We have to see what Obama says formally about the withdrawal, but perhaps we can expect Stephen Harper to issue a four-word statement on behalf of Canada: I told you so. In fact, the man who benefits most from this might be Harper, who took a lot of heat in Canada for his decision to stay out of Durban after the prep work revealed Durban II to be a sequel in every context. Obama had to learn that the hard way.
I sometimes wonder how these guys tie their shoes. During the campaign, if you remember, one of the big flare-up and ridiculous talking points about Obama was that he was going to meet with leaders of rogue nations, and there was much nonsense about giving in to terrorists and blah blah blah. I’m too lazy to look at every individual post, but I am sure Captain Ed was part of the hooplah.
As it was noted then, it is still true now. Meeting with people, talking with people, and giving people a chance does not mean you simply acquiesce to them. You negotiate with them in good faith, and if that is met with bad faith, you simply move on. Strong nations, confident nations, and confident leaders can do this.
This is what has happened here and this is what happened with the negotiations with the Republicans during the stimulus debate (other rogue actors acting in bad faith). Obama hasn’t “learned” anything, he is just doing what he said he would do all along and you folks could never figure out. Seriously, these guys must run around terrified, spending their days hiding from used-car salesmen, because if they talk to one, they just know they are going to have to buy a car.