41 thoughts on “More Of That Smart Diplomacy

    1. Schteveo

      …and thanks to our leftist MSM, he gets away with it. If they haven’t called him anything for over 3 years, they certainly won’t start between now and the 1st Tuesday in November.

      I’m also assuming that so long as ALL of his favorite countries continue to get $$$$ they won’t call Him on it either. I’m just waiting for him to say the Muslim Brotherhood is his favorite ‘hood!

  1. Josh Reiter

    What I can’t stand is the “uhhh uhhhh uhhhh” between every 3rd word. Particularly when you see he is just repeating the same droll compliment again and again. It shows he’s faking sincerity by making it sound as if it is an original and carefully worded introspection. But no, he’s just trained in reguritating scripted material in a extemporaneous manner. All hail the faker in chief!

    1. ken anthony

      Sure, except when the agenda is “I can see Russia from my house,” it would then be repeated for days as an example of how stupid that person is (never mind all their successful executive experience and high approval ratings for years.)

      Your absolutely right Andrew, standard media fare.

    2. Karl Hallowell

      That’s all pretty standard fair, and has been from many, many, Presidents.

      So does the US want a president who can’t be bothered to spend a few minutes of a speechwriter’s time to come up with genuine compliments for strong allies of the US? I doubt it.

      1. Andrew W

        Hey, I’m a New Zealander, I’ve seen visiting Presidents and Secretaries of State spout these types of words of praise when visiting this country for decades.

        “great ally”, “special relationship”,”good friend” etc.

        Always technically correct, as were Obama’s comments.

        In New Zealand’s case there is an interesting twist in that with the suspension of military relationships as a result of the nuclear ships issue in the ’80’s, the references changed from “ally” to “friend”, and there has been a great deal and tedious amount of political and media discussion in NZ over the which word (“ally” or “friend”) was being used, and whether or when we’d get the “ally” label back.

          1. DaveP.

            Yeah we do. Lots of them. I still haven’t forgotten NZ’s “Nike-Free” declaration in the ’80s.

        1. DaveP.

          Verbatim, from their speeches in other countries? Knowing they were being taped?
          Examples, please.

  2. Joe Triscari

    Don’t be too hard on the President. While an inability to find differences among easily distinguished quantities is the definition of stupidity to most of us, it’s also called “nuance” among he academic left.

    The President was being “nuanced.”

  3. Bob-1

    NATO countries, Australia (ANZUS), Japan, South Korea, Israel.

    Are each of these countries “one of our strongest and closest allies?”
    Out of the 196 (or so) countries in the world, the answer is surely yes.

    Criticizing the President for treating the NATO countries as one in the same is particularly silly given our sworn promise to treat an attack on any one of those countries as an attack on the United States, and vice versa. And you all understand perfectly well what the military relationship is between the USA and Japan and South Korea.

    About Israel: Aaron David Miller, on what it was like to stay with the US Secretary of State in a Jerusalem hotel: “Shin Bet was incredibly turf-conscious, and was one of only a handful of security agencies in the world that was allowed to position agents on the Secretary’s floor beyond the Marine guard.”

      1. Leland

        He says “One of” to the NATO countries, but “there is no stronger ally” than the Netherlands. Them Dutch are powerful and, say it with me, “they punch above their weight”.

        1. Bob-1

          His use of the word “strong” needn’t refer to military power, but rather, to commitment. We can discuss the Netherlands if you like — given their experience in WWII, I’d say they’ve been strongly committed to NATO since its founding. But consider military might — do they punch above their weight? I’d say so: the Netherlands, with 16 million people, has roughly the same population as Cameroon. Or compare to the Netherlands to Indonesia, its former colony, which has 14 times the population. Being in NATO has benefits.

          But sure, the President was exaggerating a bit. And how did this hurt the interests of the United States? Are the UK and the US going to stop sharing military intelligence if we say nice things about the Netherlands? It is all superficial nonsense. And speaking of superficialities: you guys made hay out of Obama’s bad personal relationship with Gordon Brown, but not a word when Obama and Cameron were so visibly chummy on their basketball trip to Ohio last week.

          1. Jiminator

            And how did this hurt the interests of the United States?

            For me it goes to credibility

          2. Karl Hallowell

            And how did this hurt the interests of the United States?

            How did similar behavior hurt the US when previous presidents did it? By insulting countries and weakening support for our interests in those countries.

            Are the UK and the US going to stop sharing military intelligence if we say nice things about the Netherlands?

            Yes, that could happen as a result. What you ignore here is that not every decision that other countries can make with respect to the US are going to be easy ones. The more respect and affection that country has for the US, the easier it is to influence them to make decisions that favor the US.

            It would have been near trivial for an aide to come up with genuine compliments for each country. Coming up with the same lousy and cliched speech for each country is insulting and projects, correctly I believe, the impression that Obama doesn’t care about the country or foreign policy in general.

            From a more selfish viewpoint, it’s going to be a little harder for Obama to get votes at home in the next election. This is solid evidence that he just goes apathetically on cruise control whenever he does foreign functions. Do we really want that for our president?

            Is it really that hard for you to see the problems with politicians who can’t be bothered to take a little effort to know the person they’re greeting or say something genuine about a country or organization that they’re complimenting?

          3. Bob-1

            >>Are the UK and the US going to stop sharing military intelligence if we say nice things about the Netherlands?
            >Yes, that could happen as a result.

            Thank you for the laugh.

            >who can’t be bothered to take a little effort to know the person they’re greeting

            If that’s what you’re looking for, I’d look past the speeches to the basketball game outing via Air Force One:
            http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/when-barack-met-david-a-regular-guy-transatlantic-lovefest/

            Or you could consider what really matters:
            http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/309951/Frederick-Forsyth

          4. Karl Hallowell

            >Yes, that could happen as a result.

            Thank you for the laugh.

            Sorry, Bob-1, there was no joke here.

            As to your links, Bob-1, they indicate good foreign policy efforts on the part of the UK and David Cameron. But what of the US? Mr. “You people are our best friends” doesn’t need to pull his weight in these stories.

  4. Leland

    This is solid evidence that he just goes apathetically on cruise control whenever he does foreign functions. Do we really want that for our president?

    Indeed, that’s the issue to me. Jiminator says it more simply. It certainly was the point of the news coverage.

    1. Karl Hallowell

      I think it’s three closely related problems. As Jiminator noted, painfully insincere comments undermine his credibility. And the lack of any sort of effort to make a unique compliment indicates to me serious apathy in an important job function of the US President. But finally, it also indicates that Obama just talks too much.

      1. Chris L

        The issue goes beyond foreign functions. I think it’s clear that Obama doesn’t care for the job of POTUS, just the title. He likes being able to use Air Force One for “date night” with the Mrs. in Chicago, but actually governing (as anyone who looked seriously at his resume could tell) just isn’t his thing. So his lack of interest in actually doing the business of nations is hardly surprising.

      2. Leland

        Yes, apathy is a big concern as well. Pretty difficult to negotiate trade agreements when oneside just wants some time to finish his waffles.

  5. ken anthony

    Oh let’s give the president some credit… he does give genuine compliments (in other languages even) when apologizing to terrorists in the middle east.

  6. Schteveo

    I had a though on Obumble calling everyone our GREATEST ally.

    I wonder if it’s not from his speech writers being part of the crackberry / tweeting / Facebook crowd? Follow me here,…IF you ‘friend’ every Tom, Dick, Mary or any corporation(s) with which (whom?) you come into contact, is it a stretch then, to think ALL countries are your greatest ‘friend’, or ally?

    I’m not being flippant, I’m asking is it a (foolish, even childish) mindset, based on their daily habits that has Obumbles speech writers putting these words in his mouth? I’m tying this together like this, because I keep seeing and hearing younger people using the term ‘friends’ for what we used to call acquaintances or just people we worked with, or for products we liked.

    1. Bob-1

      You understand that by “ALL countries” and “everyone”, you’re referring to the select few, right? Obama wasn’t talking about Cameroon, here. There is room for confusion on this point only because Europe is composed of lots of small countries, many of whom are part of NATO.

      A sort-of interesting discussion might be squeezed out of this inanity if someone wanted to question whether simply being one of the 27 other NATO signatories automatically makes that country one of our strongest and greatest allies. I’m rather sure, in fact, that people here will question that status when it comes to the new NATO members, like Estonia, or a Muslim-majority nations, like Turkey, or a country which is both (Albania). And there’s Iceland (no military). And there is France, which didn’t integrate its military with NATO until Sarkozy came along, but has been an ally in other ways. Except during that little adventure in the Suez, which kind of tainted the US-UK alliance too….

      Ah well, never mind, lets just imagine Obama is lazy.

      1. Leland

        There is room for confusion on this point only because Europe is composed of lots of small countries

        Yeah, Bob, all those countries are exactly the same. No difference amongst them at all. I’m sure they’ll agree with that characterization.

      2. Schteveo

        Bob,
        by limiting the ‘list’ to just NATO countries, it doesn’t change or diminish the problem. By saying to any person, country or entity that THEY are your strongEST ally, it moves everyone else to the Number 2 position or lower.

        There is no concept in the English language where the addition of “EST” creates a situation of duality where more than one person, country or entity can be our oldEST, strongEST, bestEST friend, ally or business partner.

        It’s an impossibility physically and grammatically.

        (…and yes, I do know bestest isn’t a word)

        Beyond that, is there EVER a statement, situation or move this POTUS has, will or might make that you won’t defend? This kind of laziness makes us look like weak and foolish for having him as our leader. The very fact that our MSM hasn’t called him on this, but the European media has, is scary to many of us. The media isn’t supposed to be partisan.

        This is the same MSM that pilloried GWB for verbal fumbles, remember. But it’s letting Barack Obama get away with outright lies or falsehoods. And even if it IS just laziness, why don’t they point it out?

        Why don’t you? Are you so sold on the idea of WH laziness, that it’s OK for them to act this way, in a world like we have today?

        It’s Dec 6, 1941, October 1962, and September 8, 2001 all rolled into one, in case you didn’t notice. The world, and our country, are seconds away from going up in financial and military smoke. There was a time when the ‘word’ of a United States President carried weight and reassurance.

        There is NO weight or reassurance when ANYONE tells more than one person, country or entity that we have YOUR back, THEN he’ll protect everyone else, IF he tells everyone they are first. And that’s what he’s done. Who’s got your back personally Bob? I mean at home or at work? Are you sure?

        Or are you just one of 27 people that your ‘protective ally and partner’, told that that ‘YOU’ were number one?

        1. Bob-1

          Did you play the video, and listen to what Obama said? As was noted here, he (almost) always said “one of”.

          As to the rest of your comment, I’m betting on the United States, and on civilization in general, and I think life for future generations will be better than ours, not worse, but yes, life is full of uncertainty and danger, and if you’re inclined to worry, then yes, you can find plenty of reason to worry. You can find good reasons to worry about yourself personally, or you can worry about the whole world. But I don’t see anything worrisome about having a level-headed guy like Obama as President of the United States. People on this blog frequently make interesting arguments for why I’m wrong about that, but pointing out that Obama has said equally nice things about various NATO allies doesn’t strike me as an interesting or persuasive argument. I’m concerned about the USA’s foreign affairs, and I’m concerned about Obama’s performance, but I’m not particularly concerned about how Obama does the most superficial parts of his job. Feel free to have the last word, but I think I’m done with this thread.

          1. Karl Hallowell

            but I’m not particularly concerned about how Obama does the most superficial parts of his job.

            You obviously aren’t concerned with how Obama does or doesn’t do his job. But even the most superficial parts of the job (greeting other heads of state not being an example BTW) are very public and hence, require attention to detail from someone.

            Remember the “Joe the Plumber” thing? Candidate Obama was killing some time on the campaign trail and said the wrong thing to a bystander that he happened to greet.

  7. ken anthony

    Bob, I just want you to know you’re the strongest and closest. If I’ve said that about anybody else just remember I only mean what I say now. Not one sentence ago, I mean now. Well, that would be now. Except that I’ve just added another sentence so this would be actually now. Let me be clear. Closest and best. Oh, and strongest. Damn, left out closest that time.

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