Obama Is the President Europe Said It Wanted

I'm puzzled to hear some of the carping from Europe--from Europe, if you please--over Obama's failure to lead decisively on Libya. In this new column for the Financial Times, I argue that Europe has got the kind of US president it asked for, and had better learn to like it. 

It is one thing to hear these [complaints about Obama's dithering] from US foreign-policy hawks. If necessary, when vital interests are at stake, they want the US to act on its own initiative, international law be damned. It is quite another thing--in fact, it beggars belief--to hear similar complaints about dithering from some Europeans. Mr Obama has let us down [over Libya], they say. Precious time has been lost.
Not long ago, Europeans complained that the US was bullying, reckless, and high-handed. Not long ago, Europe was ecstatic at Mr Obama's election because this was not his style. You would think that having longed for a president who was cautious, deliberate, and respectful of other countries' opinions--and having voiced contempt for George W. Bush, because he was none of those things--Europeans would hesitate to say, "The time for talking is over. Just start shooting."



Presented by

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Global

Just In