Seriously, what kind of guy carries his books like that?
From the Gloria Center:
There is one sentence in this discussion that embodies much of what is wrong with Obama's concept of international affairs. On the surface it is banal, but it is really of the greatest importance: "So let's put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough." This is part of Obama's confusion between personal or social life and international politics that is so common to the amateur in foreign policy. During recess, boys act macho, ranking each other in a pecking order, challenging each other to fight or back down. Obama genuinely views the way that international politics works as equally silly, meaningless, and unnecessary. He wants to cut through all that and show that everyone is in the same boat, he has no macho feelings about power, and he's ready to apologize and be part of the gang without leading the gang. It is a way to say: Why can't everyone just get along and be friends. I'll dispense with all these petty quarrels and start by renouncing all of my own power.Go read the whole thing.
This is sort of like the wimpy nerd coming up to a motorcycle gang and explaining his philosophy to them. Okay, that's a very exaggerated image, but it gets the point across. At first, Obama's listeners are puzzled. Why would the leader of the world's greatest superpower talk like this? Perhaps it is a trick.
There are three reactions by foreign leaders and countries to Obama's policy. Foes are not won over. On the contrary, the world's dictators and radical ideologies, which are America's enemies, conclude that some strange compulsion has paralyzed America, so why not take advantage of it?
Dependents are frightened. If this man refuses to be strong or act tough, who will protect me? I must give my lunch money to the bullies or somehow ingratiate myself with them or just defend myself as best I can.
Lazy friends are pleased. We love this man because either he won't demand that we do anything or if he does, we can ignore him without any consequences. But even some of them are starting to become concerned, like Britain, France, and Germany, who want more action regarding Iran's nuclear program.
What Obama calls "schoolyard taunts" are what diplomatists for centuries have called power politics, leverage, containment, credibility, and so on.