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Obama The European vs Sarko The American

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
This week, the London Times exposed French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s frustration with Barack Obama and the media drooling surrounding him. The two have very different leadership styles: Sarkozy actually does something, publicizes it like crazy, then watches as he gets ripped to shreds in France’s overwhelmingly far-left media. Sounds about right for a guy nicknamed “Sarko the American” trying to get something done in Europe. By contrast, Obama says he is going to do something, then watches as the media speculates on how incredibly awesome it will be.

With Obama, any action that doesn’t involve the implementation of socialism usually isn’t quite as earth-shattering as the media makes it out to be.

For example, while it’s true that President and Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama was in charge when the Navy Seals rescued an American boat crew from Islamic terrorists – referred to by the media as “pirates” while at sea - the French and Germans have been cannonballing into those waters for awhile, making it safe for Obama to dip his Messianic toe. One would expect that anyone short of Jimmy Carter, when granted access to the Defense Department’s toybox, would take on a bunch of thugs in boat.

The Germans nabbed a pirate last month named Ali Mohamed. Naturally, he’s now suing them for inhumanity. And French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been racking up these Pirates of the Caribbean understudies like he’s the franchise’s casting agent. Eleven captured this week, and 70 over the past year, according to the BBC.

Obama really isn’t doing anything new here. He’s just finally catching up to Sarkozy and Europe’s terrorism tolerance level. The idea of Europeans taking down swashbuckling Muslims on the high seas is so old that I was thinking maybe the real catalyst for Obama’s sudden interest in the issue was Sarkozy’s high profile failure in tackling of pirates in French parliament last week. Pirates of the music kind! No one showed up to vote on the music piracy law, except for a few Socialists who apparently weren’t busy ripping music off the Internet. But since Sarkozy lost, it was huge news everywhere – unlike his ongoing takedown of Muslim terrorists playing Popeye.

And the pirate situation is just one recent high-profile case. According to the London Times this week, Sarkozy also had to prod Obama into supporting various initiatives at the recent G20 meeting, including persuading China to clamp down on tax havens. Naturally, the media gave Obama all the credit for the initiative, which apparently annoyed Sarkozy.

An issue that hasn’t received much attention in the American media is the fact that Obama used his European visit to throw open the EU borders – a move that Sarkozy has been fighting for years. Presumably, the issue was overshadowed here at home by his pitch for opening America’s borders with talk of legalizing illegal aliens.

Sarkozy said on Charlie Rose’s PBS program a couple of years ago that he’s against including Turkey – one the world’s largest Muslim countries – in the EU because they’re already having enough trouble integrating Europe without including Asia Minor. It would be like erasing the border completely between the USA and Mexico, giving everyone the same passport, and telling them they can all legally work, live, and travel anywhere.

Then something wonderful happened for humanity: Barack Obama was elected President of the World, and erased all cultural and geographic boundaries between Turkey and Europe: “Turkey is bound to Europe by more than bridges over the Bosporus. Centuries of shared history, culture and commerce bring you together. And Turkish membership would broaden and strengthen Europe's foundation once more."

It’s like Obama’s speechwriter mated Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall, Gorby!” speech with JFK’s “Eich Bin Ein Berliner”, and came up with, “Hey, You’re All Turks, Man, So What’s The Deal With Borders?” Obama ought to know better, if he was dealing in substance. He was just at the NATO meeting in Strasbourg where the Turks nearly scuttled the nomination of a new Secretary General from Denmark because a few years ago some cartoonist over there drew a depiction of prophet Mohammed that launched the usual response of Islamic performance art involving fire and rage. As far as countries go, Turkey seems pretty high maintenance.

And Sarkozy isn’t alone in his frustrations. Bavarian EU Parliament member, Bernd Posselt, told Germany’s Der Spiegel, “The EU is not Obama's plaything…He should accept Turkey as America's 51st state instead.”

Even Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who took over the rotating EU presidency from Sarkozy in recent months, is calling Obama’s policies “socialist”. He told Agence France Presse this week: “The same chimera of equality, which we rejected with the fall of communism, is taking hold again.”

For anyone thinking that governments don’t always represent the level of support among their people – Klaus enjoys a 58% (and rising) popularity rating according to a poll released this week. And while Sarkozy’s numbers remain steady, largely due to a strategic mix of bone-tossing symbolic leftism on things like “climate change” and meaningful right-wing reforms, France still largely supports his views vis-à-vis Turkey’s inclusion in the EU.

Congratulations, America. You now have a leader who’s officially more European than what even Europe will tolerate.

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