While Barack Obama is busy trying to get everyone in the Middle East to like us, he’s apparently not putting much effort into our relationship with Germany.
Rift With Germany Is Next on Diplomatic Agenda
DRESDEN, Germany — After mending fences with the Muslim world in Cairo on Thursday, President Obama might want to keep his diplomatic tools handy for his stopover here, to repair his increasingly strained relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A rift has quietly opened up between Germany and the United States, marked by official statements of harmony and private grumbling. It is not an outright crisis in relations, but there are underlying tensions and disagreements on matters ranging from the global economic crisis to the future of inmates held at Guantánamo Bay.
By the way, this little spat is small potatoes compared to what Obama’s done to our relations with the African people. Very few people know that when he released his $3.6 trillion budget last month, it left a $3.3 billion shortfall in U.S. support for bilateral AIDS programs. The Telegraph in the UK revealed what impact this would have:
“It [the Global Aids Alliance] calculated that this means that one million people will not receive treatment for HIV, and 2.9 million women will miss out on services to help prevent passing the virus to their unborn children.
“Underfunding these critical programmes has grave consequences, especially during the current global economic crisis,” said Paul Zeitz, director of the GAA, speaking in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
“President Obama has a moral obligation to demonstrate global leadership on behalf of the poorest and most marginalised people of the world, especially in Africa. But by turning his back on those needs, the President is betraying the trust of tens of millions of people around the world.”
I followed up on that quote in my May 26th “Left, Right, and Center” column for the UW Daily:
It is shocking to me that out of a $3.6 trillion budget, Barack Obama cannot find $3.3 billion to fulfill our relief obligations in Africa. What’s not shocking is that this has gone unreported in the mainstream media, as it continues to provide cover for the president. The stomach-turning irony here is that while Obama is attempting to restore the United States’ image in Europe, he is simultaneously tarnishing it for the very people who have fallen in love with the United States during the past eight years.
Hope and change indeed…