According to Ha’aretz, the Israeli government has information that Nicolas Sarkozy has derided Barack Obama as an empty suit on foreign policy. The French president, who has worked hard to bring his country closer to the center-right policies of strength especially on Iran and Israel, considers Obama “utterly immature” in this arena:
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.”
Can anyone blame him? Europe does not want direct presidential-level negotiations with Iran — they want the mullahcracy isolated. They need American strength behind that position in order to wring concessions from the ruling Guardian Council. With the price of oil plummeting over the past two months, the economic sanctions on Iran finally have a chance to bite the mullahs hard. Obama’s stated policy would undo everything just at the moment that it has a chance of producing real change.
In fact, Sarkozy believes that Obama would wind up being more unilateral than George Bush in his foreign policy. When a French politician uses the word “arrogant” as an accusation, that means something. Apparently, their brief meeting during the Obama World Tour did not set Sarkozy’s mind at ease. He saw something that makes him extremely uneasy with Obama in charge of American diplomacy.
Formulations empty of all content. Sounds familiar, no? It has the ring of Hope and Change.