A news article titled Obama Hopes to Use Dealmaking Skills Honed Abroad (run in the NY Times, which seems to be reprinting a lot of AP articles verbatim these days), makes one wonder if the AP’s writers live on this earth.
Obama’s trip to Europe was a mixed bag, at best. No serious agreements were reached. European leaders resisted Obama’s call for “stimulus” spending. Statements of principles and the hope of getting along better in the future, sure. Those things almost always are worked out in advance. The bowing incident, and the iPod gift to the Queen were embarrassing. NATO didn’t come through with fighting troops (only security for elections) for Afghanistan. Sometimes violent protests against Obama and the United States marred the impression that Europe loves us now.
But not in the AP’s world. In its world, this was a crowning achievement, a model to be used in getting things done at home (brackets inside the quotation are mine, to inject reality):
President Barack Obama honed his dealmaking skills on his maiden international trip, to Europe and the Middle East….
Obama helped negotiate a compromise among world powers to battle the global recession [no real agreement, just words], helped break a deadlock over NATO’s next secretary-general [big deal, how about some troops] and helped coordinate NATO’s strategy for Afghanistan [again, mostly talk, and election monitors].
He agreed to restart languishing nuclear arms control talks with Russia [nothing is languishing, the current treaty doesn’t expire until late this year], laid down a marker on terms for a Palestinian state [no maker, just reiterating what was said at prior conferences], delivered a strong pitch for allowing Turkey to join the European Union [and pissed the Europeans off by doing so] and sought to heal a rift between the U.S. and the Muslim world [by humiliating the U.S. by bowing to the Saudi King and painting the U.S. as the problem, not the policies of Muslim countries].
In fairness, the AP does inject a little levity:
Asked whether Obama came home from the overseas trip with a greater sense of self-confidence, presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs paused a second.
”I’ve never felt that was a problem,” Gibbs said.
Since this was a hard-hitting news piece, not an op-ed or “analysis” article, the AP links to a source to back up it’s story. And to whom does it link? http://www.whitehouse.gov/.
I think that says it all.