Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama Fails to Show International Leadership

An interesting detail is that the United States waited until the last possible moment to cancel its participation in Durban-2. This was a creditable action. But it also showed a problem which may come back repeatedly to haunt not only America but the world.

The United States is viewed as a leader. The Europeans and others were watching Washington to make their own decision. An American president who understood this leadership role would have made the decision earlier and informed others that it was doing so. Another half dozen or dozen countries would have followed and also cancelled their participation.

For the first time since the period before the United States played a leadership role in the world--another way to say it is for the first time since isolationism--under President Herbert Hoover who left office in 1933--America has a president who doesn't want to take up that role of global leadership.

He thinks this shows nobility, that is a lack of arrogance. Yet by leaving the other democracies, and many dictatorial regimes which are moderate in U.S. interest terms, without leadership, he casts them adrift. This makes it more likely they will not act in accord with American needs, be divided among themselves, and be far less effective.

The true term for this is: abdication of responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. Quite right...Obama's weak leadership skills are becoming increasingly evident.


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