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  • Just Wild About Obama

    You can’t argue with success – or can you?  Newly released international opinion polls of the image of the United States bring the good news that global publics continue to view the American president and United States as a country in a favorable light.  The question that has to be asked, though, is whether this improved image is a result of a perceived new direction in American foreign policy – the Obama Doctrine –which could end up weakening American leadership as the sole remaining superpower and American national security.

    According to the Pew Global Attitudes Survey, Mr. Obama himself remains popular to the point of adulation among West Europeans.  As many as 90 percent of Germans, 87 percent of Frenchmen, 84 percent of Brits expressed a faith in Mr. Obama to do the right thing as an international leader.  It is worth noting, however that in every case, except two countries, some slippage from last years’ numbers were in evidence, suggesting that reality checks are setting in. The two exceptions were Kenya, Obama’s paternal homeland, where his approval rating is up to 94 percent, and interestingly Russia, where, following the START treaty negotiations, 41 percent now express a favorable view of the United States, up by 4 points from last year.  As the Russian government came out of the negotiations with significant concessions from the American side on Missile Defense, this is maybe not so strange.  Not surprisingly, Americans were less enthusiastic.  Like president’s domestic approval ratings, there was a significant downward trend. Last year, 74 percent and this year to 65 percent expressed confidence in the president when it comes to foreign affairs.

    The one exception to these glowing attitudes is the Middle East, the centerpiece of the Obama foreign policy thrust when the president came into office.  In major foreign policy addresses, such as the Cairo and the Ghana speeches, Mr. Obama presented much “hope and change,” but has so far failed to produce any measurable results.  As a result, publics of largely Muslim countries continue to look at the United States in negative light.  In both Turkey and Pakistan, two U.S. allies, only 17 percent hold a positive opinion. In Egypt, America’s favorability rating dropped from 27 percent to 17 percent  – the lowest percentage since 2006 when the surveys were first done.

    What is it about the Obama Doctrine that has such foreign appeal? Based on the set of strategy documents from the Obama administration released this spring, the National Security Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review, the National Communications Strategy, and others, it is a strategy  to manage the decline of the United States as a global actor. It emphasizes soft power over hard power, as declining defense budgets and increasing aid budgets suggest. It increases U.S. reliance on international institutions, as in the new rather tame new U.N. sanctions on Iran.  And it seeks to reign in American power to present a more humble international presence, as the president’s numerous acknowledgements of American short-comings regularly remind international audiences.

    (It should be noted that the Obama administration does not always adhere to its own doctrinaire pronouncements. In Afghanistan, for instance, U.S. hard power has been increased for now, not diminished. When it comes to trade, the administration seems to have no use at all for international institutions like the WTO or the Doha round of free trade negotiations. And humility flies out the window when the administration is dealing with U.S. allies, like Britain and Israel, who have been getting pretty high-handed treatment.)

    For those around the world, particularly in Europe, who believe that the United States needs to be taken down a peg and even presented the severest threat to international peace under President George Bush, the Obama Doctrine is hailed with much approval.  Unfortunately, the renewed popularity of the United States and its president is coming at the expense American global leadership, which will take years to recover.

    Helle C. Dale is senior fellow for Public Diplomacy at the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Just Wild About Obama

    1. Pingback: Just Wild About Obama | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. | Headline News Today

    2. Realist, NY state says:

      Conservatives hate government, right? They hate taxes too. Yet they expect the police and the fire department to protect their private property. Oh, they love their private property- homes, cars, boats, you name it, they have it.

      Conservative also expect the roads to be drivable, and they want their schools and libraries well funded by the government and taxes-(socialism). Conservatives also have no issue with the government running the military- which could one day bite us all in the azz.

      Thing is, you cant have your cake and eat it too.

      Also, Conservatives love Walmart, but care nothing for the little girl in South East Asia who works 12 hrs a day then sleeps

      under her workbench for the night in order to make your shirts and socks. Cheap prices dont happen without consequences. If youre only paying $7 for a shirt just imagine what the person who made it is earning. Walmart helps to keep the 3rd world in its rut.

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    4. Ken, Houston says:

      Conservatives do not hate govt. but believe that the role of it should leave as small a print as possible on our daily lives. We need the services that only govt. can GUIDE with elected reps. to help in this thru fair elections on local,state, and national levels. You do not know any true conservatives, I care deeply for all creatures on this beautiful planet and the resources that were left to us to care for. Watch putting everyone in 1 basket it shows how shallow so many LIPERALS really are.

    5. Don Harper, Lubbock, says:

      If you are concerned about the plight of factory workers in third world countries, you will be enlightened by reading "The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy" by Pietra Rivoli. She is an economist who analyzes the global textile trade from multiple points of view. A surprizingly interesting and readable book.

    6. Wm; Ky says:

      What the hell are you trying to say "Realist"? No, I do not want most of the things you stated but thanks for trying to speak for me. Obviously a very knowledgeable fellow. Wouldn't WalMart give you a refund? I would gladly keep my tax dollars and use my own water hose for the house fire. I would like to have a part to play in deciding what my kids are taught. I would love to see the Social Security monies (I was required by law to pay) still available if I ever get to retire. I would love to get through a day and not see my beliefs being attacked by a liberal socialist progressive leftist. What percentage of your income are you sending to SE Asia?

    7. Richard, New Orleans says:

      Conservatives DON'T hate government, just government expansion beyond Constitutional limits. If my city wants world class schools AND the local taxpayers agree to pay for it, no problem. When an unelected, unaccountable federal employee at the Dept of Education decides to tell a local school system what to teach or what salary to pay school staff members, that is NOT OK.

      Liberals who want a government telling every citizen how much of their earnings they will be allowed to keep and a government that promises more benefits than revenue will support, or creates new programs with no source of revenue are more guilty of saying "Thing is, you cant have your cake and eat it too." than any conservative.

    8. Drew Page, IL says:

      To the "Realist" in N.Y. — Sounds like you need a bran muffin or two. Where do you get the idea that conservatives "hate" government? We don't hate government, we just hate big, over-reaching government that tries to control more and more of our personal lives.

      "Oh they love their private property – homes, cars, boats, you name it they have it." You got something against owning your own home? Seems like your pals Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton couldn't get enough of EVERYONE having their own home, whether they could afford it or not. You may have read something about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac getting into a little trouble awhile back after making sure everyone who wanted a mortgage got one. You got something against people owning cars? Mr. Obama thought it was such a good idea that he came up with a tax supported CASH 4 CLUNKERS program so everyone would buy a car. You don't think that liberal, "progressives" don't own homes and cars? Damn near every Senator in office today is a millionaire, including the Democrat Senators. You think that your idols like the Kennedys need any financial help, or George Soros, or the Hollywood liberals, or the TV anchors in the main stream media?

      You say "conservatives expect their roads to be drivable and their schools and libraries to be well funded by taxes – (socialism)." Yes, that's right I do expect the federal roads to be drivable. I pay more than enough taxes (federal gas tax and federal income taxes) to keep the roads drivable and I have no trouble with doing so. I don't know how the public schools and libraries are funded in N.Y., but here in Illinois they are funded through property taxes, whether you have kids or not. About 75% to 80% of our property taxes go towards financing the public schools and libraries.

      You say "conservatives have no issue with the government running the military." I don't mind having my tax money going to support our national defence. And I'm a lot less frieghtened of our military than I am of the liberal progressives in Congress and the current President.

      You say "conservatives love Walmart, but care nothing for the little girl in Southeast Asia who works 12 hours a day and sleeps under her workbench in order to make your shirts and socks." I, and lots of other conservatives, look for the made in America label. But let's take a look at who drove those jobs to Southeast Asia, your pals in the unions, that's who. Your worried about the little girl in SE Asia working 12 hours a day in a sweatshop? Go over to S.E. Asia, find her, give her some of your money. Better yet, offer to adopt her and a few of her brothers and sisters and bring them back to the U.S. and raise them as your own. Lead by example, instead of whining about how bad they have it.

    9. bruce, austin says:

      Realist indeed.

      Just prattle from a socialist, utopian nutcase, the likes of which are leading our country down the toilet along with their failed muslim facist hero, the potus and his buds like chavez, castro and other america haters.

    10. Lloyd Scallan New Or says:

      Realist – Do you shop and Walmart? Why don't your give $20 for the $7 shirt that the little girl makes so that the extra $13 goes to the little girl for a pad under her work bench? That's the way of left-wing socialist like you. You and your ilk want to eat your cake and mine too, or you want no one to have cake at all. You want to use someone else's money to support your socialist agenda, but refuse to do anything extra to support your beliefs

    11. John Madera,CA says:

      At first, I thought I wouldn't respond to realists comments but your generalisations were so blatant I had to respond. Based on what I read about the democratic party, and who I see in Walmart, I would venture to say that most of walmarts customers are spoon fed liberals.

      We conservatives are what made America great. We work hard, pay our taxes, and give to the needy.

      Do you find fault with the farmer who works 18 hours a day to provide you with three meals a day? Do you find fault with small business people who work 10-18 hours a day trying to grow a business and receive sometimes less than the average family on public assistance? Do you also find fault with our military that keeps us a free country?

      We do not hate our government, we dislike a huge overreaching, over bearing, disfunctional government that is trying to control us. We have a constitution that our founders created to control the size of government. We the people are to be self governing under the constitution of the republic. The government that we do not like is the one that has drastically expanded beyond it's constitutional limitations and authority.

    12. william cincinnati says:

      The "Realist" makes the comment which I have heard over and over again. It is the conservatives who want everything. One would get the idea that liberals are living naked in the wild where they eat nothing but honey and locusts. In the area where I live liberals are rampant. One long stretch of the hills above the Ohio in particular is crawling with them. They all live in huge houses, they drive Mercedes Benz autos, and send their children to private schools.

      In addition, more than half of the U.S. Senators are multi-millionaires who live very well indeed. Who makes their clothing, et al? I doubt seriously that they think for one moment about the fictional little girl who sleeps under her workbench after a twelve hour shift. And isn't it strange that only children elsewhere are to be pitied? There are many of them right there in the state of NY, a state dominated by Democrats and high taxes, who live in poverty, go to rotten schools, fear the streets, and don't eat well.

      Look around you, "Realist."

    13. Lloyd Scallan New Or says:

      Europe does not get Fox News, but they do get CNN. None other than left-wing news gets through, except on the Internet. Just as in the days of Radio Free Europe, the socialist and Communist do not want the people of Europe to learn the truth. That's one reason Obama and his ilk are so determined to control the Internet?

    14. Norma in Nebraska says:

      Would any of the Western European countries like to trade leaders for the next 30 months or so? If they love our President so much and think he is such a wonderful leader, I think we could arrange a trade! After all most of the leaders in those countries are realizing that they MUST cut spending if they want their country to survive this disaster brought on by "tax and spend!"

      As for the previous comment, conservatives don't HATE all government, just the one that wants to control every aspect of our lives. We respect the left's need to total government control so they don't have to think for themselves just as they should respect our right to run our own lives. It is a matter of perspective . . . John F. Kennedy, a rather famous DEMOCRAT said, "Ask not what your country can do for you but rather what can you do for your country." Just maybe that means that in order to continue to live in a country with freedoms that our forefathers put into the Constitution it is essential that each of us pull our own weight, do our part to maintain our environment, and help our fellow man. Of course, those who just cannot abide the thought of free enterprise, perhaps we could purchase them a one-way ticket to anywhere else in the world so that they could live a more satisfactory lifestyle.

      Finally, if I pay $30 for a shirt instead of $7, does the remaining $23 go to the poor "child in Southeast Asia who works 12 hrs a day then sleeps under her workbench for the night" . . . OR . . . does it go to her employer so he can build more factories with cheap labor????? In typical progressive fashion we should demonize Wal-Mart as the private enterprise that keeps that little girl under her workbench. Silly me, I thought it was the ROLE of the United Nations to chastise countries who promote child labor and other forms of abuse against the world's citizens.

      What the ultimate struggle between conservatives and progressives amount to is free private enterprises v.s. government centralized control and government entitlements. For those who want to think up new ways to market their ideas, they will thrive in a private enterprise situation. For those who are not motivated to take care of themselves or be responsible for themselves, they prefer having the government control every moment of their lives and providing subsistance so that their ultimate life situation is not THEIR fault.

    15. DinosaurTanker says:

      That's right: Conservatives do love those things – police, fire fighters, roads, schools and libraries. Last I checked, all of those benefits of government happen at the state and local level. We do love the military as well, and freedom from foreign depredations is the most critical duty of the FEDERAL government. What Conservatives are rightly concerned about is the growth of FEDERAL government spending, regulation, and overreach in areas well outside of these areas – $30,543 per household. We're just as concerned about STATE spending outside of those benefits above. The FEDERAL Dept of Education spends $84 billion – more than 3x what we spent in 2000, with virtually no improvement to show for it. More than half of Education salaries are non-teachers. The Obama Administration's non-defense discretionary spending is skyrocketing across every department. There are now 40 million people on food stamps, and they're trying to enroll more people.

      Conservatives absolutely care about the poor and disadvantaged, we just believe in private solutions rather than government-driven efforts. If any of these govt or UN programs worked, we would have seen evidence of it in the last 50 years. The programs continue to grow, and enrollment actually *increases*. Public schools fail to graduate or educate, despite a tripling in funding, while parochial and charter schools succeed in the same neighborhoods with less money. The U.N. is a huge, bloated, and politicized bureaucracy: less than half of every dollar they spend reaches that poor child in Asia, while private charities deliver 90 cents or more of every dollar to the intended recipient. In fact, you could say Conservatives care more, because we're not content to *appear to be caring* – we actually want to *solve* the problem by taking it away from govt's.

    16. Dennis Georgia says:

      The world may not like America, but who do they turn to when things go bad, eathquakes, floods, famine, disease, wars, and any thing they feel we should help them with. The dems and "MASTER OBAMA" are intent on seeing this country fall on its butt. The forign policy of this administration is useless. They go around the world telling them we are so sorry for what ever they think we did, not asking what we need to improve on, give away the keys to the White House, and then blow smoke up our leg and tell us the woods are on fire. Well the AMERICAN people are tired of all the BS from obama and clan. The working people in this country are fed up with trying to take care of the world. Those that do not want to help them selves are like those with drug or alcohol problems, you can throw all the money and help in the world at them, if they do not admit they have a problem, then it is all a waste of time and effort. We are to the point where we must help ourselves, we must get back the pride in this country, the pride in a job well done, the moral values that are required to stand tall, and the respect that comes from a GOD fearing country and its people. This will not come from obama and clan, they do not want us to be a proud nation and people.

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    18. Michael says:

      What an interesting post you made Realist, but it is really not based in reality from a conservative point of view. Granted, there is no one "conservative" point of view, but let me try to explain it to you.

      Conservatives don't hate government- they "hate" a government that continues to expand at a record level and should not be that large. Please keep in mind that this "hatred" is directed at ANY party, it is just that the Democrats specialize in expanding the government much faster than Republicans.

      Why do liberals keep bringing up these talking points about schools and roads and socialism? Did you guys just get a new Organizing for America email or something? The LOCAL government is supposed to provide schools (well, since a little while anyway) to do this IF the parents choose not to educate the kids themselves through home schooling and they are supposed to take care of the roads in the area- NOT the federal government. Perhaps you might see that there is a difference between paying your property taxes to go to a local road or school, or paying federal income tax and your taxes going towards a union buying an automobile company or to subsidize transgender art. I hope you do.

      About the military and government control- a quick history lesson here: the federal government SHOULD be directing the military (and not running it) as is declared in our consititution and as far as biting us in the ass, yes, you could be right, that's why there is a second amendment. Then again, you may not believe in that either if you are liberal (but you might not be, I don't know).

      And just to absolutely refute what you have said, I cannot think of the last time I have bought something at Walmart. I try to buy American as well but that is becoming harder and harder- given the regulations and unions and taxes that our companies have to follow here.


    19. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      What would that third-world girl be doing or making if it wasn't for Wal-Mart and its large customer base?

      What's wrong with working 12-hour days and even sleeping at work? Many Americans work long hours to lift themselves out of poverty, keep their employees, build their businesses, and/or make a better product or service.

      Conservatives don't hate government; we despise a government that has broken its contract (constitution, charter, etc.) with the people under its jurisdiction. We take issue with a government whose policies drift from general to specific welfare.

    20. ray in TN says:

      Most conservatives would probably not hate government. We realize we must have some form of government…..Consider what would ensue without some form of government. We do believe government size and power should be limited.

      The US government, sort of free enterprize, has allowed more people to have (Read Earn in most cases) their property, homes, cars, boats, etc than others.

      Of course we want our roads to be serviceable. What we don't want is our taxes paying for those who are able to work and can not, will not. We do not want to pay for someone who illegally invades our country and gets a free ride in all respects. The progressives want these illegals as "votes" to keep them in power. Why can we not "have out cake and eat it too?" We've done quite well for a couple hundred years..

      I have to get to work to pay my taxes, so some illegals can get their free ride.

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    22. Zack, Washington, D. says:

      Realist did make some broad statements but the comments that followed are just as broad. Let's try specifics….

      Conservative tax cuts(both passed under Bush supported by conservatives from the 103-109th congress) They will add 2.5 trillion to the national debt.

      Conservatives blaming the housing crisis on the Government and C.R.A. when over 85% off all loans from 1999-2009 were in no way, shape or form subject to C.R.A. or listed as G.S.E.'s, yet you blame the government. Fannie and Freddie's bottom line losses for 2009 came in at 190 billion. 12 Other private sector Lenders bottom line losses for 2009 were over 1.63 Trillion.

      Conservative and Republicans in charge of the Administration, House and Senate from 2001-2008 sucessfully added 5.5 trillion to the national debt, in that time excluding the .6 trillion for the shared budget of 2009. (don't use the "well democrats controled congress excuse) because over 91% off all legislation that became public law in the 109th congress was of conservative and republican sponsorship.

      Conservatives complaing about immigration reform, again while in power did what to address the problem…..?

      Conservatives blocking any and all healthcare reform for 30 years.

      Conservatives giving credit to Reaganomics when he was the 1st of 2 presidents to double the national debt.

      Conservatives for smaller government, except for inflated military budgets, expensive tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of almost every single sector in our economy.

      Conservatives constantly blaming the Obama Administration and Democrats and Liberals for the recession regardless of 12 years of Conservative and Republican House and Senate, 12 years of Conservative and Republican banking and finance committee's chairs, Treasury Sectretary's, 8 years of a Republican and Conservative Administration.

      Starting a was under blatent lies. (Not that im happy about Obama drawing out a pointless "war" in Afganistan) -nevertheless

      need more. need sources. need ultra specifics. need legislative documents, debt verification…? Please, please ask, but for you sake and mine, please do the same before even attempting a debate.


    23. Brad in Ohio says:

      At one time, a liberal friend complained about my attending night classes, working fulltime and owning two sets of apartments I had bought and remodeled. "Are you trying to get rich or what," he cried!

      "Yes," I replied. I want to be able to retire when I want. Soc Sec wont be there.

      I now have a great job I love selling American made products. My son is a Marine. My other son is training to join when he can.

      My sons will fight for your right to make a fool of yourself and will not judge you. I buy the GM car I want made by Unions backed by Govt dollars. You should be glad I am a conservative raising marines to protect you. Grow up.

      One day I could tire of providing work for you.

    24. Incarnate in NJ says:

      To Realist in NY and Zack in DC and everyone else who basically commented on these two instead of the article… I say this…

      Over the last 50 years Liberal America (Democrats), and I mean the Educators, Congresses, Senators, Judges, the elitests and Government as a whole, has slowly lowered the standards of America. With this administration, the icing is slowly (or quickly, depending how you look at it) being put on the cake. And I have to include

      the hand of the Republicans in this mix. Our history, our "American Heritage" and our "American Traditions" are slowly being erroded or, if some could have their way, they would be erased. I know what makes me Proud to be an American, but I never hear (or Read in a Blog) what makes other Americans Proud to be an American? (Or have they nothing to be Proud about and Why? – Specifically?)

      I can tell you a few (as there are many) specifically what I am NOT proud of;

      Seeing my President 'bow' to 'truly opressive' Leaders. (embarrassing)

      The Welfare State my Country has become. (Government/special interest driven)

      The 'entitlement state' my Country has become. (Government/special interest Driven)

      The decay of our Morals and Values as Americans at the expense of everyone.

      The flagrant ignorance, gullibility and naivete' of many many Americans in regard to

      the Constitution, Government, Terrorist, Economics, Main Stream Media, True

      Freedom and Liberty. (Don't look now but we are slowly becoming Government


      The many Americans that can't or won't 'think' for themselves. (They want to relieve

      themselves of any responsibility and let the Gov't, Media, blogs 'think' for them)

      The Whiners and the "Victim" syndrome in America. (Shows we are a weak

      Whiny, Poor me, Poor them Society) (Let's call it what it is).

      The (perhaps) jealousy? of the Wealthy in America. Although there are exceptions,

      many, many Wealthy Americans actually worked very hard to become wealthy and

      contrary to popular Liberal/Social Justice belief, they were not "handed' their

      wealth. (When did anyone ever get a job from someone who makes 20 – 60,000

      dollars a year?)

      The Rhetoric of "social Justice" should we not have "EQUAL Justice"?.

      The fact we have to Create Laws to enforce our laws.

      The fact we don't enforce the Laws of the land we already have.

      The web of lies the Government and Special Interest Groups want us to believe.

      Instead of Challenging Americans to be better, to grow, to be self sufficient, to be responsible, to strive for excellenct, we just lower all the standards to just be a mediocre, Godless, Mess we call America Makes you Proud doesn't it?

      Lastly, can anyone 'specifically' and 'exactly' explain what is the 'hope and change' our President campaigned on? What is the 'Hope" and what are we suppose to be 'Changing' to? I honestly don't get this not then, not now… This was written by a true realist…

    25. tk in mo says:

      TO realist in ny

      so what would the little girl be making if walmart purchased their products someplace else and what does that pittance buy in her country? Maybe more than it would here. you really call yourself a realist?

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