I always get amused by those who claim that Barack Obama will get along famously and wonderfully with leaders around the world and that his election would magically cause tensions between the United States and other countries to disappear. These assertions are nonsensical; nation-states have permanent interest that outlive and go beyond whatever influence is exercised on foreign policy by the specific personalities in charge of a particular nation-state.
In the event that we needed confirmation that Obama would not–contrary to popular opinion–be received like some conquering hero by the international community, I give you this:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama’s positions on Iran, according to reports that have reached Israel’s government.
Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as “utterly immature” and comprised of “formulations empty of all content.”
Obama visited Paris in July, and the Iranian issue was at the heart of his meeting with Sarkozy. At a joint press conference afterward, Obama urged Iran to accept the West’s proposal on its nuclear program, saying that Iran was creating a serious situation that endangered both Israel and the West.
According to the reports reaching Israel, Sarkozy told Obama at that meeting that if the new American president elected in November changed his country’s policy toward Iran, that would be “very problematic.”
For the record, Sarkozy offers something resembling a denial, though note Ben Smith’s catch. In either event, expect more such snarking if Obama becomes President. Watch how quickly The One becomes That One in the eyes of foreign leaders. Nation-states are not going to put aside their interests simply because of the identity of the American President in the event that Obama wins. The rationalizations from Obamaphiles–who have sought to foster the belief that a mere change in the White House from a Republican occupant to a Democratic one will cause the words “Yankee go home!” to be expunged from the languages of nations–ought to be interesting to watch at that point.