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Watching Euronews this weekend, I got to see a lot of our President speaking. I must say, it's nice to have someone who doesn't embarrass us at every turn. Speaking with my cousin in Germany confirmed many in Europe like him and are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding our foreign policy. He's saying the right things.
While I have great reservations about his Wall St. resurrection plan (more of the same to me), I do admire his vision in the international arena. His policy toward Iran, popular in Europe, is designed to get the Persians talking to us in an atmosphere of mutual respect. There is a reason our puppet, the Shah, was run out of there 30 years ago (read up on the history of the area) and a people who've been a civilization 5000 years before anyone realized there were two more continents to the west do not respond to threats from 'upstarts'. Something the Chimp and the neocons never understood. It's nice to see diplomacy given a real chance and hopefully, dialogue with Iran will ratchet down some of the tensions in the area.
His handling of the North Korean launch, though, does nothing to change the status quo in that region. While I understand quite well the fine line one must walk on the peninsula (close to a million men under arms on the north side of the DMZ and an insane leader who would think nothing of sending them south), Obama must find a way to break the 50 year cycle of demands and saber rattling while the North Korean people slowly die. Shoulda shot the thing down (as opposed to blowing it up on the pad; on North Korean soil - big difference in message), unless that weapons system doesn't work quite as well as the Bush Pentagon said it did. Diplomacy, in this case, probably won't work (though the South Koreans are very inclined to wait the Kim regime out though it might seriously bite them in the ass anyway) as there are already forces aligned to block any more sanctions. It seems Obama did the best he could in that sticky situation.
In all, I'm impressed with our President on this trip. He made a good start on rebuilding the American brand and repairing the damage the Republicans did to our international relations. Now, if he'd only realize his economic team is sleeping with the enemy ...