"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Mystery of the Disappearing Headline: Sarkozy Brings Obama Back to Reality

Check out this post on BigGovernment.com by Maura Flynn. Following Obama's piteously naive speech at the UN (best described by someone [I don't remember who] as a sophomore's brave attempt at "stirring" during his high school's mock UN), French President Nicolas Sarkozy had a few choice words for Obama.

According to Alex Spillius in his National Post front page article, "Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, came close to mocking his American counterpart for his good intentions after the summit passed a resolution to 'seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.' But the resolution set no specific targets or fresh mandates.

"Mr. Sarkozy said resolutions were pointless unless they were backed up with action as pressure grows for stronger sanctions to counter the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

"'We live in the real world, not a virtual world,' Mr. Sarkozy told the 15-member council. 'President Obama dreams of a world without weapons, but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.

"'Iran, since 2005, has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.'

"'I support the extended hand of Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map,' he said referring to Israel.

"Mr. Sarkozy had previously called the U.S. President's disarmament crusade 'naive.'"

So ,the French President believes that the Obama is acting in a toothless manner, that Obama's policies have either already failed or are doomed to failure, and that these polices are dangerous to the world. Where's all that European Obama-love the MSM proudly invokes?

While I have to agree with Sarkozy on this one, what is really interesting is the MSM's reaction. They are utterly silent on the matter. Can you imagine the gleeful headlines had this been Sarkozy's reaction to George Bush? The AP, Reuters, etc. would have been all over it...

I suppose part of the silence due to people like Steven Thomma at McClatchy's penchant for presenting Obama as some sort of chess master/genius of international politics.

From the article: "For weeks, Obama played a form of international chess to build a unified multi-national front against Iran while preserving the option to talk and negotiate. He abandoned plans for a ballistic missile defense in Europe, apparently in part to win Russian cooperation, slapped tariffs on Chinese tires, arguably to prod them along, then huddled with their leaders and finally rolled out the news that he'd held close to the vest for months — that Iran has a secret uranium enrichment plant."

Oh, I see... Obama gave up ally Poland's and ally Czechoslovakia's interests so that the Russians would support sanctions against their invested (as in lots of money invested in) ally Iran... And he "prodded" China with this tire tariff nonsense (which we'll pay for when we go try to buy tires this year) to get them to ignore and risk their invested (again lots of money) interests in Iran... It all makes sense now... I suppose repeatedly snubbing Gordon Brown (most recently here) was also part of the complicated "plan" to build a "unified multi-national front." And I guess somebody didn't give Sarkozy his own copy of the script-- or is President Sarkozy also working some complicated and subtle subterfuge for Obama's interests? Give me a break... Did Obama's strategy of jamming "health care reform" down our collective throats before the August recess demonstrate the subtle touch of a political genius?

Of further interest, is the fact that the National Post seems to have pulled the front page article I quoted from its website. If you go to nationalpost.com the article is completely absent. A search on the website for the article's title "Nuclear Loggerheads" pulls up this, while a search for the writer "Alex Spillius" pulls up two completely unrelated articles he wrote, one from April 20, 2009, the other from September 17, 2009.

The UK's Telegraph has a version of Spillius' article which contains much of the same language with some additions by Gordon Brown and gives Obama the last word on the matter. Some vintage Obamaguff: "'We know there are plenty of cynics, and that there will be setbacks to prove their point,' said Mr Obama. 'But there will also be days like today that push us forward – days that tell a different story.'"

Sarkozy is seeing the writing on the wall of Obama's toothless appeasement/disarmament policy. The MSM not only is refusing to read this writing, is not only refusing to report on Sarkozy's dissent, but is busily singing the praises of Obama's "clever chess game." This does not bode well.


  1. Good post! Most countries' foreign policy is at some level of high-stakes chess, or poker, or go, but Obama looks like he hasn't advanced beyond a few quick hands of Old Maid. And you know what they say: "Perception is reality."

    The National Post cover you discuss hasn't yet been entirely scrubbed from the Internet. It can be seen here: http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/25/sarkozy-mocks-obama-at-un-security-council-hello-big-media/

    (I happened upon this link yesterday, via Instapundit, September 25 -- http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/)

    The photos alone are revealing.

  2. Yeah, that address is actually where I saw the cover myself (although not via Instapundit) and that's the first link at the top of this post. For the most part, I'm echoing Ms. Flynn's concern (although I did do a fair number of net-searches on my own) on the disappearance/downplay of the story.

    I'm not sure I like thinking of international relations as chess. I think it's more like poker, where there is a reality (the strength of the hands) independent of things amid the bluster, and bluff, and perceptions/deceptions. It's not a game of equals, like chess, determined merely by ability.

    It's interesting to study the beginning of WWI, where this nasty, horrible war started despite accurate intelligence on all sides, well-reasoned thinking by the major players, and an accurate assessment of the situation by pretty much everyone. Sometimes reality trumps human reasoning, wants, passion, and common sense is surprising ways.

  3. Oops... I meant "IN surprising ways."

  4. Excellent analysis.

    Will Israel have to go at it alone? Its a tough call since the Obama administration seems too weak to answer the call to arms.

  5. Israel is in a really tough situation right now. Like so many things Obama, it's very tough to pin him down on his support, or lack of, for Israel.

    My gut (and some sparse evidence) suggests to me that Obama would prefer to let Israel go it alone, even in the face of massive aggression.

    However, I'm not sure Obama could do that politcally. Israel generally continues to have strong support in the US, both among the people and, to a degree, in Congress. And Obama's polls are dropping rapidly...

    Things are very uncertain right now, and Obama's rhetoric hardly ever makes things clearer. Not a good thing in the realm of international relations.