Obama is a community organizer for the whole world or something

President Obama is applying the same tools to international diplomacy that he once used as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, constructing appeals to shared interests and attempting to bring the government’s conduct in line with its ideals.

Obama’s approach to the world as a community of nations, more alike than different in outlook and interest, has elevated America’s standing abroad and won him the Nobel Peace Prize. But on the farthest-reaching U.S. foreign policy challenges, he is struggling to translate his own popularity into American influence, even with allies that have celebrated his break from the Bush administration’s emphasis on military strength, unilateral action and personal chemistry…

But critics on the left and right have accused the president of sacrificing some of the U.S. principles he has publicly celebrated on behalf of a diplomacy that administration officials often describe as willing to accept progress if a perfect outcome is not possible. Rahm Emanuel, who represented Chicago in Congress before becoming Obama’s chief of staff, called him “a realist with a set of ideas.”

Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, said Obama “has a very strong aversion of anything that smells of preaching to others from a position of moral superiority, and that sometimes has caused the administration to pull back from direct criticism of dictatorships and their abuses.”

“There’s an appropriate reaction to the crusading moralism of the Bush administration, but it sometimes goes too far in the direction of hoping that reasoned and quiet persuasion will convince cynical and self-interested authoritarian governments to change their ways,” Malinowski said.

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