When the Democrats criticized George W Bush for ruining America's foreign policy and running roughshod over the "feelings" of foreign countries, friendly or otherwise, didn't the nuance and smart diplomacy they advocated entail using intelligence and understanding and discernment when dealing, sensitively, with the foreign countries in question, along with a minimum of careful planning?
As it turns out, Denmark is flattered to be praised by Barack Obama, as a country whose people "punch above their weight", gushes a Danish TV fact-checker, Thomas Buch-Andersen (tak til Valerie); that is, the Danes are flattered until they find out that Barack Obama has used the boxing metaphor in a few other circumstances…
According to Obama, are we doing any better than, say, the Norwegians?asks the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's BS "detector".
Let's see: from other press conferences, in the White House or abroad, Barack Obama tells us that:
"Norway punches above its weight".
But that's not all. What about the Netherlands?
We learn that: the Dutch "punch above their weight."
Hokay. How about Ireland?
We learn that: "Ireland punches above its weight."
And what about the Philippines?
The Asian country (get this): "punches above its weight".
Along the way, we also learn from Barack Obama
• that "we have no stronger ally than the Netherlands";
• that "we have no stronger ally than Australia";
• that "Poland is one of our closest and strongest allies";
• that "Great Britain is one of our closest and strongest allies";
• that "Germany is one of our strongest allies"
• that South "Korea is one of our strongest allies"
• that "Israel is one of our strongest allies";
• that "France … is one of our closest allies";
• that "Italy is one of our strongest allies"; and
• that "Japan is one of our strongest and closest allies".
It's called Smart Diplomacy; and don't you doubt it!
Update (tak til Duncan): Handy Reference Guide to Obama’s Gaffes and Goofs