As Western Journalism reported on Monday, a lot of heads were set spinning and jaws dropping when President Obama told a gathering at the White House that his administration had elevated the United States to be “the most respected country on earth.” Obama told the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Fellows, “People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia, and today once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth.”
One might indeed find it curious that Obama would mention China in his self-congratulatory comment, considering that China is now showing just how much it “respects” the U.S. by defiantly standing up to the administration and extending its claim over critical parts of the South China Sea. Much of the world’s commercial ship traffic passes through waters over which China is aggressively trying to establish control. The Wall Street Journal notes:
China already asserts the right to regulate all the fishing in the South China Sea. And it regards the entire area as an administrative subdivision of Hainan Island, a governing writ that extends almost as far south as Indonesia.
What’s more, China picks and chooses those aspects of international law that support its case, and ignores those that don’t. Even though it is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it has never spelled out its maritime claims under that law.
And that’s just one current and very powerful piece of evidence out of a number which show the Obama administration is being challenged on several world stages by numerous countries, friend and foe alike.
Appearing on The O’Reilly Factor Monday night, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer ripped apart Obama’s claim that, thanks to his efforts, the United States is back in the position of the “most respected country on earth.” Incredulous of what he considered the president’s totally unfounded boast, Krauthammer told Bill O’Reilly, “You wonder what world, what planet he’s living on….”
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By clicking on the video above, you can watch Charles Krauthammer explain why he said of international reaction to Obama, “Now, if that’s a sign of respect, we’ve got problems.”