In interviews and speeches, Obama emphasizes his nontraditional background and his father’s Islamic heritage. Apparently, he hopes that by reminding the world that he is not George W. Bush, America will be better liked.
But without a strategic vision, “Bush did it” leads nowhere – given that most of the world’s problems predated and transcend Bush. Obama doesn’t seem to understand that wanting people to like America is only a means to an end, not a policy in itself – and an especially dubious means, given the character of many nations in the world today.
Nor does Obama comprehend that global tensions often reflect fundamentally different views of the human condition, rather than simple miscommunication or clumsy diplomacy – and so can’t be solved by serial apologies.