Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is America's Image Overseas Improving?

David Ignatius attempts this morning to give a six-month report card on the Obama foreign policy. Along the way, he breezily makes the point about America's image overseas having been raised, resuscitated, increased or whatever. And for evidence he cites.....two former American national security advisers.

How about consulting someone from the Polish government, whose bold steps in cooperating on central European missile-defense policy were turned into a political nightmare by the retrenchment of the Obama Administration. Or how about someone from the British Foreign Office--you remember them, right--our special friends--to see how "special" they feel nowadays. Or perhaps one could interview someone from the Israeli government, and ask whether Obama's ridiculous relativism in his Cairo speech (yes there was a Holocaust that killed six million Jews, but there are also Palestinian refugee camps....) makes our most important Middle East ally feel any better about their precarious position. Maybe Ignatius could talk to someone in either France or Germany's Ministry of Finance and ask them how they feel about the "stimulative" nature of Mr. Obama's spending proposals.

For further evidence of America's enhanced position in the world, Ignatius turns to that wizened arbiter of international relations....Rahm Emanuel, who happens to also be President Obama's Chief of Staff. Here's Emanuel on the state of play: "We have taken off the table reflexive anti-Americanism as a reason not to deal with us," says Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff. "We're not shimmying in the end zone. But we are a long way from where we began."

The naivete of these folks is stunning.


TDB said...

Very humorous - I think I am going to ask "me" about "me"...
I sit here in middle America staggered by the nonsense. I think there are a great number of conservatives who have just "hunkered down" in order to survive the "shelling".

Smoothfur said...

"But we are a long way from where we began."

Going in the wrong direction also produces this result.

Anonymous said...

"makes our most important Middle East ally feel any better about their precarious position." Please tell me what makes their our most important ally? Is it their abundant natural resources, oil, gas, etc... no. Is it their commitment to supporting American Values? Guess if your in the Cheney War Crime camp perhaps... seriously, what do they bring to warrant the title our most important ally in the region? I often ask myself was Sec State Marshall was right.....?

Seingada said...

You are right Anonymous. Since Israel has no natural resources we need, the Arabs would have less to bitch about if they didn't exist. Maybe Barry Hussein should just say the hell with them.

Hell, American Jews knew what Barry O was all about and they still gave him almost 80% of their vote!

So salam maleka and "Death to Israel", right?

Anonymous said...

wow Seingada, you took an inch and went a mile on your own personal tagent... sorry it's not possible to bring an alternate perspectives about US - Israel policies without being attacked by the radical right. Glad there is some balance and objective views towards the whole ME now. Too bad you can't accept that...

Barry O? wow -- your funny.

Smoothfur said...

I have personally watched and on occasion been the victim of anti American bias in the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Central America and South America from the early 1960s to the present day.

Our image around the world back then was driven by jealousy of our standard of living and fear of our military might.

If President Obama is responsible for a change in our image today, it is due in no small measure to the adverse effect his policies have had on both our economy and our national defense and the resultant feeling glee around the world at our problems.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

You see, this is what gets me about some folks who post here.

If you read the first few sentences of Anonymous' post below, it raises a very important question, one that really demands an answer.

It doesn't reveal biases, it doesn't take potshots at anyone...just a very, very important question. Basically "Why (CW) do you believe Israel to be our most important mid-east ally."

I would have been happy--no, excited to take a stab at that one.

But then there's the rest of the post, one that seriously detracts from the beginning--followed quickly by a snarky riposte from Seingada, and a "what me?" response from Anonymous. Smoothfur does a good job bringing things back to a civil plane. I'll join him there.

Here's why I believe Israel to be our most important mideast ally--because we can trust them. Quick--tell me what it is we get out of our relationship with Great Britain--and by "get", I mean some of the "material" things that are mentioned "Anonymously"? Jaguars? Land Rovers? Anything else of importance? Oh yeah...they make a few movies each year that make us laugh and that keep 10 or 11 British actors constantly employed.

Other than that, Great Britain brings us NOTHING...except a trusted friend who will go the distance with us.

I see Israel as just that sort of friend. Sure, they have interests of their own, and sometimes they are not completely aligned with ours. But at an elemental level--we can trust them and they can trust us. I just don't see that kind of a relationship with any other country in the Middle East--Jordan comes to mind as coming the closest.

So no--we don't get oil or gas or much of anything else (though I am reliably told that my new hi-tech contact lenses are made in Israel) tangible from Israel. We simply get trusted friendship, and that is a commodity in short supply in that part of the world.

Anonymous said...

anon here again - thanks for the response CW. First, the Brits have the fourth largest economy and are vital trading partners with the US; second, for the past 100 years they have fought side by side with American forces; third, their proven track record of being trustworthy... Where as Israel has proven to be anything but trustworthy -- let me give a few examples - Aldridge Aims, the Rosenbergs, against our stated wishes seeking nuclear wpns, recipient of massive US aid, the greatest amount of US foreign aid (2+ Billion per yr), the attack on a US Navy ship in the Med during the 60s (i suspect you are more familiar with this than i am...). I don't think this is a very strong record for a trusted friend. With that said, I believe we should continue to seek a strong relationship with Israel - however, when our national interests do not coincide we should part ways...Litmus test - is it in our National interest.

I believe Kissinger was the toughest and subsequently the most successful SecState when it came to dealing with Israel.

Newer Post Older Post Home