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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

Just In