Obama Not Meeting With Foreign Leaders: A Misguided Criticism
I am an independent. Many of my fellow independents rate President Barack Obama’s foreign policy very high. What I see president Obama doing; is pursuing foreign policy through solution-oriented procedure. He doesn’t want to be cajoled or intimidated. Many independents who want to vote for Obama appreciate his resolve and forthrightness.
Those who criticized President Obama for not meeting with world leaders during the 2012 session of the United Nations General Assembly; no doubt, may have good intention, but, it also shows their lack of proper reading or understanding of world situations. This is a different time and with different set of situations; and even with existing situations that have developed new dimensions. They must be approached according to such dynamics as they may possess.
Obama’s foreign policy is right on course. This was reflected by the scheduling of 30 meetings of some world leaders with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Her office handles the preliminary foreign policy arithmetic. This, for me, underscores a team approach. It further represents a robust cognitive mapping procedure; characteristically essential, in the wake of significant world events. The behavior of a political actor is guided by goals. Instead to criticize, it requires careful analysis and correct reading of indicators to appropriate the motives and intentions. Not meeting face to face with world leaders in the middle of his presidential election campaign; didn’t amount to foreign policy failure at all.
Let me be very clear. Dialogue and meetings are fundamental to policy making. No president can do without them. Above all, meeting with the president means high profile attention to a particular issue. But, Hillary Clinton is secretary of state; a former presidential candidate of great competence; a former senator with relevant skills and experience and former first lady held in high esteem for her credibility. To ignore Hillary Clinton’s weight and continually criticize the president; is sheer inflammation of emotion that mistakes foreign policy action for photo-up opportunity.
It is therefore understood that the current wave of criticism so far ignited against Obama is to undermine his foreign policy credits in an election year. Some critics even suggested that to meet with the ladies of television’s “The View” but not with Britain’s David Cameron, Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi, France’s Francois Hollande, Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai or any of the 120 leaders in town; may suggest foreign policy failure. This is a wrong reading, even after Obama’s speech challenged the world leaders to reason and think in line with American values and the United Nations original principles and policies.
Obama’s speech was a significant event at the General Assembly. It was delivered in a way and manner that calls for sober reflection by key actors in relevant situations. To not measure as well as interface Obama’s speech with recent attacks against the United States and other existing conflicts; is to grope in the dark criticizing the president’s foreign policy, when critics should understand first, instead to criticize first.