It's now official -- America is the France of the 21st century.
France was a big power in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The French were pretty much in a constant state of war what with everything from the Seven Years' War, to the French and Indian Wars, to the American Revolution, to the Napoleonic Wars.
Then came the 20th Century when World War I, mostly fought on French soil, led to their preemptive surrender in World War II.
Since then, although the French still claim to be a world power, we all know that they're a shell of their former glory.
The United States, under President Obama, is looking more and more like France each day.
We're still the world's foremost superpower as of yet, but Barack Obama is responsible for the most dramatic decrease in a nation's standing since Alderaan was blown up by the Death Star in 1977 (Earth date).
The Edward Snowden debacle is the latest in a string of embarrassments, miscalculations by the Obama Administration -- it verges on plain incompetence.
As I type this, the entire Russian government is openly mocking the United States.
The National Journal's Michael Hirsh wrote that Putin's behavior over Snowden is in line with his positions on:
Syria (with Putin backing Bashar al-Assad against the rebels), Iran (where Moscow opposes too-stringent sanctions and is building a reactor), and missile defense (where Putin pressured President Obama to retreat from a missile-defense system, angering Poland and the Czech Republic).
Prior to arriving at the Transit Lounge in Moscow, Snowden was in Hong Kong, where senior members of the Chinese government were busily staring at their shoelaces as he left his hotel, traveled across Hong Kong, went to the airport, bought a ticket, made his way through Chinese immigration (even though his U.S. passport had been canceled), got on a plane and flew non-stop to Moscow.
The Times of India wrote that, while the Obama Administration was stomping its feet and holding its breath over Snowden, in China the "government-controlled media [was] describing him as an 'idealist' and a 'hero.'"
Anyone can have a rough patch with Russian and Chinese dictators, but how about the Obama Administration's excellent work in dealing with the Taliban? The Administration announced it was planning to open direct talks with the Taliban at their brand new office in Qatar.
Hamid Karzai, current thug atop the Afghan food chain, immediately flew into a frenzy and declared he was not only opposed to the U.S. meeting with the Taliban but was stopping his own negotiations with the U.S. on which military forces would be allowed to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. This is known as a Status of Forces (SOFA) agreement.
The Taliban, to show their good faith, immediately went out and attacked a convoy, killing at least one NATO soldier. It also attacked and killed nine tourists in Pakistan, including one American. And to round out the week of goodwill, they launched an attack in central Kabul in which, according to the New York Times, they employed:
"Two land cruisers similar to those used by international soldiers here, fake badges and vehicle passes, which allowed at least one to get inside the heavily guarded area, according to Kabul's deputy police chief."
This is the way the Taliban wants to prep the conference table for negotiations with Obama.
The fact is, there's no longer much of a downside for foreign leaders to embarrass the President of the United States.
Call Rosetta Stone -- it's high time we all learned French.