President Barack Obama went to #china for the G20 summit and then to Laos for a state visit, though at the end he likely wished he had stayed at home. First, the Chinese deliberately snubbed the president by not giving him a red carpet welcome at the airport, going so far as forcing him to exit from the back of the plane. Then President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, called his American counterpart a vulgar name for criticizing his human rights record. Duterte is fighting a real war on drugs by executing drug dealers without a benefit of a trial.
CNN blames the situation on the restive Pacific Rim.
However, the world has been troubled before, and American presidents have always been treated with a measure of respect, even by governments that wish the United States well. The problem is that President Barack #Obama, who entered office on a cloud of hope and change, is leaving the world stage under a cloud of ignominy. The president, who once got a Nobel Prize for just showing up, is despised by the global community.
From the Russian reset button to the breathtaking appeasement of the Iranian mullahs, President Obama has shown weakness in the world when he thinks he is showing forbearance. Hence, tyrants and terrorists feel that they can treat the president like a four-eyed, 90 pound weakling with a kick me sign on his posterior.
Like many men with an overabundance of arrogance and a dearth or situational awareness, Obama has chosen to publicly and serenely ignore these slights. Unfortunately, by so doing, he is inviting more of them that will escalate until even he has to act..
More dangerously, Obama may be followed by a president who has never left an insult unanswered. Donald Trump, if he becomes president, is going to be tested. All new leaders are tested. The problem is, while he will react he may overreact. The thing is to show strength when a foreign leader pushes, but not hysteria. Trump will be dealing with cold-blooded killers like Vladimir Putin and the ayatollahs and not an actress or reporter who offended him. The trick for him will be to answer a slight or a provocation in an intelligent manner so that the message is sent and the incident does not repeat. If Trump becomes president, it is hoped that the more recent, adult version and not the earlier, boisterous model, will occupy the Oval Office.