It’s intriguing to watch Obama’s stature fade in the rest of the world. Just like Americans bought the Obama “Hope and Change” brand, so to was Obama greeted with considerable enthusiasm in most world capitols as an end of Bush-era unilateralism and bellicosity. We know how that movie turned out.
An Obama tour of Africa is likely to provide a marker of he is perceived in the rest of the world, although any negative reports are unlikely to get much play in our lapdog media. But since Obama was shunned in the recent G-8 conference, it’s going to be interesting to see how his African hosts muster up the appearance of enthusiasm during his visit.
The NSA scandal has only confirmed increasingly negative views of Obama overseas. He now has what looks like a “too little too late” tour of Africa, which looks intended to reverse growing Chinese influence there. The Middle Kingdom is Africa’s largest trading partner has been acquiring agricultural and mineral resources. And African countries may regard China as a much better ally than the US. Nicholas Shaxson in Treasure Islands described how Africa was perversely, despite its relative poverty, a capital exporter to advanced economies (read the US and the UK) due to tax avoidance by corporations operating there. The US has also allied itself too often (as in Latin America) backed authoritarian or repressive regimes, so it’s hard to imagine we are well liked on the Continent, and Obama hasn’t made any noteworthy breaks with our imperialistic practices. Even if China is engaged in a land-grab, it isn’t hard to look like a lesser evil with American and past European colonialists as the benchmark.
From the Real News Network: