President Obama’s “smart power®” foreign policy of guilt, apologies, bowing and scraping, and general ankle grabbing, etc., is paying huge dividends.
Oh wait. Hold on a moment. My bad. I believe I have that backwards. In fact, now that I think about it, President Obama’s American penance tour appears to be a huge BUST overseas, particularly in the muslim world:
‘He talks too much,” a Saudi academic in Jeddah, who had once been smitten with Barack Obama, recently observed to me of America’s 44th president. He has wearied of Mr. Obama and now does not bother with the Obama oratory.
He is hardly alone, this academic. In the endless chatter of this region, and in the commentaries offered by the press, the theme is one of disappointment. In the Arab-Islamic world, Barack Obama has come down to earth.
He has not made the world anew, history did not bend to his will, the Indians and Pakistanis have been told that the matter of Kashmir is theirs to resolve, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the same intractable clash of two irreconcilable nationalisms, and the theocrats in Iran have not “unclenched their fist,” nor have they abandoned their nuclear quest.
There is little Mr. Obama can do about this disenchantment. He can’t journey to Turkey to tell its Islamist leaders and political class that a decade of anti-American scapegoating is all forgiven and was the product of American policies—he has already done that. He can’t journey to Cairo to tell the fabled “Arab street” that the Iraq war was a wasted war of choice, and that America earned the malice that came its way from Arab lands—he has already done that as well. He can’t tell Muslims that America is not at war with Islam—he, like his predecessor, has said that time and again.
Attention, Liberals. This world is a mean and nasty place. It does not consist of like-minded, fuzzy-headed individuals with hearts of gold like yourselves. I appreciate your wanting to make it a better place. We all do. But they don’t care that President Obama is the first black president, or about “change you can believe in”, the way we do. It’s Klingon rules out there. Foreign policy isn’t called “the great game” for nothing. Foreign policy is about REAL and tangible clashes of national interest. REALpolitik. War, conflict and strife isn’t the result of “hurt feelings” that can be smoothed away with a kiss and smile, or an unclenched fist. Most of the times your choices are limited to bad, and worse. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to make the hard call, President Obama. You can’t ignore it and pretend it will all go away.