A Funny Thing Happened On The Road To Redemption

Discussion in 'Politics' started by The BKP, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. The BKP
    Offline

    The BKP Grand Inquistor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    120
    Thanks Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +37
    Millions across the globe spontaneously celebrated his electoral victory. The morning after he had sealed his place in history, his image adorned the cover of newspapers from Columbus to Cairo, Beijing to Berlin. Pundits heralded an end to America's arrogant unilateralism and the renewal of a vibrant Transatlantic dialogue and consensus. Confrontation would be replaced by negotiation, the blunt force of militarism eschewed for the delicate intricacies and nuanced subtleties of diplomacy. Barack Obama would deliver change not only to America, but to the corridors of power and seats of government globally.

    Full of humility and purpose, President Obama embarked on the first official overseas trip of his fledgling administration last week. Yet, as he headed off down the road to America's international redemption a funny thing happened. While he was received with all the excitement and electricity of his gravitas-geared global photo op tour of last July, the glare of the paparazzi and fawning adulation of the press quickly gave way to the gravity of reality.

    Though world leaders giddily jockeyed for position to be photographed with the popular, "new guy", removed from the camera's eye, politics trumped personality. National interests, rivalries - both resurgent and burgeoning - and thinly-veiled, albeit long-standing resentments all awaited the youthful and neophytic President.

    Even before Air Force One touched down in London for the G20 Summit, a resurgent Russia was joined by a rising China in calling for serious consideration for replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency. In the first of what would be a series of attempts to compete with the President for the spotlight's glare, French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to walk out of the summit if stringent international financial regulations and oversight were not imposed in response to the ongoing global crisis.

    Though the meeting of the globe's leading twenty economies failed to adopt Sarkozy's proposal, it did succeed in serving as the introduction to the President's week long crash course in international relations. Following Germany and France's lecturing rejection of Obama's call for additional economic stimulus in Europe, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown closed the summit declaring, "The old Washington consensus is over."

    Moving on to NATO's 60th Anniversary summit in Strasbourg, France, military and security issues stepped to the forefront, with the stabilization of Afghanistan taking center stage.

    While the allies respectfully listened to and paid proper diplomatic lip service to the President's revamped tactical approach to the security environment and stabilization process in Afghanistan, they summarily rejected his request for deployment of additional NATO troops. Unless, of course, they are American.

    The underlying message at both the G20 and NATO summits was clear - Your policies got us into these messes. Do you honestly believe we're going to trust them and you to get us out? Sorry, but the consensus is it's your fault, your problems and we're all waiting for you to resolve them. In the meantime, we'll sit here, snidely pointing fingers and being characteristically derisive and condescending until the recovery takes hold and peace at last comes to Afghanistan. At that point, we'll take credit for both and say it could have occurred more quickly had you only listened to us.

    What this highlights is an intriguing irony.

    For years the press chastised President Bush as naively rooting his approach to foreign relations in his personal relationships with other world leaders. They pointed to his "cowboy swagger" and "you're either with us or against us" mentality as traits that hamstrung American foreign policy. While on the one hand they decried American unilateralism, on the other they bemoaned Bush's high personal negative ratings globally as a chronic and ultimately fatal impediment to America's success in the international arena.

    Exit George Bush, enter Barack Obama.

    Unlike Bush, Obama enjoys a soaring popularity that borders on rock star status. He and his wife are greeted by adoring throngs, warmly embraced by dignitaries, heads of state, royalty and seasoned world leaders alike. Again, his image adorns the covers of newspapers across the globe, while satellite news personalities fawn over his every movement and pronouncement live, 24 hours a day.

    Yet, despite his stratospheric personal popularity, humble, consensus-oriented approach and creative, new multilateral ideas, he returns from his European tour surprisingly empty-handed.

    True, he did convince the G20 to boost funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank by roughly $1 trillion. However, beyond that, there is strikingly little to show for the President's efforts.

    The irony lies in the press' coverage of the trip.

    Were Bush to have received similar treatment, the rejection of his proposals at the G20 and appeal for additional NATO troops would have been characterized as a personal rebuff and an indictment of both his presidency and America's failed and tragically faulty fiscal policy and tactical approach to Afghanistan.

    In sharp contrast, Obama, though warmly embraced personally, is roundly rebuffed on the policy front. Yet, the press focuses on his personal popularity, the adoring throngs and the extension of his beloved town hall meeting to the realm of inter-cultural dialogue and foreign policy promotion.

    This begs the question - What's to be learned from all this?

    First, the press has once again fallen under the charismatic sway of the President's magnetic personality. The only thing missing from their doe-eyed coverage was the requisite "tingling up my leg" comment; thankfully, I might add. In truth, their sophomoric fawning is trite, unbecoming, unprofessional and ultimately hypocritical. They have lost even the most minuscule semblance of objectivity. Little wonder their ratings hemorrhage as badly as their credibility has.

    Finally, it should be glaringly clear that resistance to American foreign policy initiatives are firmly rooted in politics, perceived national interests, deeply-seeded rivalries and long-standing resentment. While the tone may be shaded by personality or popularity, the answer remains a resounding and unmistakable "No".

    "No, we will not acknowledge American economic, political or military preeminence. No, we do not accept responsibility for our role in the economic crisis. No, we will not cooperate with your efforts to resolve it. No, we will not bear our share of the burden for collective security. No, we will not sacrifice our blood and treasure. No, we will not follow your lead. No, we will not step to the forefront and lead ourselves. No, we say! A thousand times, no!"

    And so, the promised route to Redemption - no matter how scenic and pastoral the press may portray it - has in fact become the road to Perdition. Pray God the President and the press realizes this before we have traveled beyond the point of no return and placed the nation's interest in mortal danger.

    No stop signs, speed limit, nobody's gonna slow him down, faithful readers.

    Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and we see if we have in fact taken an errant left turn and are roaring head long down the Highway to Hell.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. garyd
    Offline

    garyd Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,943
    Thanks Received:
    401
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ratings:
    +401
    Sorry not a sign out there that Obama is any less clueless now than he was before and in fact plenty of evidence exists that he is much like the basketball team that expects to win going away and in the days leading up to the big game spend far more time going over its press clippings than it does practicing for the big game and the big game comes and oops what was supposed to be an easy victory becomes a blow out loss.

    His reduction in Military spending is further evidence that he simply hasn't a clue that indeed the world is far more dangerous now than it has been at anytime since the cold War ended.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  3. Zoomie1980
    Offline

    Zoomie1980 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,658
    Thanks Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +128
    Kind of hard to figure out what Obama's purpose was on this trip. If it was to accomplish anything substantive, he failed utterly. He got virtually nothing except a big plug of cash to the IMF, which no one will really honor in the end, as usual. He got no increased European stimulus spending, got no concessions of any kind out of Russia to help with Iran or cease hostility towards their former Soviet states, got no troops for Afghanistan, got nothing at all from the Arabs or Turks.

    If his plan was to go ahead and try the old soft shoe approach to see what he could get, knowing he won't get anything, so later he can "we tried but you wouldn't play ball, so back to bellicose Bush II tactics", fine, he's doing that exactly right.

    At the end of the day, we have to realize that Europe is absolutely useless to us in every regard. Our interests lie in China, first and foremost, India second, and Iran-Pakistan next and no one else really matters to us anymore.

    And a reminder to Barrack HUSSEIN Obama, America is not, and never has been nor ever will be influenced or accepting of anything Muslim. We are a Judeo-Christian nation, always will be and we really are in a fundamental clash of civilizations between the relatively secular, 21st century Judeo-Christian ethic and the fundamentalist, 10th century Islamic faith.
     
  4. Diuretic
    Offline

    Diuretic Permanently confused

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    12,653
    Thanks Received:
    1,397
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Australia est 1836
    Ratings:
    +1,397
    The OP is redolent of a cargo cult mentality, not that far removed from "John Frum he come".

    I prefer the Johnny Appleseed metaphor.

    Wait and see what develops.
     
  5. editec
    Offline

    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    41,427
    Thanks Received:
    5,598
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maine
    Ratings:
    +5,617
    The secret to foreign diplomacy is to find the path leading to mutually satisfying outcomes.

    Any of you who think that we're going to repair the damage this nation has to done to its international reputation in one presidential term or two, are expecting something that is impossible.

    Right now we have damned little to offer Europe.

    As to them deciding not to support us in Afghanistan?

    Who can blame them for that?
     
  6. Diuretic
    Offline

    Diuretic Permanently confused

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    12,653
    Thanks Received:
    1,397
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Australia est 1836
    Ratings:
    +1,397
    Quite true but it requires a re-learning. BushCheney told Americans they could rule the world by military force alone. That was fucked up. The US, as powerful as it is in military terms. can't rule the world. So now the BushCheney crap has to be rewound and that's pretty hard for some folks to take given the propaganda of the BushCheney years. Obama has taken a very smart approach. The objectives remain the same, it's just that Obama has eschewed the complete bollocks of Bush Cheney.

    He's going okay.
     
  7. pete
    Offline

    pete The food stamp president

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,581
    Thanks Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +232
    There is no doubt it is going to take time, but in the end its going to take more time fixing what he isnt doing right as well.
    What smart approach is that?
     
  8. Diuretic
    Offline

    Diuretic Permanently confused

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    12,653
    Thanks Received:
    1,397
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Australia est 1836
    Ratings:
    +1,397
    I'm sorry I don't understand your point. Can you explain it a bit more?
     
  9. Xenophon
    Offline

    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Messages:
    16,705
    Thanks Received:
    3,750
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    In your head
    Ratings:
    +3,751
    BO is learning a hard lesson.

    It wasn't Bush they dislike, it's America period.

    They didn't like Clinton either until he left office.

    You will NEVER get Europe to act unless it directly and substantially benifits them, war in Afghanistan is useless to them as it is to the USA.
     
  10. Diuretic
    Offline

    Diuretic Permanently confused

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    12,653
    Thanks Received:
    1,397
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Australia est 1836
    Ratings:
    +1,397
    I have to disagree.

    Bush fucked up in the wake of 9/11 and he fucked up big time. He pissed over the goodwill, pissed over it and trashed it. I mean of course he and that grub Cheney.
     

Share This Page