The Pew Global Attitudes survey for 2009 doesn't show that the world likes us. In some places, they dislike us even more than they did.
In Pakistan, a place of great consequence for American power, our standing has deteriorated: The unfavorables rose from 63% in 2008 to 68% this year.So what did we get for all the negativity from our own President? Not much.
Of course he bit off more than he could chew. He said as Candidate Obama that he would address the issue of Kashmir. Too bad he forgot to check with India before he said that.
In truth India had no interest in an international adjudication of Kashmir. What was settled during the partition in 1947 was there to stay. In recent days, Mr. Obama walked away from earlier ambitions. "Obviously, there are historic conflicts between India and Pakistan," he said. "It's not the place of the United States to try to, from the outside, resolve those conflicts."Gee, you mean people won't do whatever the US tells them too? Even our allies? I thought we were the "American Empire" throwing our weight around all over the world. Guess we forgot to tell that to those darn foreigners.
As Mr. Ajami says, we are beyond the stage where what is needed is a stirring speech. We need real action. Real diplomacy. And a real backbone. Like Carter before him, Obama doesn't seem to understand the whole backbone thing.
Anyway, go read the whole thing. It is worth your time.