Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

World sees Obama as weak

July 15, 2009


— What did President Obama achieve for himself and for America during last week’s G-8 summit? Not much.

Despite what presumably was his best effort at using the charm, personality and teleprompter that catapulted him into office, he was unsuccessful in persuading either wealthy or developing nations to sign off on a plan to combat “global warming.” It’s not that he lacks support from the European media. CNN International and the BBC, among others, continue to blanket their networks with “green” propaganda in a disinformation blitz that would have made Joseph Goebbels proud.

If President Obama can’t convince 17 of the world’s leading polluters to do more than pump out political hot air with nothing meaningful beyond unspecified pledges to reduce carbon emissions, why should Americans go it alone, or with only some European nations joining us (maybe)? Congress favors a far more restrained approach to “global climate change” than those who pollute the planet far more than we do.

The president announced more aid for poor African nations, something that will have a limited effect given the track record. The British, especially, are fixated on African poverty, perhaps as atonement for past colonial sins. Obama persuaded the G-8 to increase from $15 billion to $20 billion over three years the money wealthy nations will send to poor African countries. Given the corruption that has siphoned off huge amounts of aid in the past — a fact Obama acknowledged even while committing and asking for more money — it is unlikely new money will produce different results than old money when poured down the same rat hole. What Africa needs is political, religious and economic reform and only then might aid help poor Africans become self-sustaining.

In the most important arenas — foreign policy and domestic security — nations and terrorists who mean America harm have a right to think President Obama is weak and can be challenged with few consequences. While the response to the Somali pirates offered an initial sign that the president was prepared to use force against bad people with evil intent, subsequent statements and inaction to other threats are not encouraging. Islamic insurgents in Somalia allegedly tied to al-Qaida recently carried out a series of killings, bombings and other attacks against Westerners and African security forces without even a rhetorical response from the president.

After his initial reluctance to say much about the fraudulent election in Iran and the huge demonstrations that led the government to bloody and kill unarmed civilians, the president denounced the violence but said nothing about what might happen if it continued. And so it continued. The G-8 said little and did nothing, but will meet again in September to “consider” a stronger statement.

Honduras? The president is on the wrong side of this one, too. As Hondurans have demanded adherence to their Constitution, the Obama administration has sided with a protege of Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers who tried to obliterate it.

Terrorists in waiting mostly remained in the shadows during the Bush administration, but now think they can meet openly to plot the downfall of the United States. Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international movement that wants to re-establish a Caliphate and indoctrinate Muslims into supporting jihad, will step up its recruitment efforts at a planned meeting July 19 in a Chicago suburb, reports the Investigative Project on Terrorism ( “The group, whose alumni include 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and suicide bombers, will hold a conference entitled ‘The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam.’” Why should they fear a president who still wants to negotiate with the Iranian nuclear bomb builder Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

There is nothing worse for the world than to have a president of the United States who is perceived as weak. Weakness can result in the deaths of innocent people, a wrecked economy (again) and new attacks on American allies and interests around the world. This perception of weakness may be contributing to the drop in President Obama’s approval ratings.


igby 8 years ago

The world blames American's and the United States, for all their financial woes; and rightfully so. We did cause the camel loaded with straw to stumble. You just can put everybody into a new home and hope the market will absorb the bad ones. American's will lose all most everything we gain over the past 60 years.

The stock markets only batting around 8000 because of the 401'k diversity spreads. The unemployment that we see now will soon suck down more jobs and people that lose their job and hit their 401's for cash for what ever, even though they will suffer the taxes prematurely. They will draw it out to start a business or pay off debts and more stocks will get sold and the market will keep slipping downwards to around 5000. Didn't like that did you; but it's a true statement.

The vacum has no end and the spiral has no bottom until we stop treating the cold and cure the sickness, job's leaving America.

The Dems health care plan which they plan to shove down ever one's throat under threat of violating federal law for noncompliance will cause even more jobs to go over seas; it does not take a genius to know this will be true. Just another nail in Americas coffin. The land of the non-free and home of the greatful-dead. Lol.

igby 8 years ago

The recent spike in the trade def. which shocked the business sector last week is prof that the demand for some American goods is greater over seas than the demand for those same goods here at home. This says a lot about our purchasing power for durable goods in spite of the liberal presses attempt to twist the spike into a positive sign that the economy is turning around. Not the case however, but a grim sign of prof that the changing of hands in dollars here at home is slowing down.

This is not good news!

igby 8 years ago

I'm reminded of the theem song "those were the days", when Archie Bunker's sit-com of the 70's quoted:

"we could use a man like Herbert Hoover, again".

Then I thought where the heck is Ronald Regan, when you really need him? But his name would fit right in with the tune.

"we could use a man like "Ronald Regan, again".

Bill Clinton or Brrack Obama, just don't ting.

igby 8 years ago

Another tune:

"you ain't done a thing if you ain't got that ting"

...ting! .......ting! .........ting! Lol.

jaywalker 8 years ago

PeeeUuuu. This column reeks, Cal. Talk about thin and over-reaching.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

I see nothing to be gained by paying Cal Thomas and Krauthammer to share their world views.

There are much better columnists out there who are at least thought provoking and do better research on the issues.

Paul R Getto 8 years ago

As always, there are a variety of opinions floating around out there. This web site is interesting.

Though Obama Viewed Positively, Still Much Criticism of US Foreign Policy: Global Poll. A new poll finds that around the world US foreign policy continues to receive heavy criticism on a variety of fronts, even though in 13 of 19 nations most people say they have confidence in President Obama to do the right thing in international affairs.

The US is criticized for coercing other nations with its superior power (15 of 19 nations), failing to abide by international law (17 of 19 nations), and for how it is dealing with climate change (11 of 18 nations). Overall, views are mixed on whether the US is playing a mainly positive or mainly negative role in the world………

Part of the problem as this century develops: The 21st will belong to China, India and the Eastern Rim. We will always be powerful and have great influence, but our days of calling the shots all over the world are over.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years ago

"....would have made Joseph Goebbels proud"

Couldn't even go two paragraphs without name-dropping a Nazi? Classy.

This is a good indication that one should stop reading right there.

Kirk Larson 8 years ago

The world doesn't find the President weak. They're just heaving a sigh of relief that the most over-armed country on the planet is no longer run by a half-educated, jingoistic, a-hole who thinks he gets marching orders from God.

true_patriot 8 years ago

Cal typically thinks and writes on a fifth grade level - why anyone would listen to him is beyond me. He also believes the Earth is only 4,000 years old, even though the surface of the planet is strewn with stuff by made human civiliations that is older than that, and humans (much less human civilization) has been here but a blink of an eye on the Earth's 4,500,000,000 lifespan thus far.

Satirical 8 years ago


Cal is only being a true patriot by questioning our government and its leaders. Your ad hominem attacks do not change that fact.

Music_Girl 8 years ago

Americans are fat, lazy, weak and so "politically correct" it's pathetic. There is little left to be proud of in this country. Whatever happened to being proud of the "made in USA" stickers on products?

igby, you made some very good points.

Satirical 8 years ago


I wasn't defending the column per se, I was using true_patriots name to regurgitate an ad naseam repeated phrase by the libs under Bush. I just think irony is funny.

bankboy119 8 years ago

jaywalker (Anonymous) says…

PeeeUuuu. This column reeks, Cal. Talk about thin and over-reaching.

beobachter (Anonymous) says…

If Cal is saying anything about Obama, you can count on it being negative.

jayhawklawrence (Anonymous) says…

I see nothing to be gained by paying Cal Thomas and Krauthammer to share their world views.

BABBOY (Anonymous) says…

You want see weak? Look at picture of Cal Thomas?

Old, slow, and fat does give you right to talk trash Cal.

*Not one point to counter what Cal has written. All just personal attacks on the author. Very intelligent refutes.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years ago

"Whatever happened to being proud of the made in USA” stickers on products?"

Other countries started making better products.

Own any Sony appliances?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

As someone who is old, slow, and fat, I say that other countries should take care of their own selves now. Should America invade Iran and right that situation? Legally you don't have the right to pull out a gun and shoot someone because they called you a name. Iran is the same thing. So, their president talks a lot. Let him.

Paul R Getto 8 years ago

"Whether it's several thousand or hundreds of thousand more dead Americans or whether it's mass chaos resulting from the brazen actions of this administration and congress,"=========Nancy: You may be right. The R's are not hoping this happens, but if it does, they will see the slaughter as an opportunity to gain legislative seats in 2010. We are cowards all if we think we can oppress the American people to keep us safe. Some of us may die, but the Constitution and its ideals are larger than any one person, or even a large number of deaths in a significant tragedy. To argue backwards that the last administration 'kept us safe' with its actions, legal or illegal, is impossible to prove.

bankboy119 8 years ago


You may despise him, and that's your right, but he still makes a great point with part of the article.

"Terrorists in waiting mostly remained in the shadows during the Bush administration, but now think they can meet openly to plot the downfall of the United States. Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international movement that wants to re-establish a Caliphate and indoctrinate Muslims into supporting jihad, will step up its recruitment efforts at a planned meeting July 19 in a Chicago suburb, reports the Investigative Project on Terrorism ( “The group, whose alumni include 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and suicide bombers, will hold a conference entitled ‘The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam.’” Why should they fear a president who still wants to negotiate with the Iranian nuclear bomb builder Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?"

How is this crap?

Chris Golledge 8 years ago

Conservatives, you want a refutation of Cal's points? Here is just one:

Cal complains about Obama not getting the rest of the world to do more about climate change. Let's see, can someone show me an article of his where he was critical of the administration (of more than 6 months ago) for not doing more about climate change? Because prior to 6 month ago, you would have found that the American administrative branch was dragging its heals behind the rest of the industrialized world. Only now that we have a thinking man as president does Cal complain of lack of progress in this area.

"...than those who pollute the planet far more than we do." No other nation of people pollutes as much as Americans do.

It's clear that he is straining to find fault with Obama's actions, not for the sake of the actions, but because of obvious ideological differences, and he's willing to misrepresent facts in order to press his point.

meggers 8 years ago

Now Cal Thomas speaks for the world at large?

Because the rest of the world has sooooo much in common with corporate welfare loving, intolerant, environment destroying, war loving, poor hating, stuck in the 19th century ideologues like Cal.


bankboy119 8 years ago


I agree with you that some of Cal's arguments are weak. As to the Iranian elections having "baseless" claims of being invalid, read the following article for one example of the mathematical probability of the election results.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

President Obama is a very strong man. He is very focused, very tough, but not willing to charge in like Custer at the Little Big Horn.

malehrman 8 years ago

Every now and again I see a Cal Thomas headline and I am suckered into reading it for comedy. I feel bad when I do because the Journal World gets paid for the ads placed on the page that I have now loaded, when instead the Journal World should be embarrassed for paying for and publishing this trash.

MyName 8 years ago

Yet another partisan hack peace filled with talking points and nothing of substance. I love how the right wingnut's idea of good policy is to just say "no" to whatever the President wants. This is just the sort of plan that will bring the Republicans back into government.

As someone mentioned earlier, you can tell the writer is desperate when he starts dropping the Nazis in the second paragraph. I guess he thinks people will only pay attention to him now if he makes his voice shriller and harsher.

Music_Girl 8 years ago

cthulhu_4_president, then where is the competitive market? Why are we still outsourcing every possible job to another country? I just don't understand how companies don't see they are shooting themselves in the foot. Shipping jobs overseas = less money in the American economy = less money for the company...seems pretty logical to me.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years ago

"cthulhu_4_president, then where is the competitive market?"

I'm not sure why you are asking me this, as I never implied the absense of any competitive market, merely that one reason our economy has shifted from a product-based to a service-based economy is because the products that we were producing were simply not as good as the ones that other countries coughJapancough were turning out. As such, we did compete, and lost, and are currently adjusting.

"I just don't understand how companies don't see they are shooting themselves in the foot."

Because the allure of measurable, short-term financial gain is prefereable to business tactics that might make the world a better place tomorrow, but will lose money today.

"Shipping jobs overseas = less money in the American economy = less money for the company…seems pretty logical to me."

Seems logical to me also, except that it is not true. Shipping jobs overseas = less money the company spends on workers = more money for the company

jonas_opines 8 years ago

Funny how most have not said that at all, Right-thinker, and so sad and telling that it's all that you can see out of some of these comments.

Satirical 8 years ago

Have any of you seen Obama's arms? The man is clearly weak. We need someone like Arnold to be POTUS so no foreign nation would dare mess with us. All we need to do is have the same guy who forged Obama's birth certificate do the same for Arnold ; )

jonas_opines 8 years ago

Satirical: I think that would be the inevitable result if my system of War was implemented (idea from book All Quiet on the Western Front) where rather than have innocent 18 year olds fight it out, the actual Leaders who actually Want the war would get into an Arena with a bunch of melee weapons and slug it out until there's only one standing. That one would be declared the victor.

Weezy_Jefferson 8 years ago

Oh, for crying out loud. You expect Obama to turn this country around after being in office for half a year? Please. Don't worry about having to holler "I told you so," my conservative compadres. It takes a while to clean up the mess that "The Decider" left behind.

Cal Thomas and others such as him are predictably pessimistic and nasty. They have been since McSame and Palin tanked, and they'll remain the same even after Obama proves them wrong. Nothing new.

MyName 8 years ago


I can't speak for other posters, but I was merely pointing out that this is yet another op-ed void of original thought, ideas, or viable policy alternatives.

But hey, maybe you come from the Argument Clinic style of debate, where simple contradiction is all you need to actually count as real "dissent" or "opposition". I think this country deserves two have actual debate over policy rather than Punch and Judy puppet theater, but what do I know?

beatrice 8 years ago

Actually, if Obama keeps us safe for another 58 days, or until Sept. 12, he will have proven himself "stronger" than Bush.

"There is nothing worse for the world than to have a president of the United States who is perceived as weak."

Actually, having an incompetent president that the world hates is worse. Where you been the past 8 years Cal?

Cal Thomas is such a partisan hack it isn't even funny anymore. He might as well just change his name to Cal "Rush" Thomas and take the hosting job on Fox News.

igby 8 years ago

beatrice: The world did not hate Bush, only the leftist liberals here in America hated Bush. The leftist spewed "hate Bush", through the liberal press on such a world wide quest that all the other leftist countries started following their "hate Bush", song and dance, like Hugo. Bush is passed into history. The spewing now is about where's the beef from America, that all these leftist countries are missing, the golden cow who's milk now is dried up.

The leftist countries can kiss the golden cow, America, good by. Their own their own now and Obama's not giving them any hope because he's just like them, a parasite on the world economy sucking up in the wealth of other nations just like the dems want to such all the wealth out of America. Who will American's turn too when their broke and hungry for a job, the leftist countries? The ones that are waiting on America to save them?

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Too bad the O'dude's minions can't do the Joe the Plumber treatment on North Korea.

ksdivakat 8 years ago

music girl...I can answer that one..first hand! The Dems...including Clinton, gave and give HUGE tax breaks to companys that outsourced to another country. What this does for the company is allow them to hire workers for less thn half of what they would have to pay Americans. The Republicans, took that tax break away and said, you leave the jobs here and we will give you the tax break, send them overseas and no break. Disney outsourced their call center to India, here in the states they pay a basic rep, 12.80 hr to start...over there.....1.08 an hour. SO do the math and see that the company is making profit hand over fist. Of course the Dems will come out swinging on this, but to bad, I worked with the corporate office in Hollywood when this went down and the big wigs were so excited that they were gonna make this big profit, it made me sick! Of course this was also in 1998, so imagine the amount of money now that these companies make as profit for outsourcing and pay little to no taxes on it.

backyardwino 8 years ago

I read the headline and the first thought that came to mind . . . "Cal"

Yet, I kept reading to see if he said something that was not recycled anti-bama fodder-nope.

You're a forgone conclusion Cal . . . this article is hardly newspaper worthy. . . too bad LJW subscribes to such mediocrity.

G_E 8 years ago

"World sees Obama as weak"

Lol oh okay. Good to know. I guess I'll have to tell all my international friends that love Obama that they are, in fact, completely wrong about everything they've told me about how their home countries also love Obama.

rolls eyes

dotteboy 8 years ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says…

How many Obama “fluff” stories about the economy have we had to suffer through over the past weeks and months...blah, blah, blah...But again, I query, when will, A. Obama take ownership, and B. When will the compliant Obama media start reporting truthfully?...

We have taken ownership. Just like the last time a Dem was in office, when we had a budget surplus, and Alan Greenspan cautioned us to not pay off our debts too quickly...remember? Nancy Girl to Me

lmn 8 years ago

icedoverhillon14th (Anonymous) says… "tom shewman and irish love obama, dont let them fool you."

Really??? Irish loves Obama and she's trying to fool us otherwise? What was your first clue that she loves him?Her incessant blathering about how the Obamas can do no wrong? Her trying to mimic their actions? Believe me, we ALL know Irish loves Obama. She's never tried to hide her obsession.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years ago

"World sees Obama as weak"

Wow... Cal can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles....

Who's next?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

Like hell the world sees President Obama as weak. I am not ashamed that I think very highly of a man who is black. As I recall from watching him on television quite a few people share my positive opinion of the man. I campaigned for Kennedy when he ran for President. My grandmother bought a rocking chair because he sat in one. A lot of women copied the Jackie look and dressed like her and did their hair like her. Anyone remember the pillbox hat? Comics loved to mimic his Boston accent and their were albums out about him. Magazines had articles about every member of his family and there were quite a few of them. So, all of this popularity with President Obama is not a new thing. The man is articulate, highly intelligent, wants to talk first and fight later, well, I guess I can see how some people would be against that. The shoot first and ask questions later has always worked so well, hasn't it. I plan to live for at least thirty more years. I'm finding out that life just gets better as you get older. We won. Ha, ha.

beatrice 8 years ago

keebler, don't worry, your country isn't proud of you either.

Godot 8 years ago

I'll say something positive and truthful about Obama.

He has great teeth.

puddleglum 8 years ago

I'm a bush-lover, but he did send millions of jobs overseas. igby did get one thing right: we need to produce stuff here and employ ourselves-and we need to stop buying the chinese-made crap at wal-mart and everywhere else. yeah, its cheap-it is also junk.

Godot 8 years ago

Here is another positive thing about Obama. He appreciates the value of surrounding himself with strong, smart, angry, agressive women.

purplesage 8 years ago

So the other world leaders don't buy his patronizing down talk? Surprise!

Orwell 8 years ago

Keep it up, gang. We can save Cal's fantasy Caliphate a lot of trouble by just continuing to tear the country apart ourselves with all the the demonization, polarization and name-calling. That's the kind of America that makes Cal so proud.

TopJayhawk 8 years ago

Beobachter and all the rest. The handwriting is on the wall.
Let's talk again after a couple of yrs. After all this nonsensical legislation is rammed through.
WE are in it deep. What is happening is a profound and tragic social re-engineering of this country that probably will be unable to be undone.
We're screwed.

jaywalker 8 years ago

Right, Orwell, 'cuz this is all completely new and strictly the sword of the right. Why, there's been virtually no venom whatsoever from the left over the last 8 years, now has there?

"I don't know about you but I was gratified that Obama went into Afghanistan. You know,….Afghanistan. Where Bin Laden is. Not Iraq. Where Bin Laden never was."

What the....? "Gratified"?! That he visited our troops.....? Because it's symbolic he'd visit a country where that murderer might be.....? Or because he "went into Aghanistan" if he started the 'real' military maneuvers there?
As nonsensical as ever......well done.

jaywalker 8 years ago

porch person says: blah blah blah blah blah state the obvious some more blah blah blah blah weak attempt at sarcasm blah blah blah nonsensical assertion blah blah blah ridiculous assertion blah blah blah juvenile and moronic name calling blah blah blah unrelated unintelligent pointless reach at something derogatory blah.

To sum up............blah.

grimpeur 8 years ago

This headline is weak. This columnist should be retired. Thomas is totally out of touch with current news, and exists only to pull on one end of a fanatic's unattached rope.

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