Four years of Obama: Observers from around the world share their disillusionment

Photo published on Flickr by Kyle McDonald.
Four years ago, much of the world rejoiced when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Many of our Observers, from Mexico to Pakistan, were among those who hoped his slogan of “Change” would apply not just to the United States’ domestic policy, but to its foreign policy, too. But today, their enthusiasm has somewhat died down.
The Observers we talked to were not alone: the latest poll of Obama’s global popularity – carried out in June – showed that all over the world, confidence in the American leader had dropped sharply during his first term in office.

MEXICO: “We thought Obama would reform immigration policy, but he’s let us down”

Alonso Fingus lives in Mexico City, Mexico. He plays bass in the band June.
Four years ago, I was very happy to see Obama, a Democrat, win the White House, because the Republican president before him had proven unable to deal with the rest of the world except by waging war. I also liked the fact that he represented a minority ethnicity, because Mexicans are also a minority in the United States. So here in Mexico, many people were confident that Obama wouldn’t support any anti-Mexican policies, and in fact believed his promises that he would reform immigration policy.
However, he did not live up to these expectations. [Obama recently admitted that the lack of immigration reform was his "biggest failure."] His policies have stayed pretty much the same. The authorities are still ruthless in hunting down people trying to cross the border, and in some US states the police are harassing all Latinos, whether or not they're illegal immigrants. Moreover, following the economic crisis, his policies were not enough to re-activate the economy in a way that would have been beneficial for Mexico, as the United States is our biggest economic partner.
In some ways, however, his failures have been good for Mexico – it has encouraged Mexican producers of goods to look toward other trade partners, particularly in Europe. It has also forced the Mexican government to take more responsibility in supporting its own population, since during the economic crisis Mexicans in the US sent less money home.

LIBYA: “I’m glad Obama helped Libya, but why refuse to help Syria?"

Enas Saddoh lives in Tripoli, Libya. She is a medical student.
I was very happy when Obama decided to help us save Benghazi and succeed in our revolution last year. Most Libyans saw him as a saviour after that, and they still do. They believe his is motivated by justice. However, I’m a bit more cynical – the United States loved Muammar Gaddafi, even bowed before him, because they had economic interests in Libya, notably oil. Only when the wind turned for Gaddafi did they turn against him. The US’s motivations have become even clearer in the past months, as Obama has refused to help the Syrian people, who are in a similar situation than we were – they just don’t have much oil. This is really awful to see.
However, I do hope Obama is re-elected, as it’s important for Libya to keep good relations. If he does become president again, I would like him to keep in mind that it wasn’t the Libyan people who killed the US ambassador – it was the work of extremists. He was a true friend to us, and we loved him.  I hope this won’t tarnish the relationship between our countries, which the ambassador had worked so hard on developing.

SYRIA: “Obama has made many nice speeches about Syria, but has done nothing”

Rami (not his real name) lives in Homs, Syria. He is an opposition activist.
When Obama was elected, Syrians were very happy. Because he comes from a minority that was oppressed, we thought he would fight against oppression throughout the world, using the United States’ power to defend the weak. His big speech in Cairo was a promising start. He pledged to forge a new relationship, one of respect, between the United States and the Muslim world. So we were quite surprised with how he acted after that. The United States just kept looking out for its own interests, and always sided with Israel, even though it oppresses Muslims. As for Syria, Obama made many nice speeches, but hasn’t done anything to help us. The climbing death toll here has done nothing to change this.
I don’t think Mitt Romney would be any better, but perhaps, if he were elected, he might make some efforts to help us in the beginning, if only to show the world he’s better than Obama and try to restore the United States’ lost prestige. Maybe this is just wishful thinking. But in any case, the Syrian revolution will with time succeed – with or without the next American president’s help.

PAKISTAN: “Obama’s drone program has fostered anti-American sentiment here”

Oiwas Khan lives in Islamabad, where he works as an entrepreneur.
With Obama’s slogan of "Change", we expected major changes in the way the United States deals with the rest of the world. But looking back on these past four years, it seems not much has changed at all. Yes, he killed the main suspect behind 9/11 [Osama Bin Laden, who was hiding out in Pakistan], but wars have continued, and drones are still attacking targets in Pakistan – it’s been more of the same.
In fact, the number of drone attacks have increased during Obama’s presidency.  These attacks are killing many civilians, and so of course this is only increasing anti-American sentiment here in Pakistan, especially in the tribal regions, which are the most affected by drone strikes. We just want peace now; we don’t want to fight the United States’ war any longer. The next president, whoever he is, needs to quickly realise that the current policies aren’t working.


Well all I can say is if all

Well all I can say is if all of you people from around the world are disappointed, imagine how we feel in the US. Worst President of modern times.

Four years of Obama

Martin Wolf, Financial Times, October 23, 2012: The Obama Administration Did a Good Job--and Stanford's John Taylor Is Doing a Bad One

Martin Wolf:

A slow convalescence under Obama: [W]e have no reason to regard the performance of the US economy under President Obama as poor, given the conditions he inherited. But this does not mean that recovery could not have been far stronger. Policy was insufficiently supportive of a stronger recovery. That is partly because the administration underestimated the forces for contraction. It is still more because of the opposition of the Republicans to any stimulus. In an economy afflicted by the implosion of a huge credit boom, the forces for contraction were bound to be both strong and enduring. With interest rates at zero, the effectiveness of monetary policy was limited. Given this, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which amounted to an average of a little under 2 per cent of GDP in the years it was effective, was plainly too small.

The great achievement of policy was to limit the severity of the post-crisis recession. This is largely due to the Federal Reserve and the decision to prevent a financial collapse in the autumn of 2008. But it is also due to sensible, albeit limited, action by the administration. Moreover, by historical and international comparisons, the US economy has performed quite well. Focusing on the recovery, without looking at the contraction, is clearly misleading. Finally, to the extent that the recovery was not stronger, the obstructionism of Republicans in Congress has to bear a sizeable part of the blame.

The above is what we refer to

The above is what we refer to as bullshit. Obama being totally inexperienced in economics chose to drag out the recovery by minimizing the contraction. Had the contraction been allowed to run it's course, we would have started a strong recovery in 2010. To say that more spending is the answer is just foolishness. We tried kensyian economics and it doesn't work. 900 Billion in stimulus and the idiot above wants more. Obama has saved large corporations at the expense of small businesses and now the middle class and the retired people are paying the price of such socialism. We are 16 trillion in debt, more than our GDP. We are as sick a economy as Spain, and, without a plan, heading toward being like Greece. Like Greece and Spain, our Beloved President has found he can buy votes with borrowed money and he is buying a lot of them. Mr Whyte would like the Republicans to get out of the way so we can borrow more money.

Take this as a lesson people of the world. Fix your own problems and stop depending on the United States to help you. We have adopted your foolishness and it is destroying our country just as it destroyed your countries. Responsible leaders and a people who are themselves willing to be responsible is what is needed. Buying votes with borrowed money leads to a demoralized country with everyone fighting for more free stuff.



From time immemorial the American Dream had been bigger than any individuals dream . President Barrack Obama came at a time when the American people needed change and such change he preached to bring in his administration.

Obama as a individual had passion and plans to revive the recessing American economy and most importantly to rebuild the its image in the international world through beneficial foreign policies just as he started with his speech in Cairo and also negotiations with Israel on how to bring an end to the crisis in middle east.

But like i said earlier that was too big for him to achieve because America is a cynical nation and has a trend in their policies which is only beneficial to them and if for any reason u get assistance fro the US then you have a price to pay.

When he spoke during the campaign i thought he had better plans to fight this disease in the system, but even when he tried it was beyond him.

There is no much to be expected from the President even if he gets elected into office the second time but the only good is that he might not wage a war.

American Dream Beyond

Mr. Obama has a dream of a socialist America, and that is the only plan that ever existed, he could never "fight the "disease in the system" for the (government) system is what he believes in. The socialist path is bad for the American economy and this effects other world economies.

As an American I feel that we have let the world down by electing a foolish little king/dictator, who has little respect for his subjects. Like Hitler, Stalin, Castro and many others he has fooled his people in believing the government can provide all the comfort they will ever need. He is good with the words he chooses, many fools have never heard these comforting words before. But that is all they are, words. His actions to improve the environment, the economy and people's security have mostly helped his political friends and supporters.

Americans and other free people should know they must look to themselves if they wish a better life for family and friends. They should not see themselves as children dependent on government. When and if American's reject Obama's dream then there will be a path for individual dreams.

This is interesting. Thanks

This is interesting. Thanks for sharing this great information. You have given me something to ponder today.