From The Moscow Times:
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly last week, U.S. President Barack Obama said we are entering a new historical era. He declared that the United States would cease taking unilateral actions and called on all people of all nations to join together in combating the challenges facing the world. Obama said we need the “cooperative effort of the whole world.” His foreign policy leitmotif has become the call to cooperate based on shared values. He made similar appeals during visits to Prague, Cairo and Moscow...
A recent survey by the Levada Center revealed that only 2.1 percent of all Russians consider the United States a friend, but 50.2 percent see Belarus as one, 17.6 see China that way and 17.4 percent consider Germany a friend. By contrast, 61.8 percent of respondents considered Georgia as Russia’s enemy, with the United States in second place at 45.4 percent.
The survey also found that 50.4 percent of Russians had either a “basically bad” or “very bad” attitude toward the United States, with only 1.4 percent holding a “very good” attitude and 34 percent feeling “basically good” toward Washington. What is most surprising to me is that Russians’ attitudes toward the United States have actually worsened during Obama’s first year in office compared with what they were during the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, Russia’s heretofore-favorite whipping boy.
"His foreign policy leitmotif has become the call to cooperate based on shared values." Wow. It's the most damning summary I've read yet, precisely because it's so decorous and superficially favorable. How provincial, how uncurious, how narcissistic, how trapped in an echo chamber of admirers do you have to be not to realize that much of the world doesn't share the values that America has traditionally stood for. If we want to live by and promote values like freedom, democracy, and peace, that will sometimes bring us into conflict with others. It would certainly bring us into conflict (though well short of war) with Putin's Russia.
Russians are right to continue mistrusting us. Obama may wish to conduct an amoral foreign policy for the next four years, but he can't commit America permanently to ignoring democratic freedoms and appeasing aggressors. The first order of business for the next Republican president will be to apologize for Obama's apologies and for shabby treatment of our allies in eastern Europe and elsewhere. Then get back to leading the Free World.