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President Barack Obama giving his speech in Cairo 

Judging a new American President's national security policies after six months in office is a perilous enterprise, especially in the case of Barack Obama, where constant incantations of "change" and serial criticisms of his predecessor are the order of the day.

 Nonetheless, during the 2008 primaries, Democratic candidates fiercely debated their respective abilities to handle the "3am call," and Joe Biden later warned that the inexperienced Illinois Senator would be "tested" early in his tenure. Now there is a partial record, and, more importantly, a worldview on which we can grade Obama's performance. 

Obama is the first post-American President. Central to his worldview is rejecting American exceptionalism and the consequences that flow therefrom. Since an overwhelming majority of the world's population would welcome the demise of American exceptionalism, they are delighted with Obama. 

One student interviewed after an Obama town hall meeting during his first presidential trip to Europe said ecstatically, "He sounds like a European." Indeed he does. 

Of course, as a successful politician, Obama is never going to admit expressly that he rejects a unique US role in the world. Asked during his trip about this very subject, Obama responded, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." This answer, of course, proves precisely the opposite of what Obama is ostensibly saying. If every country is exceptional, none is. Obama is too smart not to know this and just slick enough to hope that US listeners would tune out after his first phrase.

It fell to an admiring media commentator to lift the cover more fully, and indeed unknowingly since he intended a compliment. Following Obama's D-Day 65th anniversary speech, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas contrasted him with Ronald Reagan in 1984:

"Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn't felt that way in recent years. So Obama's had, really, a different task....Reagan was all about America....Obama is ‘we are above that now'. We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial. We stand for something. I mean in a way Obama's standing above the country, above — above the world, he's sort of God...He's going to bring all different sides together."

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Bob from Virginia
August 16th, 2009
3:08 PM
Soft on Iran and its nuke program, hard on Israel, dismissive of democracy in the Middle east and Honduras, giver of a Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson; Thomas Sowell was right, if Obama only wrecks the economy we can count ourselves lucky. And so many predicted this from day one of his campaign. Prime Minister Howard of Australia said in February 2007 "If I were running Al Qaeda in Iraq, I would ... be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats.".

Charles Griffith
August 5th, 2009
8:08 PM
Am I correct in thinking that this "Standpoint" is a UK publication? Then, many thanks to "Standpoint" for publishing this essay. But, from what I've read elsewhere, it doesn't seem to reflect what the great majority of the pundits in the UK are saying publicly. We need much, much, more of John Bolton's forthright and blunt analyses....This American thinks that we Americans are far, far too concerned with our "popularity". Endless bales of our cash broadcast worldwide during the past one hundred years have yielded little more than scorn. The puzzle remains why we Americans can't seem to learn from this reality of our being "used". Sad to say this, but here it is.

July 31st, 2009
3:07 PM
Eric, the effects of Bush? Oh, perhaps you mean the effects of decades of legislating that banks and lenders should give risky (ie bad) loans to people because, afterall, EVERYONE deserves a house, regardless of how unrealistic the aim. And besides, from what I know (since there could be more), Obama has hired racists, eugenicists, radical abortionists, tax-cheats, a self-confessed communist and now a guy who thinks trees should have the right to sue. Nice change, huh?

July 14th, 2009
2:07 AM
Give Obama a couple of years - change is not going to happen in the time period of a year and it is sure as hell not going to reflect while he is still in office - we are still in the middle of the effects of Bush.

Occam's tool
July 9th, 2009
2:07 AM
Obama can be simply summed up as the following: 1) A friend of traitors, if not one himself. 2) The weakest defender of America since James Buchanan. 3) An idiot economist. 4) A compulsive liar and psychopath. The outcome of his Presidency will be an unemployment rate coming close to 20%, and a WMD attack on the US, unless Republicans take over the House or Senate in 2010 and put an end to his scummitude. Incidentally, everything he is doing was easily predictable from the race he ran, and his comments.

July 5th, 2009
12:07 PM
It will remain to be seen what Obama will accomplish. We as Americans have had great presidents, as well as poor presidents, but as yet. We have no treasonous presidents, our country dosen't want treason in WhiteHouse hince thats why Hilary wasn't elected. We as American's may have stepped forward with Obama but he cannot afford to play as President. America needs reform ? Yes it does, it needs to go back to where Americans, had to speak English to obtain citizenship, It needs to return to the Ideals of IN GO WE TRUST, and Merry Christmas,people who wish to remove these hard won beliefs need to be removed because they are clearly not Americans and will cause our great country to fail. Pray tell me please why does a person leave another country and come to America, because of religious persecution or tyranny, then get here and try to remove the very marrow of American in effort to make our country like theirs. If a person can't believe American. Leave. If you don't believe in helping American retain her greatness.... leave. Obama will show his true colors. All men do, great men and weak men alike. In Vietnam, our men had to believe in a harder and colder mind set of enemy.Now we are at war...on two fronts..with warriors who believe it is more important to die for their cause, then live for their beliefs.

July 5th, 2009
3:07 AM
The young lady that was shot in Iranian by a government sniper was as much a hero fighting for freedum as any one. My hart gos out to her family, and all the fallen that fight to be free of a government that forces its will on the people it should be protecting. The Hondures Senate, Supreme Court, and Army got it right in supporting and upholding there constution. I only wish the Senate and Supreme Court in the U.S. would have the guts to do the same. Under what athority can any President fire a CEO of a privet company? Or take controle of Banks and Auto Companies? He's a President not a King.

July 3rd, 2009
5:07 AM
Some of us in the USA view Obama as a KGB groomed trojan horse. Revenge from Russia with love! He is designed to end American preeminence and make way for someone's vision of a One World Government, Economy (and Religion?). Psychologically, his means of adaptation center upon appeasing rather than confronting. His early abandonment by a Comunist father, Muslim stepfather and his own mother, have set the stage for a geopolitical tragedy. His historical distortions/revisions of Islam's contribution to America is evidence of his following an ideologically justified path, which fulfills his wounded psychological need to win the favor of Islam. Any one on one negotiation with an authoritarian, older male Muslim is a loaded gun pointed at America!

July 1st, 2009
3:07 PM
Obama is showing clearly that he has an affinity for Left-Wing and Islamist dictators. He has been friendly and willing to "engage" with Chavez, the Castros and the Iranian mullahs, yet he denounces Honduras for ridding itself of a Chavez-like character who was acting unconstitutionally, and trying to illegally extend his rule. The pundit Charles Krauthammer also noted how Obama hasn't placed any value on freedom in his statements about Iraq. Obama certainly is a disgrace.

June 30th, 2009
10:06 PM
Bravo! Excellent analysis. Should be read by the American press but they can only compare him to God! Sooner or later, however, he will have to change. He is not stupid and when things don't work, the will adapt. If not, God help us!

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