It was just two years ago that the entire world was reveling in – Nay! Basking in, glorifying in, delightfully drowning in! – the amazingness that was Barack Hussein Obama, mmm… mmm… mmm.
The new president elect was going to save the world. Practically the second coming, he would right all the wrongs that the evil George Bush had forced upon not only the United States but also its allies and its would be allies… You know, countries like Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, whom would like us if we only treated them with decency and respect… the same decency and respect that President Elect Obama would offer just as soon as he took office.
Cue the tears, the sighs, the fainting spells, the ummm… interesting dreams.
Now flash forward to reality as 2010 winds down. It doesn’t look as nice now, it doesn’t smell as nice, and it certainly doesn’t give us naughty thrills going up our legs.
Because right now, while European citizens may or may not like us, their governments certainly don’t. Neither do powerful, up-and-coming emerging markets like China and India.
And Iran? Come on people. Did you really think that was gonna happen? Please tell me you didn’t.
Europe’s Elected Officials Don’t like US
There is a growing list of reasons why outside governments are royally ticked off with us. Some of them are our fault and some of them not so much. But unfortunately, under the current regime with its marked disdain for anybody not conforming to its wishes, it’s mostly the U.S.’s fault.
Take the U.K.’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whom Obama snubbed repeatedly… beginning early in 2009, just after the President took office.
Or how about French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who was reported as going “cold” towards Obama by the end of last year?
The Financial Times reported that, “Mr. Sarkozy has expressed his frustration at the White House’s perceived equivocation over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the priority that Mr. Obama attaches to the long-term goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
“‘We are right to talk about the future but before the future there is the present, and the present is two major nuclear crises,’ Mr. Sarkozy said, alluding to Iran and North Korea. ‘We are living in a real world, not a virtual world,’ he added, in a clear dig at Mr Obama’s disarmament ambitions.”
Can’t say that I disagree with Sarkozy at all, but in defense of Obama, there are always going to be policy clashes in any international relationship. What there doesn’t have to be, is the flat-out rudeness that Obama displayed to the French, as the Times goes on to describe:
“Policy differences have been compounded by friction over choreography and symbolism. The Elysée still smarts at Mr Obama’s visit to France in June for the commemoration of the D-Day landings, when he declined an additional bilateral event with Mr Sarkozy.”
Incidentally, the Times left out the periods after “Mr.,” not me. But more importantly, the publication noted that, “the French press often publishes Mr Sarkozy’s unflattering comments about Mr Obama’s lack of prior government experience, his alleged difficulty in reaching decisions or his domestic electoral setbacks.”
Clearly, the French president ain’t exactly happy with his U.S. counterpart. For that matter, neither is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and she’s getting more and more ticked off with Obama and his policies every passing month.
This time around, it’s about the Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing, or QE2. Although it involves the U.S. government buying up U.S. government debt, it will have some serious consequences on the rest of the world… and Germany and the rest of Europe know it.
The “Little” Guys Don’t Like US Either
It goes without saying that Iran doesn’t like the U.S., despite Obama’s idiot attempts to reason with faux President Ahmadinejad. But if you want further proof, click here.
Our long-time ally Israel is getting quite fed up with us as well. Though it wasn’t widely reported, Obama has had a shoe or two thrown at him in the Middle East, just like his predecessor. Although in the sitting president’s case, it was his picture that was attacked, and not his actual person.
Then there’s the whole pre-doomed idea of peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Obama seems much more set on asking everything from Israel and nothing from Palestine, prompting hard feelings and some snarky responses from Jerusalem.
Over in India, the president’s pig-boy of a Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs just caused an international scene when three out of eight of his reporters weren’t allowed into a meeting between the two heads of states.
Not that India doesn’t already have its mind made up about us anyway. As Tony D’Altorio writes for Investment U, the $600 billion QE2 “makes it a pretty safe bet that Fed Chief Ben Bernanke won’t be winning any international popularity contests anytime soon.”
And neither will Obama. D’Altorio goes on to give a clear breakdown of what QE2 is “in all of its $600 billion glory,” explaining why countries like China, India, Russia and Brazil are taking such offense at the plan. China especially is angry with us, and it’s got the power to really punch back… hard.
And speaking of hitting things, Obama’s pretty campaign promises of ending the war in Iraq really doesn’t mean much, despite hailing the supposed end of the war earlier this year. According to the AP yesterday, “The United States is open to the idea of keeping troops in Iraq past a deadline to leave next year if Iraq asks for it.”
Oh right, and we’ll still be fighting in Afghanistan through 2014.
So much for world peace. And with the way commodities are going up – also thanks to QE2 – we may not even be able to settle for whirled peas either.