Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Robert Kagan: I Talked to Our "Allies Everywhere," And They Are All Mad At Obama

The Washington Post has published an article by Robert Kagan that bears a shocking title: "Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama."  Kagan wants readers to believe that he has talked to US allies "everywhere" and that they uniformly believe Obama has snubbed them.  Nice try.

Here is Kagan's "evidence" for his dramatic claim that US relations with its allies has worsened under the Obama Administration -- a meme shamelessly propagated by the some of the same conservatives who loathe the United Nations and who supported banning "french fries" during the Iraq War.  Notice the vague, unspecific and conclusory nature of Kagan's "analysis":
In Britain, people are talking about the end of the "special relationship" with America and worrying that Obama has no great regard for the British, despite their ongoing sacrifices in Afghanistan (emphasis added).

In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy [Note: a conservative] has openly criticized Obama for months (and is finally being rewarded with a private dinner, presumably to mend fences). [Note: Kagan never cites to any specific criticism.]

In Eastern and Central Europe, there has been fear since the administration canceled long-planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that the United States may no longer be a reliable guarantor of security.

Among top E.U. officials there is consternation that neither the president nor even his Cabinet seems to have time for the European Union's new president, Herman Van Rompuy, who, while less than scintillating, is nevertheless the chosen representative of the post-Lisbon Treaty continent. Europeans in general, while still fond of Obama, have concluded that he is not so fond of them -- despite his six trips to Europe -- and is more of an Asian president [Note: Well, given US's economic dependency on Asian nations, perhaps showing them deeper attention is a brilliant move.]

Relations with Japan are rocky, mostly because of the actions of the new government in Tokyo but partly because of a perception that the United States can't be counted on for the long term.
In India, there are worries that the burgeoning strategic partnership forged in the Bush years has been demoted in the interest of better relations with China.
Finally, after a long list of gossipy and conclusory statements that reads like a dressed-up National Inquirer essay, Kagan offers the following damning commentary:
This administration pays lip-service to "multilateralism," but it is a multilateralism of accommodating autocratic rivals, not of solidifying relations with longtime democratic allies. Rather than strengthening the democratic foundation of the new "international architecture" -- the G-20 world -- the administration's posture is increasingly one of neutrality, at best, between allies and adversaries, and between democrats and autocrats. Israel is not the only unhappy ally, therefore; it's just the most vulnerable.
My Take
This is one of the poorest attempts at journalism from the Washington Post since the recent publication of a string of Rahm Emanuel love essays. The article does not even pretend to offer any reliable factual support for the serious claim that the relationship between the US and its allies is deteriorating "everywhere."   Instead, Kagan simply repeats the same negative conservative chatter that already saturates the airwaves.  For an article that puports to offer such a dramatic finding of fact, Kagan's effort is grossly underwhelming.

See also: Obama’s Foreign Policy and The Right: What Memes May Come


RealityZone said...

Well sir, you have hit one of my nerves. ---NEOCON-MANIA---LOL.
This is the real Kagan.

He is a PNAC Uber Neocon. He has been wrong on everything he has promoted, and advocated. He is null and void. And should be read as such. It is because of him and his fellow travelers that we are in the mess that we are in, when it comes to our bought and paid for foreign policy.
My blood pressure soars just thinking of these psychopaths.

liberal dissent said...

There was an interesting paper published by the European Council on Foreign Relations:
Towards a Post-American Europe:
a power audit of EU-US Relations
that theorizes the problem as the European view of the U.S. being "basically infantile
and fetishistic," with [to distill it down] Europe having an overinflated view of its importance to America, and "As a global power,
the US cannot afford to assign disproportionate time and attention to a region
of the world that does not, or at least should not, need it:"

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