Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Obama: beats up on allies, whimpers to dictators.

If you weren't up to speed on US foreign relations, one could mistake these people for enemies of the USA:

Stephen Harper Benjamin Netanyahu Angela Merkel

Obama is insensitive to their countries' aspirations and need for fair treatment.  He is willing to stand on principle, or not, and disappoint allies because he knows he can. With future consequences that may or may not happen within his presidency, the likelihood of blowback is not clear. The damage from blowback is seen as less harmful?

Instead, one might think these were his key allies and trading partners.

Vladimir Putin Ali Khamenei Xi Jinping

Obama has shown more diplomacy and more listening for these enemies of US interests, or least competitors on the global stage,  to pursue an isolationist agenda that includes cow-towing and dithering despite a mandate to apply those same principles he imposes on allies. With future consequences that are more likely and indeed far more consequential this damage might be catastrophic.  

Do the ends justify the means?  Is this diplomacy by damage control?