Commentary Magazine


Contentions

America’s New Friends

Indeed, Barack Obama is making good on his campaign promise and changing foreign opinions of the U.S.:

Hamas official Ahmed Yousef said in an interview with al-Jazeera television that there had been “some positive things” in Obama’s statements, the Associated Press reported from Cairo.

In a statement posted on sympathetic Web sites yesterday, the Taliban called the Guantanamo closure a “positive step” but said it was an insufficient change in Bush’s “satanic” policies in the region and the world, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist sites.

. . . Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Monday that he is open to a dialogue with the Obama administration but that he would not accept any preconditions to talks.

Hamas, the Taliban, and Bashar al-Assad all like what they’ve seen of President Obama so far. Had this first-week hat trick been predicted by the GOP ticket during the election, John McCain would have been run out of the country for invoking the politics of fear. Had it been foretold as fact, he’d have won the election.

This is what happens when myths go unchecked. In reality, George W. Bush did not leave the White House on bad terms with a single American ally. Guantanamo Bay didn’t prevent Nicolas Sarkozy from bringing France back into NATO’s command structure or pledging more troops to the fight in Afghanistan. The waterboarding of three terrorists didn’t give Gordon Brown pause when he said, upon first meeting with President Bush, “The strength of this relationship . . . is not just built on the shared problems that we have to deal with together or on the shared history, but is built . . . on shared values.” Nor did temporary CIA prisons stop Angela Merkel from saying of her ties to President Bush, “a positive and friendly relationship has developed.” (And all three leaders’ nations share our Iran policy as much as they ever will.)

Let’s not forget that Bush’s European friends are but acquaintances compared to India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who told Barack Obama’s predecessor, during a September visit to Washington, “This may be my last visit to you during your presidency, and let me say, thank you very much. The people of India deeply love you.”

All the hyped national security “evils” of the Bush years merely gave the netroots something to do when they were done defending Bill Clinton’s right to perjury. Oh, yeah, and those evils also had the side benefit of keeping us safe for seven years and putting our sworn enemies on notice. So, as various fanatics and tyrants seem rather taken with our revamped image, I can’t help but wonder what our genuine friends will think when the former group tests out some of our changed approaches to global security.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.