President Obama’s disdain for that class of nations and leaders traditionally referred to as “allies” has become apparent even to the more obtuse among us. I refer to the New York Times‘ s featured op-ed, by the noted op-ed-er Roger Cohen, a distinguished former foreign correspondent in central Europe and elsewhere, who has just noticed that President Obama doesn’t cultivate foreign friendships the way he promised to, gosh darn it. Embarrassingly late to the party, aren’t you, Roger?
Mr. Cohen is perturbed by President Obama’s indifference to tried and true European allies, noting with consternation:
[Obama] has dedicated scant diplomatic energy to Europe. . . . he is the first post-Atlanticist president, drawn by temperament, upbringing and circumstance to focus elsewhere.
But where? Or, rather, what has the president gained by abandoning European allies?
President Obama gave a famously fawning speech in Cairo. Despite his best efforts, a year later people in Egypt have a less favorable view of the U.S. than during the end of the reign of the hated Bush the Younger. Middle Eastern, Asian and Russian governments Obama has wooed seem to show much interest in cooperation, while Western governments mope like jilted lovers.
After the President’s infamous gift to Gordon Brown, snub of Binyamin Netanyahu, cancellation of his trip to Australia, and general lack of chemistry with any foreign leader whose name is not Hugo Chavez.
In short, Mr. Cohen, my only question is this: what took you so long?