Apr. 8th, 2009 | 09:11 am
The eight day trip to Europe was a fine example of the Presidents narcissism. He bowed, scrapped, apologized and the Europeans cheered! But all the adulation did not produce any substantive results from my vantage point. Even though Obama publicly scaled down his expectations before he left on his marathon “love fest” with the socialist Europeans.
His deep bow to the Saudi leader and his visit to a mosque showed he is in tune with the Muslim world. He did not attend a Christian Church at any time , but I guess he did not have time to give a nod to the faith he claims to have adopted.
Lets look at just what he accomplished on this multi-million dollar trip. He pledged to contribute more of the taxpayer money to the IMF, even as they are printing “monopoly” money in the basement of the treasury department to cover the 11 trillion dollar debt we have already accumulated.
President Obama returns to the United States with few demonstrable results to show for his tireless efforts to woo Europe and rebuild relations after President George W. Bush by apologising for American “arrogance” and declaring at every turn that he wants “to listen, to learn and to lead”.
In a deft attempt to manage expectations, he scaled down what he was asking for even before he stepped on Air Force One bound for London. This meant that even though the G20 summit yielded a fraction of the economic stimulus measures he could claim a historic success.
The same pattern followed at the Nato summit when allies came up with a paltry 5,000 troops for Afghanistan, including 3,000 that will be just a temporary election force and 600 that the Germans had already promised Mr Bush, compared to the 21,000 Mr Obama had just committed.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France lavished praise on Mr Obama at every turn and said that the American president’s fresh approach was “starting to bear fruit”.
Not a single additional French soldier will be sent to Afghanistan, however, and in Prague, Mr Sarkozy publicly berated Mr Obama for having the temerity to call for Turkey to be admitted to the European Union.
Perhaps the most tangible achievement of the trip was an agreement in principle with Russia to reduce nuclear stockpiles and negotiate a new arms control treaty.
But the Russian aspirations were similar to those expressed to Mr Bush at the Sochi summit a year ago and Moscow, with its ageing nuclear arsenal, has more to gain from strategic reductions than Washington.
Even one of Mr Obama senior adviser conceded that the “deal” with Russian could amount to nothing. “To establish an ambitious agenda does not mean we’re going to fulfil it, and we have no illusions about that,” he said.
Similarly, minutes before Mr Obama outlined his utopian vision of a nuclear free world, Gary Samore, a White House arms control adviser, admitted that this was “not a near-term possibility” and the speech was an attempt to exert pressure on Iran and North Korea by occupying “the moral high ground”.
Hours before Mr Obama’s Prague speech, Pyongyang launched a rocket over Japan – a clear test of the new president. Two days later, the United Nations Security Council had yet to agree on a response.And while he was visiting a few chosen few troops in Bagadad, Iraq the Somali pirates hijacked a ship with American sailors manning it.
The danger for Mr Obama is that his message often seems to circle back to himself and while there is little doubt that he has won European hearts much of the affection is for his persona rather than his policies. Does he aspire to be the President of the USA or the head of the new world state the “USA of the World Union”?
Source: London Telegraph