Friday, December 9, 2011

Smart Power Again

Remember when the Obama campaign argued that we would engage the world in ways that made them not hate us?  Obama has decided that our policy towards other nations will be tied to gay rights.  It should not be a surprise that this is not going to be popular in the Muslim world--but Africa is apparently responding very negatively.  This December 8, 2011 Christian Science Monitor article points out nearly every African nation criminalizes homosexuality, and this is not making us friends:

John Nagenda, a senior adviser to Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, told The Monitor that this view would be “anathema” to most African nations. 
“I don’t like her tone, at all,” he said.
“I’m amazed she’s not looking to her own country and lecturing them first, before she comes to say these things which she knows are very sensitive issues in so many parts of the world, not least Africa. 
“Homosexuality here is taboo, it’s something anathema to Africans, and I can say that this idea of Clinton’s, of Obama’s, is something that will be seen as abhorrent in every country on the continent that I can think of.” 
Interestingly enough, at the end of the article we find out that Nagenda is actually a liberal on the gay rights issue.  Now, I do not think that foreign disapproval should drive our foreign policy; much of the world does not support gun rights, freedom of speech, capitalism, or many other American ideas.  But I do find it amusing that Obama and friends were so intent on proving how sophisticated they were compared to that cowboy Bush--and yet they are demonstrating how little they really understand of the world.

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