Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.Read the whole thing here.
For a while I thought that many of Obie's foreign policy blunders [and there have been many of them] were a result of his determination to re-orient American policy away from Europe and toward Asia, but his inability to formulate a successful Asian policy seems to indicate something more fundamental. The guy just doesn't care much about foreign policy. He likes being an international celebrity, but isn't willing to do the hard work necessary to carry a policy into effect. The last time we had a president this clueless his name was Carter. Many of us have seen Obie as the second coming of Jimmah. Now even Europe is beginning to note the similarities.