Tag Archives: Der Spiegel

A German View Of President Obama

Fox News and liberal commentators have offered their views as to the success of President Barack Obama, but what do people in other parts of the world think about the American president. A group of German writers in Der Spiegel recently offered their interpretation as to the success of Obama as a world leader. They believe in Obama’s Cairo speech he attained a new level of trust among Arab nations who were seeking an American leader prepared to be even handed in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In January, 2010, he told a Time reporter, “We overestimated our ability to persuade(both sides) to (negotiate).

Gregor Schmnitz believes Obama has failed to present a consistent message about the Middle East. Initially, he called for an Israel freeze on settlements, including East Jerusalem, but after a few months, he switched and praised Prime Minister Netanyahu for showing “restraint” which meant he only would build some settlements. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Jerusalem announcing America’s commitment to Israel’s security only to be greeted by an announcement of 1,600 new houses in East Jerusalem. “Obama’s failure in the Middle East is but one example of his weakness, though a particular drastic and vivid one.”

He set out to negotiate with Iran and that has run into a brick wall, he turned to Afghanistan and decided more troops were necessary. He promised he would “not sacrifice principles for security, this is exactly what his opponents say Obama is doing today.” The German writers claim Obama has lost support of European leaders because “he doesn’t pay much attention to them. The American president doesn’t have a single strong ally among European heads of state.

Spiegel has learned Saudi Arabia seeks to work with Israel in dealing with Iran and would even be willing to allow Israel planes access to their skies in any strike at Iran. Arab regimes have exerted pressure on Palestinians to negotiate with Israel and after accomplishing that goal, Netanyahu sabotaged the entire peace process. The reality is “the Palestinians do not trust him and the Israelis don’t take him seriously.”

The German writers point out that in 1975, then President Ford threatened to cut off aid to Israel and President Bush in the 1980s held back $10 billion unless Israel agreed to participate in the Madrid conference. “Obama, on the other hand, has shied away from setting tough conditions for Israel.”

President Obama, you have lost the trust of the Arab world and among many Europeans, what next?

A German View Of Obama Speech!

We print excerpts from an article written in Der Spiegel by Gabor Steingart.

“Never before has a speech by President Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric– and left both dreamers and ealists feeling distraught.” Steingart does not pull punches by charging the president as delivering “the least truthful address he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.” According to Steingart one comes away from the speech thinking he has just heard former president George Bush deliver one of his rambling exercises in falsehood, but, it was not the Bushman who spoke, but the man who promised the American people he would clean up the Bush/Cheney mess, both economically and diplomaticaly.

Mr. Steingart believes Obama was playing word games by using the rhetoric of defiance even as he spoke the sad words of defeat. “It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French Revolution: troops enter from the right to loud cannon, fire and then they exit to the left. And, at the end, the dead are left on stage.”

Perhaps, it takes a foreigner to depict the reality of Obama’s speech. His words echoed those of William Shakespeare: “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Unfortunately, only the dead will remember Afghanistan because the average American will go on with his or her life and never even know an American died in that far off land.