Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Der Spiegel Asks: "Why Can't Obama Be More Like Bush"

Der Spiegel concludes that Obama's foreign policy act is wearing very thin, has accomplished nothing, and yearns for a Bush-like toughness:

"When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.

The mood in Obama's foreign policy team is tense following an extended Asia trip that produced no palpable results. The "first Pacific president," as Obama called himself, came as a friend and returned as a stranger. The Asians smiled but made no concessions.

Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature."

The only stature Obama had initially was built upon false hopes and delusions.  What the world sees now is the real Obama.

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