by SamHenry, Editor
President Obama’s stern warning to Iran about the additional nuclear plant has complications. Iran is being supplied with Venezuelian oil kindness of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Chavez is one socialist and rabid anti-American South American dictator apparently on Obama’s list for befriending.
One of Obama’s first trips out of the US as President was to attend the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago last April. There, according to Chavez he made the initial move for them to meet at which time Obama expressed the hope that relations would improve between the two countries. The warm and cordial picture of the two socialist leaders to the left is the result. The New York Daily News
This has been a coup for Chavez not for Obama. This is one more example of Obama’s lack of understanding of or appreciation for the realities of international affairs. For this country to have gone so quickly from a managed but cool relationship with Chavez to one of mutual admiration is positively questionable if not schizophrenic.
Fast forward from April to September and we find another cordial picture of Mr Chavez – this time with Iran’s President Ahmadinejad as he wrapped up a deal to supply oil to Iran to ease shortages there:
Two weeks later with the President having allowed Chavez and Ahmadinejad into the country, Chavez was addressing the UN General Assembly in NYC praising Obama and putting US citizens on notice that he is fearful that Obama may meet his death from bullets.
President Obama also allowed Mommar Gaddafi of Libya into the country to attend the UN meeting as part of his policy to reach out to Muslim nations and to be more inclusive in general. Here was another bad move. Against a US request, Gaddafi welcomed the return of the Lockerbie bomber to Libya to die as a hero. This is not a leader one would want to accommodate.
A FOX news team ran into difficulty with Chavez as he left the country. Chavez, a clever media manipulator, smiled wryly when told it was the FOX news team that had stopped him. When the reporter tried to make Chavez clarify his relationship with Ahmadinejad – a man who had denied the Holocaust and who had ordered citizens protesting the recent election results put down with force – Chavez flew into a rage. He yelled agrily that the US was in Iraq and Afghanistan killing people and accused FOX and others of going out after Obama because he was black. After a few additional remarks, he and his translator stormed off. This, then is a man whose favor Obama has sought to curry.
Obama’s lack of experience — especially in the area of foreign affairs had been a key Republican point during the election campaign. Now, there is a very real sense that this new, untested President has muddied the waters in heading down the road toward greater understanding of our known enemies. At the very least he has produced, ample opportunities for awkward moments. Imagine all of the fancy footwork to keep Obama from directly meeting with the three leaders he had allowed into the country to attend the General Assembly?
What will Obama not do to please the socialist leaders of the world? His delay in reaching a decision about Afghanistan has many consequences including the death of more US troops until help arrives. In wartime, a thoughtful leader cannot be tolerated. A military leader must be able to think on his feet and to take decisive action. He doesn’t get it. If we retreat from Afghanistan, the militant Muslims up to and including Osama Bin Laden will believe that they have toppled the two great Satan world powers: Russia and the US. Even the average US citizen knows from television that in the culture of the Middle East, you win coming from a position of strength not of weakness.
No matter the decision Obama reaches, the damage has been done. He will always be viewed as weak. He will always be viewed as willing to reach out to America’s avowed enemies before any ground has been gained or agreement reached. On paper universal peace and good will on the planet look good but that is the stuff of Christmas pageants, not of international relationships in 2009.