The Financial Times: It has taken a long time, but the world’s fantasies about Barack Obama are finally crumbling. In Europe, once the headquarters of the global cult of Obama, the disillusionment is particularly bitter. Monday’s newspapers were full of savage quotes about the perfidy of the Obama-led US.
Der Spiegel, the German magazine that alleged that America’s National Security Agency has bugged the EU’s offices, thundered that “the NSA’s totalitarian ambition … affects us all … A constitutional state cannot allow it. None of us can allow it.” President François Hollande of France has demanded that the alleged spying stop immediately. Le Monde, Mr Hollande’s home-town newspaper, has even suggested that the EU should consider giving political asylum to Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower.
But if liberals wanted to compile a list of perfidious acts by the Obama administration, the case of the bugged EU fax machine should probably come low down the list.
More important would be the broken promise to close the Guantánamo detention centre and – above all – the massive expansion of the use of drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, It has gradually dawned on President Obama’s foreign fan club that their erstwhile hero is using methods that would be bitterly denounced if he were a white Republican. As Hakan Altinay, a Turkish academic, complained to me last week: “Obama talks like the president of the American Civil Liberties Union but he acts like Dick Cheney.”