Wednesday, September 26, 2012
US President Barack Obama avoids world's leaders at United Nations summit but appears on The View
THIS week he did it again, this president who has failed so spectacularly.
The world's leaders are meeting in New York for the United Nations summit, and what does Barack Obama do?
No, not schedule a one-on-one meeting with a single one of those leaders - not even as US embassies are under siege from Muslim mobs in a dozen countries.
No, he slips off to film a vote-for-me-me-me chat with the admiring ladies of TV chat show The View.
"I'm just eye candy here," he glowed, and never has he spoken the truth so loudly.
Obama was the president who was chosen four years ago not for what he'd done or promised, but for what he seemed.
He was above all eye-candy because he was black but talked kind-of white.
He could get almost every black vote - 95 per cent - yet still seem non-threatening to whites.
In fact, whites got an instant reward for voting for him - confirmation of their virtue and the broadness of their mind.
So good did the Left feel in backing him that the Nobel judges even gave him their Peace Prize, although he'd been in office just 12 days before nominations closed.
The media, likewise drawn to symbols rather than gritty reality, also adored Obama and largely protect him still - even now his failures become dangerously manifest, at home and in the Middle East.
It is hard to overstate how great that failure is.
Judge it, for instance, from Obama's megalomaniacal boast after securing the Democratic nomination in 2008: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless.
"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation ... "
Let's politely ignore that planet-healing nuttiness. Maybe Obama was just excited on the night.
His broken promise on jobs is the real tragedy, because there are more jobless today than when Obama became president.
Unemployment is down from its peak but still at 8.1 per cent.
It would be far worse still if another four million people hadn't given up completely on work.
The truth is, Obama's huge stimulus spending in 2009 flopped, creating only a fraction of the expected jobs while adding another $830 billion to a national debt that under this president has soared 60 per cent - to a frightening $16 trillion, and rising.
So much of Obama's presidency has been a story of such grand plans crumbling upon contact with the real world.
Remember how shortly after being sworn in, Obama signed an executive order for Guantanamo prison to be closed within a year?
It was a signature promise of his campaign, made to make the honourable George W Bush seem a war criminal.
As Obama said when receiving his unearned Nobel Peace Prize, "I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war ...
"That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed."
Except, of course, Guantanamo remains open to this day.
Where else was Obama going to house terrorists?
This, too, is symbolic of Obama's presidency.
Sonorous promises and sermons of hope, all made stupid by a hard world.
Eye candy melting in the hot sun.
How scarily clear that has become to the rest of the world these past weeks.
When Obama became president, he cast himself as a war-ender - a man who by revealing his golden heart would charm America's enemies into laying down their weapons.
Most famously, he "reached out" to the resentful Muslim world in a speech at Cairo's Al-Azhar University in 2009: "I consider part of my responsibilities as President to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."
That a US president should be an apologist for a medieval faith is bizarre, especially when that faith's tenets are so at odds with the freedoms preached by his own country.
But that Obama should imply the fury against the US was best calmed by grovelling and smiling harder, as if the US were at fault, is as mad as it is dangerous.
What has Obama actually since achieved with bowing deeply to the Saudi king, snubbing Israel's prime minister, disparaging Bush's liberation of Iraq and even referring this week to Israel as merely one of our closest allies in the region. ("One of?" Which of Israel's neighbours could be closer?)
All Obama has done is legitimise self-excusing conspiracy theories that the cause of the dishonourable weakness of so many Muslim nations is not their own culture but a lack of respect from the malevolent West.
And see where that's got him these past few weeks.
American embassies and facilities in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Greece and elsewhere have now been besieged by Muslim mobs furious about some YouTube clip made by an Egyptian Copt.
Yet still Obama persists with that eye candy stuff, making excuses, asking for admiration.
He's dutifully damned the Innocence of Muslims YouTube clip, as an extremist demand, rather than full-bloodedly defending freedom of speech.
More amazingly, his officials even blamed the video for inspiring a planned assault on September 11 by a pro al-Qaeda militia on the American consulate in Benghazi - an attack that killed the American ambassador.
Blaming Americans for even an al-Qaeda hit to mark September 11?
I didn't realise eye candy could be quite so poisonous.
Or, alas, so popular.
Andrew Bolt is a Herald Sun columnist