Yesterday, Victor Davis Hanson with Investors Business Daily did an excellent job of describing our current international situation.
On his trip to Asia, President Obama found China, Japan and South Korea — like many nations these days — in no mood to hear more American lectures.
Beijing is worried about owning so much American debt. Tokyo is tiring of an American military base in Okinawa, and wants to redefine its relationship with us. Seoul is starting to doubt American commitment to keep it safe from North Korea.
Why all the sudden pushback to our charismatic president?
Our dollar is crashing, while the price of gold is soaring. The budget deficit has never been worse — and the president wants to float even more debt for health care and energy initiatives.
By the end of this presidential term, we may add another $9 trillion to our already astronomical $11 trillion debt. Unemployment has already topped 10%. This quarter’s trade deficit reached a near-historic high. Our debtors and oil exporters talk of scrapping the dollar as the common international currency.
American hesitation abroad reflects the shaky economic news. In Afghanistan, we can’t decide whether to seek victory or admit defeat — or simply vote present by keeping the status quo.
President Obama reached out to enemies like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. But so far they remain unimpressed, despite his apologizing for an assortment of supposed past American sins.
The Chinese don’t listen all that much anymore to our sermons on their human-rights, coal-burning and free-trade abuses — not when they hold $1.5 trillion in U.S. assets.” Investors Business Daily November 19th, 2009
(I know, I don’t like long quotes either, but this one is worth reading.)
In nine months President Obama has managed to do all the above (no fun intended) to our foreign relations. So, why aren’t Ahmadinejad and Chavez impressed with Obama, even with his apologies? Well, probably partly because of the apologies, it shows how much he trusts his country. Plus, some says he’s a narcissist.
Indeed, the word “narcissist” is increasingly being applied to America’s 44th president. Pulitzer prize-winning columnist and former psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer asks, “Does the narcissism of this man know no bounds? ‘The most dangerous thing about having a narcissist in a position of power is his unwillingness – perhaps his inability – to ever admit error.’ Jack Kelly, journalist and former high-ranking Reagan administration Pentagon official.” World Net Daily May 6th, 2009
With an unforgiving, self-centered president, America suddenly has limits lower than the sky. Things begin to become about “me” and when “I” am the only thing that matters, robust solutions become harder to find.