nearly catastrophic showdown over missiles in Cuba a year later.

“Why bring up that story now, as President Obama comes home from Asia?” Gergen asks. “Because it has considerable relevance to his meetings in China with President Hu. Obama went into those sessions like Kennedy: with great hope that his charm and appeal to reason — qualities so admired in the United States — would work well with Hu. By numerous accounts, that is not at all what happened: reports from correspondents on the scene are replete with statements that Hu stiffed the President.”

Gergen is right.  Gergen believes that Obama must treat this as a moment for a “wake up call” to revive his foreign policy. “For the President, the challenge is whether he will start approaching international affairs with a greater measure of toughness, standing up more firmly and assertively for American interests.”

A "greater measure of toughness"? Standing up "firmly"? Being more assertive "for American interests"?  You mean, be more like . . . . George W. Bush?

Rubin concludes:

"Obama’s weakness, a fault rooted deeply in his inexperience in foreign affairs as well as in his overweening vanity, has become a major liability for the United States, the price of which has yet to be fully assessed."

Funny how just about everyone - including the media - is beginning to take notice of Obama's fundamental weakness with respect to America's enemies - yet he continues to act so tough with his domestic political opponents.  Obama's a "paper tiger" and our real enemies now know it.

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