America’s image; the Obama effect: Positive, but not all positive!

5 Jan

Most media in the United States, as well as media in general around the world, keeps suggesting that United States image improved under President Obama; these views are only partially correct.

There is little, or no doubt, that people, in most cases, like President Obama better than they liked President George W. Bush. But, liking a president may not be the most important feeling that determine how one nation feels about another.

President George W. Bush was feared, disliked, but respected by leaderships of most allied nations. Notwithstanding the feeling of leaders, George W. Bush was not either liked or respected by the people, by the man in the street, if you will.

President Obama is generally loved by the people, but is neither liked nor respected, by most leaders. Even in the case of the people, those in countries which feel that the American President let them down, such as those in European countries that lost the original missile defense initiative, and in Israel, whose people do not consider President Obama to be an ally, and where only 3% of Israeli consider Obama as a friend.

Additionally, President Obama, the bright, charismatic orator that he is, does not seem to feel beholden to historical alliances, in both his personal and public life; a character trait that other leaders seem to resent. Sarkozy mocks Obama, Merkel seems to barely tolerate him, while Gordon Brown gives him the cold shoulder, and Benyamin Netanyahu is clearly belligerent towards the young American President.

Non allied, and adversarial leaders such as Ahmadinejad, simply despise Obama and challenge him at every opportunity that they get. Putin and Medlev of Russia seem to manipulate President Obama by getting him to make concession (such as the missile in Europe) without reciprocating (such as the stance regarding Iran.) Most Muslim leaders seem to have a wait and see attitude, not doing anything to support the American President. And, the most rapidly growing international power, China, is ignoring Obama’s rhetoric regarding human rights, while loaning him enormous amounts of money and developing economic leverage against the United States should any conflict develop.

Back to George W. Bush: The second Bush President was not nearly as well liked, or respected, as was his father. Sacrificing civil rights for security within the United States, and torturing while treating “enemy combatants” as if they have no human rights (not even rights normally reserved for animals who are protected from harsh treatment, clearly from deliberate mistreatment such acts as torture.) George W. Bush was more respected and accepted by allied leaders who respected his toughness when dealing with adversaries. He was also respected for his loyalties to friends and allies, not a trait possessed by President Obama. The people, the man in the street, however, did not like President Bush nearly as much as they do President Obama; feelings that clearly improve the visible image of the United States.

To sum up: People around the world do seem to feel better about the United States under President Obama, than they did under President George W. Bush, but not all changes in image are positive.

Adversaries of the United States do not feel as intimidated by the country as they did when President George W. Bush held office. Friends, at the same time, do not feel that they can trust the United States under Obama, as much as they did when President George W. Bush was President.

In simple words, Obama is populist, he is liked by the people, but lacks the skills required to be an international leader. George W. Bush, on the other hand, was not liked by the people, and because of his persona, caused the image of the United States to decline around the world.

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