Alright, Europe loves the Obamas. No surprise there. We got that. What else?
First stop was the G20 summit, which by most expert opinions never brings about any concrete measures that solve anything (kinda like all those U.N resolutions if you ask me).
This particular G20 was a success pretty much in style, the grand "fanfare" if you will, and perhaps in the world leaders trying to reassure their constituents back home that they are trying to do something, anything! But the substance of it all? Eh...
Some leaders were trying to show that they were playing an important role in whatever outcome, either by acting tough ( Sarkozy), extremely cautious ( Merkel), by being the gracious host ( Brown) etc...( I’m not sure what the Italian PM thought his role was going to be..)
Second stop NATO. Message from Europe: Sure go ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan but in terms of actual help, America, you’re on your own.
I must say I’m not that surprised about this either.
Is it fair to summarize this trip the way most pundits and commentators are already starting to frame it: Yes, Europe is in love with the American president but they will not do anything he is asking them to do, which pretty much means that he failed in his mission?
They say part of the reason Obama is doing well in terms of welcome is that he’s not Bush. That’s true.
But do we hold any illusions that McCain would have had that kind of welcome and goodwill? He wasn’t Bush. Or wait, was he? God the campaign seems so close yet so far away..lol
Can we get a little perspective please??!
Obama went to Europe as the head of state of a country that’s being blamed for all the wrongs and evil in the world. The way Europeans see it, fairly or unfairly, in the last decade, the U.S invaded a sovereign country, ignored and even scorned the international community, allowed the torture of captured individuals, bullied its way into doing what it wanted to do without any conscience or consideration for the rest of world.
The only reason it got away with it was its economic (and military) superiority. Now, it turns out, even THAT was somewhat of an illusion and all came crashing down hard last fall, threatening the very livelihood of every other nation out there.
WHO was he to lecture anyone? Who was he to even dare try telling them how to fix this when he was coming from the same place (with the same advisers) that messed this thing up in the first place?
The U.S president (even a new one) probably should have been welcomed with riots, pitchforks, burned effigies and maybe even thrown out of their continent for fear that whatever bad luck the U.S has had lately was contagious.
Certainly not a rock star welcome with world leaders asking for autographs and trying their best to get the most pictures taken with him.
Most of the protests were about....apparently everything from the looks of it: Capitalism, Global Warming, War in Ethiopia, drinking alcohol in broad daylight, love for lady bugs, circus clowns.. That sort of thing... Very little Anti-America and probably none Anti-Obama. When was the last time that's ever happened?
I think trying to get Europe to go on board with whatever the U.S thinks is the best solution to get out of this mess PLUS venturing into another war was a very tall order even for someone as seemingly awesome as Obama.
He needed first to earn their respect and trust before getting any substantial support from them... I think he probably laid down the groundwork for it.
He certainly managed to appease them.
Now, what we need to see is how much time he’s bought himself, abroad and at home.
PS: As much as I love seeing how much other people seem to respond to this fella, can we cool a little on the adulation until we start to see some real results from the policies he’s implemented? Me thinks it’s starting to turn a little creepy...