In remarks during a White House meeting, President Obama engaged in discussion with fellows from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and asserted his administration has restored the United States as the “the most respected country on earth.”
“People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia, and today once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth,” the President said. “Part of that I think is because of the work we did to re-engage the world and say we want to work with you as partners with mutual interests and mutual respect. It was on that basis we were able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and try to work with our partners in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the reason why we are moving in the direction to normalize relations with Cuba and the nuclear deal that we are trying to negotiate with Iran,” he continued.
All which matters is if one can live with himself.
Those who judge President Obama as a failure do so with the justification that the administration has indulged the worst instincts of our enemies. Those who disparage Mr. Obama say he speaks from the Ivory Tower with remarkable hubris.
The Obama foreign policy has been revealed as a refusal to discuss or acknowledge the truth. Obama has not faithfully assisted our allies or democracy, he has been woefully unprepared for the unseen consequences to his actions and common sense truths and human truths lay beyond his grasp.
Admirers of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy state the opposite. In their worldview, America has spent more time destroying in the past than building something to replace it.
According to champions of Mr. Obama’s “leading from behind” method, America’s less-than-sterling reputation is well deserved: Obama has faced never-ending problems; Obama is acutely aware of the limits of power and the pitfalls of interventionism; Mr. Obama is unwilling to make sacrifices of national treasure; he has declared a firm allegiance to American virtues by delivering democracy where it does not exist; and he is the chief architect of an effort to rehabilitate the American image and tame an oft-aggressive American foreign policy.
Contradictory, confounding or bold and visionary, interpretations hinge on which universe you live.