The title of this post is not mine. It is the lead headline on the front page of today’s New York Times. Frankly, I never thought I would live to see the day when at least a flicker of journalistic integrity appeared in the Times newsroom, if not on its editorial page.
It took three New York Times reporters – Sewell Chan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David E. Sanger - to do the heavy lifting on this story of President Barack Obama’s monumental failures during his current Asian journey.
They begin their article as follows:
President Obama’s hopes of emerging from his Asia trip with the twin victories of a free trade agreement with South Korea and a unified approach to spurring economic growth around the world ran into resistance on all fronts on Thursday, putting Mr. Obama at odds with his key allies and largest trading partners.
Obama was unable to use his charm offensive to nail down the long-delayed free trade agreement with South Korea, first negotiated by the Bush administration. It seems that South Korea’s definition of free trade is largely one-way – to help its economy at the expense of American workers.
At the G-20 economic summit in Seoul, South Korea, our major allies and trading partners rejected key elements of Obama’s economic stimulus strategy of wild deficit spending and support for the Federal Reserve’s monetization of our nation’s federal debt.
The criticism coming from China and Brazil is no surprise. China, in particular, has followed a deliberate policy of manipulating its currency for its own advantage and has been a major contributor to current global economic imbalances.
However, when traditional allies like Great Britain and Germany join the chorus of critics, you know there is a serious problem. While Great Britain is just beginning on the course of budget-cutting under its Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany can already show proof that budget austerity is not incompatible with economic growth. Chancellor Angela Merkel has managed to avoid spending heavily on stimulus programs while still producing the most successful recovery in Europe.
This means, of course, that the same reckless economic stiumulus policies that got Obama into so much trouble politically at home are now embarrassing him – and, by extension, our country – abroad.
As reported by the Times:
Mr. Obama repeatedly found himself on the defensive
Add to this Obama’s bumbling performance during the earlier portion of this foreign trip. Most notable was his non-answer to a straight-forward question about jihad posed to him by a student in India.
In response to the question, “What is your opinion of Jihad?” Obama said:
Well, the phrase Jihad has a lot of meanings within Islam, and is subject to a lot of different interpretations. But I will say that, first, Islam is one of the world’s great religions. And more than a billion people who practice Islam, the overwhelming majority view their obligations to their religion as ones that reaffirm peace and justice and fairness and tolerance. I think all of us recognize that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted to justify violence towards innocent people that is never justified.
Obama was responding to a questioner in Mumbai, the scene of a horrific attack by Islamic jihadists. One would think that he would have used the opportunity to call on all peace-loving Muslims to rise up and reject the meaning of “jihad” that is associated with radical Islamic ideology - that killing the infidel in the name of Islam is justified under sharia law.
It looks like the only “achievement” that Barack Obama will have on his current trip to Asia is another attempt to placate the Muslim world by whitewashing the rougher edges of Islamic ideology. This leader of the Free World has once again embarrassed his country.
Joseph Klein is the author of a new book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam