"Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage
By Gabor Steingart"
Excerpt. Highlight added:
"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.Lost Some Stature"
..."Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy"
..."In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever. There will be no binding commitments from China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A revaluation of the Chinese currency, which is kept artificially weak, has been postponed. Sanctions against Iran? Not a chance. Nuclear disarmament?Not an issue for the Chinese.
The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences.
..."Obama's new foreign policy has also been relatively unsuccessful elsewhere, with even friends like Israel leaving him high and dry. For the government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace is only conceivable under its terms. Netanyahu has rejected Obama's call for a complete moratorium on the construction of settlements. As a result, Obama has nothing to offer the Palestinians and the Syrians."
A Lot Like Jimmy Carter
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