Remember the rounds of applause from around the world in November 2008 with the Obama victory? The deafening calls of congratulations have been replaced by a deafening round of criticism.
I have read about the recent overseas report where French President Nicolas Sarkozy considers President Obama “insane” for his vision of global relations. Whether Sarkozy meant that the American president was “insane”, a “mad lunatic”, or merely “naïve”, it would be easy to relegate this report to the back pages of the political tabloids if it were not coupled with the recent refusal of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to attend the Obama-led nuclear summit this week.
What was once a reliable chorus of global support for change after the Bush Administration is becoming an audible round of grumbles from historical allies of the United States. To date, this is a problem for America internationally that has been ignored by its citizens due to their focus on domestic issues. Many allies’ primary gripe of the Bush White House – unilateral aggression in the war on terror – is in the process of being replaced by a new frustration: this administration’s unilateral vision of a “new world order” that includes a balance of power amongst traditional foes regardless of the threatening agendas therein.
The disapproval of Netanyahu and Sarkozy – coupled with the continued actions of anti-American regimes such as Iran and North Korea – serve as a warning for Americans that the alliances built by previous administrations to ensure American safety could now come into question due to the Obama Administration’s willingness to “balance” the scales of power. Such moves as the recent START treaty to reduce the American nuclear arsenal by one-third comes at a time when countries that we work to stabilize (e.g. Afghanistan under the Karzai Administration) have thumbed their noses at American efforts and nations that we work to improve relations with (e.g., the aforementioned Iran under both President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) call America “wicked” with an eye towards justifying their nuclear ambitions. With relations such as these brewing throughout the world, the need for unity with America’s allies only intensifies. Due to this, the longer the simmering tensions between America’s traditional allies and the Obama Administration continue, the more another major aspect of the 2008 Obama Promise comes undone: namely, the Obama ability to “restore America’s standing throughout the world” among our allies and those that once viewed the USA as the “shining city on the hill.”
The hyper-egalitarian approach that President Obama would like to apply globally not only impacts our relationships with historical allies, but it threatens world peace as well. The desire to have a world without nuclear weaponry is a noble one, but the pursuit of such a world by balancing power with nations that have vowed to “wipe” other nations from the map only increases the likelihood that nuclear power will eventually be tapped for sinister and war-time purposes. There seems to be a growing concern from our allies that this basic reality is being overlooked by the current administration due to its willingness to believe that the leadership of rogue nations have, at its core, a desire to live cooperatively as global neighbors. However, rounds of historical evidence highlighting human nature indicate that this never has been the case for very long. Even if well-intended and well-reasoned in private, the public rifts with Israel and France only serve as fodder for inspiration for the growing threats coming from Iran and others.
Those throughout the world inspired to cheer on President-elect Barack Obama back in November 2008 now seem to choose to withhold their applause. The expectation that America would seek a new level of cooperative efforts with its allies is vanishing into the abyss of an Obama-driven vision of less nukes, more balance, and world peace – even if that vision is a unilateral directive that seems to be intolerant of historical precedence or current events in its quest to bring about unwarranted global military equality. Perhaps Sarkozy does not think that Obama is insane, just as Netanyahu may come around to warm back up with the president. However, it does not seem as though either one – or a growing group of American allies – will join in a chorus of applause or a round of “Hail to the Chief” anytime soon.
Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator, podcast co-host, and the author of the book, “Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative,)” purchased online at www.tinyurl.com/lennysdiary and www.amazon.com. He will be featured on featured guest on “The Callie Crossley Show,” (www.wgbh.org/calliecrossley ) out of WGBH Radio in Boston Tuesday April 13. The show will air live between 1-2pm on 89.7FM locally. Follow him at www.twitter.com/lennyhhr and on Facebook at www.tinyurl.com/lennyfacebook .