One of the key reasons that I lament the fact that The Times has a pay wall is that Internet viewers around the world, will, in practice, not see what the esteemed journal has to say. Whereas the Guardian can easily be accessed without payment by anyone, I do not imagine that many Internet surfers sitting in Wyoming are likely to pay to access The Times. This is particularly regrettable when the paper has something important to say. Today’s editorial on Obama’s lack of support for campaigns of liberty in Iran and Arab countries is a case in point. Below I copy a small extract from the editorial(£) but I do wish they made it freely available to all in full:
Deserted by Obama
In failing to support Arab campaigners for liberty, the Administration diminishes US authority and dismays its allies
The Arab world has been roiled by political dissent and violent attempts to suppress it. And when freedom was at stake, the leader of the free world was nowhere to be seen….
[F]aced with Colonel Gaddafi’s depredations, the [Libyan] rebels are entitled to solidarity and support.
The Obama Administration has done worse than fail to offer that support. It has lagged world opinion. Its most vocal comment on the Libyan crisis has been the derision expressed by Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, for European proposals to impose a no-fly zone….
For all the promise that Mr Obama’s presidency offered, his insouciance about America’s international responsibilities is no aberration. Before he became a presidential candidate, he showed scant interest in European opinion except as a cipher for his opposition to the policies of President Bush. His indifference to protests in Iran against a patently fraudulent presidential election in 2009 gave an ominous sign of the cast of his diplomacy….
David Cameron is said to be frustrated at working with Mr Obama. The US may have complaints about the special relationship from its side, such as the UK’s willingness to look for the door in Afghanistan. But as seen from London, and even more keenly from Benghazi to Bahrain, Mr Obama is proving to be a brutal disappointment. [Emphasis added]
I share the opinion of The Times on the way President Obama has handled himself in the developing situation in the Middle East. The President of the United States is often viewed, as The Times refers to the position, as the leader of the free world. Leadership should be shown.