Free Lance Star Column: An American President on Stage

free lance star An American president on stage

By Stephen J. Farnsworth

Opinion Column, Free-Lance Star, September 29, 2013

FREQUENTLY negative criticism of President Obama's policies on Afghanistan and Iraq by key European broadcasters helps explain why the president has received so little support from Western Europeans during the Syrian crisis and is now relying on Russia's "assistance."

The president's failure to persuade key allies like the United Kingdom and Germany to join with the U.S. on a plan for airstrikes in response to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons is not for lack of trying. As a candidate and as president, Obama used high-profile public appearances in Europe and frequent promises of international cooperation to try to reduce trans-Atlantic tensions that intensified during the George W. Bush years.

While news coverage of Obama's actions in Afghanistan and Iraq was far less critical than reports during Bush's presidency, the dominant international media messages of U.S. efforts in the region remained critical, according to a sentence-by-sentence content analysis conducted by Media Tenor Ltd., a nonpartisan provider of international content analysis.

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