In Impromptus today, I have a photo — or rather, a link to an article that is accompanied by a photo: here. The photo shows our president, Barack Obama, beaming at Raúl Castro, the Cuban dictator (or the fraternal frontman for the real dictator, or whatever).
I write of Obama, “Can you imagine him lighting up like this at Benjamin Netanyahu, Mitch McConnell, or some other democrat? I’m not sure he gives so delighted and loving a look even to Michelle.”
There are all sorts of things a president has to do to advance or protect American interests in a dangerous world. But a president does not have to engage in a love-in with the Cuban dictator. That is strictly voluntary.
Here on the Corner, I’d like to link to some other presidential photos. It is slightly cheap to do so, but only slightly.
Here is George W. Bush with Mario Chanes de Armas. Chanes de Armas was a co-revolutionary with the Castros, but then he was their political prisoner, for almost 30 years.
Here is Bush with the children of Oscar Elías Biscet. Here, too. Here he is with Biscet’s wife, Elsa Morejón. In 2007, Bush awarded Biscet the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in absentia. Biscet was a political prisoner at the time.
Here is Bush with the wife of José Luis García Paneque, another political prisoner.
I could go on — but instead will go on to this:
I note in my column that Obama washes his hands of American Cold War policy. At the Latin American summit in 2009, Daniel Ortega went off on a tirade against America, particularly our operation at the Bay of Pigs. He excused Obama from it, though.
Our guy replied, “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”
At the recent summit in Panama, Raúl Castro went off on his own tirade against America. And then apologized to Obama. “President Obama has no responsibility for this,” he said. “In my opinion, President Obama is an honest man.”
I write in my column, “Did Obama defend our country — Eisenhower, Kennedy, and all the rest? Did he defend liberal democracy against Communist tyranny? Did he defend those wishing to liberate people from this tyranny? No, he said, ‘The Cold War has been over for a long time. And I’m not interested in having battles frankly that started before I was born.’”
This is what I’d like to add here in the Corner: Obama is “not interested” in “having battles” that started before he was born — some battles, that is. Other battles, he is interested in having: the overthrow of Mosaddegh; the Crusades; the Inquisition . . .
What a beauty, our president — America’s choice, twice. That’s the problem, as Václav Klaus and others have pointed out, not Obama as an individual. An Obama-electing electorate: That is the problem.