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Thread: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

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    Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    How can this be? O was going to heal all of the U.S. foreign policy difficulties brought about by Dubya!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/wo...r.html?hp&_r=0

    While tangling with the leaders of two cold war antagonists of the United States is nothing new, the two bruising encounters in such a short span underscore a hard reality for Mr. Obama as he heads deeper into a second term that may come to be dominated by foreign policy: his main counterparts on the world stage are not his friends, and they make little attempt to cloak their disagreements in diplomatic niceties.

    Even his friends are not always so friendly. On Wednesday, for example, the president is to meet in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has invited him to deliver a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. But Ms. Merkel is also expected to press Mr. Obama about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which offend privacy-minded Germans.

    For all of his effort to cultivate personal ties with foreign counterparts over the last four and a half years — the informal “shirt-sleeves summit” with Mr. Xi was supposed to nurture a friendly rapport that White House aides acknowledge did not materialize — Mr. Obama has complicated relationships with some, and has bet on others who came to disappoint him.


    but... but... but... he's THE ONE.
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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Cool, if not downright cold, relations between the US and China, and the US and Russia, especially the US and Russia, is hardly anything new and if you actually read the article it says the same thing. I don't know how many people accused Bush of souring our already troubled relationship with both Russia and China, but I don't recall it being a major talking point. Souring relations with the Europeans certainly, but not really Russia and China. Plus there are issues being faced now, like Syria and cyber crime that didn't exist or weren't as big back when Bush was President. You can't really compare Bush and Obama on those issues, because those issues didn't exist.

    To call a cooling of relations between Russia and the US for supporting different sides of a civil war a failure of Presidental ability isn't really accurate or fair, really a cooling of relations is a natural part of being on two seperate sides of a civil war.
    Last edited by Wiseone; 06-19-13 at 05:13 AM.

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    Cool, if not downright cold, relations between the US and China, and the US and Russia, especially the US and Russia, is hardly anything new and if you actually read the article it says the same thing. I don't know how many people accused Bush of souring our already troubled relationship with both Russia and China, but I don't recall it being a major talking point. Souring relations with the Europeans certainly, but not really Russia and China. Plus there are issues being faced now, like Syria and cyber crime that didn't exist or weren't as big back when Bush was President. You can't really compare Bush and Obama on those issues, because those issues didn't exist.

    To call a cooling of relations between Russia and the US for supporting different sides of a civil war a failure of Presidental ability isn't really accurate or fair, really a cooling of relations is a natural part of being on two seperate sides of a civil war.
    In principle I agree, but for eight years all we heard was that Cowboy Bush was spoiling U.S. relations with the world.
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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by wbcoleman View Post
    How can this be? O was going to heal all of the U.S. foreign policy difficulties brought about by Dubya!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/wo...r.html?hp&_r=0

    While tangling with the leaders of two cold war antagonists of the United States is nothing new, the two bruising encounters in such a short span underscore a hard reality for Mr. Obama as he heads deeper into a second term that may come to be dominated by foreign policy: his main counterparts on the world stage are not his friends, and they make little attempt to cloak their disagreements in diplomatic niceties.

    Even his friends are not always so friendly. On Wednesday, for example, the president is to meet in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has invited him to deliver a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. But Ms. Merkel is also expected to press Mr. Obama about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which offend privacy-minded Germans.

    For all of his effort to cultivate personal ties with foreign counterparts over the last four and a half years — the informal “shirt-sleeves summit” with Mr. Xi was supposed to nurture a friendly rapport that White House aides acknowledge did not materialize — Mr. Obama has complicated relationships with some, and has bet on others who came to disappoint him.


    but... but... but... he's THE ONE.
    The damage Bush did to relations world wide was massive and you have to earn that trust back. Obama has gone some of the way, but far far from all the way. Instead of the US having the benefit of the doubt these days, the US has to prove its intentions.

    A good example is the whole "chemical weapons use" in Syria. France came out and said that Assad use it, but the US said it needed to double check the French results. Fair enough, but when the US finally came out and said it was true, the world said .... oh really? Everyone had forgotten the French evidence and that of the UN, but were pointing out that the US "called wolf" once before so why should the US be trusted?

    Like it or not the US has lost a lot of credibility world wide because of Bush, and Obama has been unable to regain that credibility and I doubt that any US president in the near future will be able to do that.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    The damage Bush did to relations world wide was massive and you have to earn that trust back. Obama has gone some of the way, but far far from all the way. Instead of the US having the benefit of the doubt these days, the US has to prove its intentions.

    A good example is the whole "chemical weapons use" in Syria. France came out and said that Assad use it, but the US said it needed to double check the French results. Fair enough, but when the US finally came out and said it was true, the world said .... oh really? Everyone had forgotten the French evidence and that of the UN, but were pointing out that the US "called wolf" once before so why should the US be trusted?

    Like it or not the US has lost a lot of credibility world wide because of Bush, and Obama has been unable to regain that credibility and I doubt that any US president in the near future will be able to do that.
    Actually, the U.S. had better relations with many, many countries under Bush. O is in this thing over his head.
    Zionism is the National Liberation Movement of the Jewish People.

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by wbcoleman View Post
    Actually, the U.S. had better relations with many, many countries under Bush. O is in this thing over his head.
    Oh... who?
    PeteEU

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by wbcoleman View Post
    Actually, the U.S. had better relations with many, many countries under Bush. O is in this thing over his head.
    Perhaps you meant to say that the US had better relations with the governments of many countries under Bush rather than with the countries. The people of many countries did not like Bush, there is no getting around that.

    I think the exact opposite is true now. The people of many countries are wild for Obama, but the governments don't seem to like him at all. I don't really see this as a surprise because Obama does better talking to groups, but he apparently isn't very good one-on-one. He reportedly has little personal engagement with members of Congress, even his own party.

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by AliHajiSheik View Post
    Perhaps you meant to say that the US had better relations with the governments of many countries under Bush rather than with the countries. The people of many countries did not like Bush, there is no getting around that.

    I think the exact opposite is true now. The people of many countries are wild for Obama, but the governments don't seem to like him at all. I don't really see this as a surprise because Obama does better talking to groups, but he apparently isn't very good one-on-one. He reportedly has little personal engagement with members of Congress, even his own party.
    Being liked is over rated. Being trusted is far, far more valuable in international relations.

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by humbolt View Post
    Being liked is over rated. Being trusted is far, far more valuable in international relations.
    Greetings, humbolt.

    I'd like to carry that a bit further, and state that it is almost always better to be trusted, because that is a great measure of character. For instance, in polls, BHO is usually rated "likeable."

    So which is the greatest compliment....I like him, or I trust him? I'll go with trust every time, because trust is earned!

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    Re: Extending a Hand Abroad, Obama Often Finds a Cold Shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by wbcoleman View Post
    Actually, the U.S. had better relations with many, many countries under Bush. O is in this thing over his head.
    I think the only country the US had better relations with under Bush was Israel. That's mostly because Netanyahu is a hawk who doesn't want peace, but Obama is not and does.

    I went to see Obama when he visited Berlin in 2008, before he was elected, and thought he at least had a very good speechwriter and showed a really nice gesture towards us Germans, who were really pissed off by Bush. Now, 5 years later, I'm disappointed in Obama because he has not managed to clean up everything he promised.

    I'm disappointed he did not close Gitmo and did not end massive violations of basic human rights that started under Bush, but even expanded some of them. I'm disappointed he did not more to solve the Middle Eastern conflict and that he keeps supporting Prism. But I'm glad he did not start a war against Iran, and that he treats us as who we are -- close allies of the US, rather than vassals --, addresses us, shows that he tries to understand us even if he disagrees.

    Unlike Bush, Obama at least is from the same planet as we are and pays us respect, even if we disagree. Bush, on the other hand, thought the chauvinistic anti-European voters at home are more important for him than his closest allies. And he was culturally totally alien to us.

    So, on the bottom line, I think Obama has achieved much after all regarding public opinion of America over here.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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