If the United States had restored the love and credibility from the world that Barack Obama’s election was supposed to bring, then the United Nations would not have voted to make Palestine a nonmember observer state. The vote would not have happened.
If we had a competent Secretary of State and if we had a competent American representative at the UN, they would have been able to keep the vote from happening. Whether by persuasion, promises or threats, they would have been reduced to whining bit players who were irrelevant to the moment.
But they were, and now the United States has been dealt an embarassing, humiliating diplomatic defeat in front of the whole world. It follows Ambassador Rice’s embarrassing failures to secure real sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program. The sanctions she has secured have so many holes that they are sanctions in name only.
Today’s vote follows another major diplomatic defeat for the US since President Obama’s re-election. On Nov. 20 the US was shut out of a new trans-Pacific trading partnership. President Obama himself attended the summit to argue for an American presence, but he failed to make the sale, and we’re shut out.
As Spangler reported:
Instead, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club and leave out the United States. As 3 billion Asians become prosperous, interest fades in the prospective contribution of 300 million Americans—especially when those Americans decline to take risks on new technologies. America’s great economic strength, namely its capacity to innovate, exists mainly in memory four years after the 2008 economic crisis.
A minor issue in the election campaign, the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative was the object of enormous hype on the policy circuit. Salon.com enthused Oct. 23, “This agreement is a core part of the “Asia pivot” that has occupied the activities of think tanks and policymakers in Washington but remained hidden by the tinsel and confetti of the election. But more than any other policy, the trends the TPP represents could restructure American foreign relations, and potentially the economy itself.”
As it happened, this grand, game-changing vision mattered only to the sad, strange people who concoct policy in the bowels of the Obama administration. America’s relative importance is fading.
Indeed. When we go over the fiscal cliff and slash our military to the bone, we will become even more irrelevant. Except, maybe, as the world’s scapegoat for wrecking the global economy, that is.
Heckuva job, Obama.