Really, the nations that are not showing up are a virtual "Who's Who" of once-important allies, friends, and strategic partners:
As remarkable as it is, the fact that neither British Prime Minister Gordon Brown nor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are attending President Obama’s nuclear security summit in Washington Monday and Tuesday is not altogether surprising.
Relations with both countries — Israel in particular — have grown strained under Obama. Combined with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent defiance of the administration, questions are growing about the president’s ability to maintain important relationships.
The president’s critics, many of them from the Bush administration, say the summit absences — heads of state from Australia and Saudi Arabia also are not attending — are the most glaring examples of a floundering foreign policy that treats rivals and enemies better than friends.
The Brits and Aussies, friends of America for over a century. The Israelis, our spiritual partners and soul-mates. And the Saudis, who while ideologically may be on the opposite end of the spectrum of American democracy, still supported most of our strategic goals in the Middle East and elsewhere. All of them so turned off by Barack Obama that they refused to attend the American president's signature summit. More:
Even major European leaders got meetings with Obama this week only at the last minute. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s one-on-one meeting with Obama was scheduled for Tuesday late on Sunday, only after meetings with the leaders of India, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria, China, Jordan, Malaysia, Ukraine, Armenia and Turkey.
Tell A-listers they need to get behind D-listers and wait at the velvet rope, and suddenly you are left with has-beens and never-will-be's while the crowd and the influence follows the ones you left behind. I'm not sure how much an agreement with the Ukraine will shake the foundations of the powerful, although our media will try its best to make it seem so. More likely our power to change the course of History will decline, and the mantle of leadership will pass to others. Hopefully, others with good intentions, although that has not always been the case.
There is no doubt Barack Obama sees this as a good thing; his ideology - held since he was a college boy, unchanged by any life experience - brought to fruition. For the rest of the world, who has been screaming about US imperialism since, well, forever - they too may see the dream of a diminished America realized.
Let's see if wanting is indeed a better thing that having...