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November 18, 2009

Obama Went To China And All He Got Was A Mao T-Shirt


Actually, the Chinese got the shirts or they did before the thugs that run the country banned them (supposedly because they might offend Obama, I don't see why one would jump to that conclusion).

As for actual accomplishments? Unless you call getting the back of China's hand an accomplishment, no, none of those were to be found.

"He came bearing a long shopping list, including Chinese support for tougher sanctions on Iran and more flexibility by Beijing on currency exchange rates, but Obama was met with polite, yet stony, silences....Not only is the U.S. president coming away without any definable concessions, but the Chinese appeared to be digging in their heels.....Perhaps most disappointing was China's failure to budge in its opposition to tougher sanctions on Iran. With their extensive oil interests influencing their policies toward Tehran, the Chinese are increasingly seen as an obstacle to reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions.....

"Obama did not meet with Chinese journalists, lawyers, human rights advocates, environmentalists or any ordinary Chinese, and an expected meeting with Hu Shuli, who recently resigned as editor of China's leading business magazine, did not materialize.Obama's limited results in part reflect the profound shift in Sino-U.S. relations and global politics, with China's rapid rise and America's weakened position, especially in the wake of the financial crisis."

That's part of a rundown of stories on Obama's failures in China by Seth Leibsohn at The Corner, go ahead, click over for the whole sad story.

Leibsohn makes the point this is all very reminiscent of the Carter years and that's true. The problem is we are only 10 months into this administration and it's already worse than the Carter years. Jimmah, for all his ability to do the wrong thing took much longer to reach this level of danger.

One difference I think is that Carter looked at a tired and weathered country (the upheavals of the 60s, Vietnam, Watergate, the oil shocks) and decided that there just wasn't anything that could be done. He was simply overwhelmed by the situation and didn't have the capacity to see another way, so he tried to put a smiley face on what he saw as an unreversable position.

While Obama certainly inherited some significant challenges, just as all Presidents have, he seems to see this set of challenges as an opportunity to remake America (his words, not mine). Instead of dealing with these problems as temporary and fixable, Obama has decided they are an opportunity, not to reinvigorate the country but to bring it to what he sees as its rightful place in the world...just another country among equals. Nothing special, except perhaps for the mistakes its made and the damage its done.

It's simply not possible to look at his attitudes and actions toward countries like Iran, Burma (I know, don't care what the thugs want to be called) and Honduras or thugs like Cavez and Putin and conclude anything other than a willful effort to be more accommodating to them.

Look at his willingness to throw the Dalai Lama, a fellow Nobel Laureate, under the bus on this trip.

The leaders of China, Russia and Iran are nothing if not pros. They have all survived tough and often deadly systems to get where they are. They are not going to be impressed or moved by Obama's 'humbleness' or 'humility'. They are going to see it for what it is, a kick me sign. And trust me, they are going to kick him and by extension us, right in the butt for the next 3+ years. Unfortunately, Obama seems to see that as a feature, not a bug of his policies.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:52 AM

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