I was all set to give President Obama a big rhetorical hug when a meeting with the Dalai Lama today at 11:00 am ET popped up on the schedule. There was speculation he’d stiff Tibet’s spiritual leader in order to appease the colonizers of Tibet and the destoyers of its culture – that is, the Chinese government - as he did in October 2009, when he caved to Chinese pressure to eschew a meeting.
But then I took closer look. Obama is meeting with the Dalai Lama on a Saturday morning, when press coverage will be minimal. The meeting was announced just the night before it was to occur to further dilute coverage, even though these things are planned well in advance. And he’s hosting him in the Map Room, not the Oval Office, so as not to give any hint of official recognition or endorsement to Tibet’s tragic symbol of defiance.
IS THE OVAL OFFICE BEING REFURBISHED?????
No, it’s just another example of Obama’s willingness to placate our rivals and enemies, famously enshrined by his desire to come to terms with people like Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Assad.
Like these people, the Chinese Politburo doesn’t understand having its collective asses kissed. It tickles them, and makes them uncomfortable. What they do understand is a a punch in the jaw, or at least a look of defiance. They’ll never like us, but they might respect us.
Obama loves to compare himself to Ronald Reagan – not of course, to the former president’s politics, but to his character and ability to do big things – but can anyone imagine Ronald Reagan meeting the Dalai Lama in the Map Room? Can anyone imagine any great leader slinking off the to Map Room for such a meeting so as not to upset our adversaries?
Obama’s treatment of the Dalai Lama brings to mind a poll released this week by Zogby showing his approval ratings among Arabs have plummeted – reportedly to a level even lower than that of George W. Bush when the former president left office in 2008.
This after Obama has spent so much time sucking up to that region of the world, from speechifying in Cairo about our common humanity, to bowing to the Saudi leader, to pursing what he thinks is a more “evenhanded” approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The rest of the world, beyond our cushy, effete allies in Europe, doesn’t think like we do. It’s a cold, Darwinian place that will either fear you or eat you alive.
Aside from al Qaeda militants, whom Obama has done a good job of scooping up, does anyone in the world fear Barack Obama?
Not the Chinese, for sure, and the result will show up in China’s growing effort to bully our allies in Asia and spread its power throughout the world.