Senator Barack Obama criticized the administration of President George W Bush for the way he handled diplomatic relations with countries that had proven to be anti-America. In his presidential campaign, Obama vowed to use dialog with our adversaries instead of the typical confrontational methods used previously. Basically, Obama told the world that he would rather talk than fight. After all, look at all of the international diplomatic experience that Sen Obama had on his resume. Oops, there wasn’t any.
In less than a month from now, Obama will have had three years in the White House and perhaps it’s time to take a look to see just how successful his open dialog method has been.
Upon taking his oath of office in January of 2009, most of his foreign policy gurus believed that Venezuela would be one of the easiest US adversaries to woo over with the President’s experienced diplomatic dialog. At first it appeared that Obama may have made some headway when he shook hands with Venezuela’s dictator Chavez at a summit in 2009.
However, just recently, Obama expressed the US’s deep concerns to a Venezuelan newspaper about how their government was restricting the personal freedoms of the Venezuelan people. The progress of Obama’s US – Venezuelan relationship was evident when Venezuelan President Chavez told Obama to leave his country alone and to concentrate on the disaster he made of the US. Chavez also referred to Obama as a clown.
Obama’s next adversary to consider is Syria. The situation in that country had deteriorated so far that former President George W Bush left the ambassador position to Syria unfilled. Optimistic Obama tried to open a line of communication with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and then filled the empty ambassador position with Robert Ford. Obama kept pursuing a peaceful dialog with al-Assad in an effort to get him to change many of his harsh policies towards the Syrian people.
Currently, the Arab Spring civil strife has been raging in the streets of Damascus resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Al-Assad has vowed to put down the unrest with force and has all but severed the peaceful dialog with Obama and the US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has opened a line of dialog with the Syrian opposition leaders, but if you recall, the US did the same in Egypt only to see them become as bad if not worse than the regime of Mubarak.
Then we come to Iran who may be the leader among US adversaries, with North Korea being a close second. In Obama’s freshman year in office, he was bound and determined to open a line of communication with Iran’s leaders. Attempt after attempt after attempt was made until after a year of fruitless progress, the administration woke up and realized that Iran was not going to listen to Obama’s words. In response to Obama’s efforts of peaceful dialog, Iran has stepped up its nuclear program and its open hostility to anything and anyone American. They did their best to flaunt the capture of the US drone in front of Obama in a way as to ridicule him in front of the whole world.
In some instances, Obama’s open dialog has been so successful that in his three year reign he has turned once US allies into near adversaries. Obama has literally thrown longtime US ally Israel under his Muslim bus and has managed to back up and run over them several times.
Russian President Putin was on somewhat descent terms with the US under former President George W Bush. Yet Putin’s tone has gotten much colder and harsher since Obama tried to dazzle him with the twinkling open communication. The once Cold War enemy that warmed up to US diplomatic relations has once again been getting colder.
Under former President George W Bush, the US had a somewhat warm relationship with Pakistan. Obama’s approach with them has been so successful that it wouldn’t take much more for Pakistani President Zardari to declare all-out war with the United States.
If I were a teacher and had to grade Obama’s foreign diplomatic policy and progress, I would give him an F as it seems obvious that he has done more to alienate the US from the rest of the world than any other president in history.