Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama Has Squandered As Much Global Goodwill As Bush

Looking at this story from the Times Online, somebody has to say it (h/t Abe Greenwald):

AFTER repeated rebuffs, America is preparing to abandon its insistence that Nato allies commit more combat troops to Afghanistan, despite fears the Taliban are gaining strength. […]

President Barack Obama’s administration announced last week that it was sending an extra 17,000 troops to join 32,000 already in Afghanistan, but European countries have yet to pitch in more than a few hundred. […]

Obama insisted on the campaign trail that he would oblige Nato to do more. “You can’t have a situation where the United States . . . and Britain are called upon to do the dirty work and nobody else wants to engage in actual firefights with the Taliban,” he said.

However, the Germans refused to accede to Gates’s request last week to deploy the Nato rapid response force to help stabilise Afghanistan ahead of the August presidential elections. […]

The series of rejections has marked the end of Obama’s honeymoon with European governments, which had braced themselves to meet the president’s demand for extra troops when he was elected last autumn.

Now that Obama’s electoral glow is fading, they have found the confidence to say no.

Well. We are the somebody we've been waiting for, so here goes:

President Obama has squandered the global goodwill generated by his historic campaign and election.

Of course, if you believed things would be different, that Obama would usher in a new era of global cooperation and commitment in the fight against Islamist terrorists, you may want to consider the idea that you were lied to when Obama said that he would exact such a commitment from NATO allies.

OK, maybe Obama didn’t lie. Maybe he really thought he could secure those commitments. Maybe this is just the umpteenth case of Obama over promising and under delivering – President OPUD strikes again.

Well, and just to make sure we make the point - we think that Obama has actually squandered the same amount of global goodwill since his election as President Bush did after 9/11.

That is, in terms of some mythical goodwill that ever had a chance of resulting in real-world, on the ground commitments, neither man squandered squat.

It didn’t exist post 9/11 and it didn’t exist before or after Obama was elected, no matter how many times liberals have tried to tell us that it did.

Unfortunately, people were told differently, believed differently, and elected Obama partly on the basis of believing him when he said it.

We’ll let Greenwald have the last word:

One of George W. Bush’s biggest failings was that he let his critics convince Americans that European ambivalence was a response to American arrogance. That hobbled our effort further by draining domestic support for the War on Terror. That Bush was succeeded by a president who’s building his foreign policy around this ahistorical delusion is frightening.

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