It comes as no surprise, but is nevertheless the most confounding thing to see the talking heads and purported "journalists" act as if history began on January 20, 2009 and nothing that occurred prior to that date matters at all.
For example, one would have to forget that the US illegally invaded and occupied two sovereign nations in the 2000s, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans, and displacing a million more.
One would have to forget the practice of rendition, torture and indefinite confinement for those who can be guilty of nothing more than being Muslim.
One would have to forget that the various admitted and stealth intelligence agencies in the US have been constantly over-stepping their constitutional boundaries in an overarching belief that he who has the information, has the control and have done so for decades, including internationally.
I'm not saying that it's been all sunshine and roses since Obama took office, and his lasting legacy will have to answer for his share of warfare, deaths, inequality and surveillance, not to mention the blind eye to those trespasses that occurred before his inauguration. But please, can we have a little perspective instead of the hand-wringing concern trolling that Andrea Mitchell offers up on Meet the Press?
President Obama is now apologizing to his closest foreign friends - as the NSA leak story gets too close for comfort: word from Edward Snowden that the U.S. has eavesdropped on 35 foreign leaders -- even on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal cellphone. A furious Merkel called President Obama to complain.But the White House did not deny that it had happened.
The Secretary of State has been putting out fires here - there - and everywhere. Especially over U.S. policy toward Syria. After two years of war - and the Assad regime's chemical attack, killing more than a 1000 civilians, including children - with chemical weapons - the Saudis accused President Obama of backing down - even helping Assad "butcher his own people."Furious that the U.S. didn't retaliate, the Saudis shocked the U.S. by refusing a prized seat on the UN Security Council - in protest-
The Saudis - and Israel - also worry about Iran: Is the U.S. too eager for a nuclear deal.Too easily charmed by Iran's new President Rouhani?Secretary Kerry said this week the government shutdown had made allies ask: will America be a credible partner in the future? But key allies say they are more worried about U.S. policy and spying than American politics here at home.
I don't blame foreign countries for worrying about the US (although frankly, the disingenuousness in which Mitchell presents the Saudi and Israeli concern about Iran should cause her to be laughed right out of journalistic circles), but let's not pretend it began on January 20, 2009. Our standing in the world has been steadily decreasing for more than a decade.