Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Is That New Respect for Our Friends'n'Allies Working for You, Barack? (IV)

… it is extraordinarily significant that a major ally supposedly wowed by Obama’s charisma and popularity, can publicly do the equivalent of throwing a pie into the president’s face with no consequences
writes Barry Rubin (shookhran to Larwyn) as he points out that
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner … stated that he doesn’t favor blocking the export of refined oil products to Iran, the keystone of the new sanctions proposed by Obama.

Could it be any more obvious? Obama’s salient international characteristic is not popularity but weakness. Already, Obama has been defied [by] or has buckled under to a long list of countries including: China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, and now perhaps France.

…Nahum Barnea, arguably the Israeli left’s most distinguished writer, who backs a complete settlement freeze and would like to support Obama, wrote [that] Obama “is cool….Yet the U.S. president is not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. He’s supposed to bring results.”

Well-put. While American opinion-makers continue to focus on Obama’s “coolness” and Western Europeans cheer him—what’s not to cheer in an American president who let’s you do whatever you want?—the world is giving him the cold shoulder.

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