I thought Barack Obama would be a poor and troublesome president. Did I think he would yuk it up with Hugo Chávez, smirk with Daniel Ortega about the Bay of Pigs, turn his wrath on a Central American democracy trying to follow its constitution, denounce President Bush abroad, bow to the king of Saudi Arabia, endorse a radical Middle Eastern view of how Israel came into being, knock Western countries that try to protect Muslim girls from unwanted shrouding, invite the Iranian regime to our Fourth of July parties, stay essentially mute in the face of counterrevolution in Iran, squeeze and panic Israel, cold-shoulder the Cuban democrats in order to warm to the Cuban dictatorship, scrap missile defense in Eastern Europe, and refuse to meet with the Dalai Lama — in addition to his attempts to have government eat great portions of American society? No, I did not. You?
P.S. When President Ford, at the encouragement of Secretary Kissinger, refused to meet with Solzhenitsyn, conservatives thought this was a pretty rotten move and posture. I hope these same conservatives, and their heirs, see what President Obama’s snubbing of the Dalai Lama means today.
P.P.S. When President Obama does something — even a small something — like turn off the “news ticker” outside the American interests section in Havana, he tries to make nice with oppressors. Sometimes in life you have to choose: whether to make nice with the oppressors or with the oppressed. It’s hard to do both.
P.P.P.S. Will Obama’s moves pay off? Will Russia join arms with us against nuclearizing mullahs, or will the Cuban dictatorship reduce its tortures in the prison cells? I’m not sure the ends are really the point, with the Obama crowd at large. I think the main point may be to assuage (anti-American) regimes in power: and therefore show that America can “get along” with the “world,” unlike under that crude, narrow, swaggering, simplistic rancher from Texas.
Get along or go along.