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NYT: Obama Has Been A Flop In Foreign Relations

From the New York Times:

Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

By MARK LANDLER and PETER BAKER | June 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — Over porterhouse steak and cherry pie at a desert estate in California earlier this month, President Obama delivered a stern lecture to President Xi Jinping about China’s disputes with its neighbors. If it is going to be a rising power, he scolded, it needs to behave like one.

The next morning, Mr. Xi punched back, accusing the United States of the same computer hacking tactics it attributed to China. It was, Mr. Obama acknowledged, “a very blunt conversation.”

Ten days later, in Northern Ireland, Mr. Obama had another tough meeting with a prickly leader, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. At odds with him over the Syrian civil war, Mr. Obama tried to lighten the mood by joking about how age was depleting their athletic skills. Mr. Putin, a decade older and fending off questions at home about his health, seemed sensitive on the point. “The president just wants to get me to relax,” he said with a taut smile.

While tangling with the leaders of two cold war antagonists of the United States is nothing new, the two bruising encounters in such a short span underscore a hard reality for Mr. Obama as he heads deeper into a second term that may come to be dominated by foreign policy: his main counterparts on the world stage are not his friends, and they make little attempt to cloak their disagreements in diplomatic niceties.

In fact, reading between the lines, The Times is saying that the Chinese and Russians seem to have so little respect for Obama, they don’t even try to disguise their contempt for him in public.

Even his friends are not always so friendly. On Wednesday, for example, the president is to meet in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has invited him to deliver a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. But Ms. Merkel is also expected to press Mr. Obama about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which offend privacy-minded Germans…

We have been told for years that Obama’s incredible personal charm was going to make him and us as a nation beloved? But now it turns out that even the New York Times has to admit none of that is true. What happened?

For all of his effort to cultivate personal ties with foreign counterparts over the last four and a half years — the informal “shirt-sleeves summit” with Mr. Xi was supposed to nurture a friendly rapport that White House aides acknowledge did not materialize — Mr. Obama has complicated relationships with some, and has bet on others who came to disappoint him…

[F]or a naturally reserved president who has assiduously cultivated a handful of leaders, it has been a dispiriting stretch.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, whom Mr. Obama views as a new kind of Muslim leader, has used tear gas and water cannons against protesters in Istanbul. Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader whom Mr. Obama telephoned repeatedly after he became president of Egypt [has] granted himself unlimited powers…

Mr. Obama spent nearly four years befriending Mr. Putin’s predecessor, Dmitri A. Medvedev, hoping to build him up as a counterweight to Mr. Putin. That never happened, and Mr. Obama now finds himself back at square one with a Russian leader who appears less likely than ever to find common ground with the United States on issues like Syria…

Poor Obama. This has really been a "dispiriting stretch." And none of this has anything to do with his own outrageous incompetence. Such as backing the wrong horses every step of the way.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “NYT: Obama Has Been A Flop In Foreign Relations”

  1. Noyzmakr

    It’s been said that Joe Biden has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy decision for the last thirty-five years.

    It seems he has a pupil.

    The messiah has lost his halo.

  2. Flop assumes he’s working in American interests.

    Might be a stellar achiever if he’s working for someone else.

  3. mr_bill

    Foreign leaders know what a lot of US voters still haven’t figured out: nerobama isn’t credible, honest, or trustworthy. No serious leader in the world would make a deal with nerobama and expect him to hold up his end of the bargain. nerobama has a long record of stabbing his allies in the back, when it suited him to do so. Nobody wants to be his friend because they know he isn’t their friend. nerobama is a user, who moves on after he gets what he wants. He has no interest in building a personal relationship with anybody outside of what he can personally get out of the deal. He doesn’t cultivate friendships with other world leaders because he genuinely likes them or because he feels the relationship would be beneficial to US interests. Nobody wants a “friend” like that.




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