Around World, Obama's Presidency Disappointing?
In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to
hear Barack Obama speak, there's disappointment that he hasn't kept his promise
to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he's
shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic.
In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance
and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia's problems. And many in the Middle East
wonder what became of Obama's vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University
of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world.
In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global
climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty
expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year
later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken
aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious
Obama's views on Europe's financial crisis also have rankled some on the
continent. In September, he said the crisis was "scaring the world" and that
steps taken by European nations to stem the eurozone debt problem "haven't been
as quick as they need to be."
The Obama administration describes the eurozone crisis as a European problem
that needs a European solution. The United States and Canada last month refused
to participate in boosting the International Monetary Fund's financial resources
to manage the crisis.
"I think people see through his game to put the blame on Europeans — I think
Germans and Europeans still know where the economic crisis had its beginning,"
Braml said. "That's just finger-pointing, not doing a fair analysis of the dire
situation in the U.S., but I can understand Obama is doing that because he wants
to get re-elected so they need to shift blame around on the Republicans or the
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