The Handshake Heard 'Round the World
By Matthew Vadum
President Obama’s distressing rejection of American exceptionalism was on display for the whole world to see yesterday when he shamed his country by lowering himself to shake the blood-stained hand of Cuba’s Communist dictator.
In a brief but cordial encounter in a funeral receiving line at the southern tip of the African continent, Obama shook the hand of Cuba’s octogenarian tyrant, President Raul Castro, granting a kind of legitimacy to the caudillo who leads America’s Cold War enemy 90 miles from the Florida coast. In so doing Obama demonstrated his weakness and emboldened America’s enemies.
The occasion was a memorial service in South Africa for that country’s former president, Nelson Mandela, a Communist terrorist who, like Obama’s close personal friend Bill Ayers, used explosives to express himself politically.
Mandela, who died last week at age 95 long after serving a quarter-century in prison and helping to slay apartheid, has a few things in common with Obama.
Mandela, who routinely denounced the United States and Israel, set in motion the transformation of his once-prosperous nation into the community organizer’s paradise that is modern South Africa, complete with mob rule, mob justice, racial tension, and epidemic levels of violence. Mandela’s Marxist colleagues are continuing his work, community organizing that nation into Third World kleptocracy status.
Obama conspicuously ordered American flags flown at half-staff throughout the U.S. in honor of Mandela, an unusual tribute for the United States to afford a non-American, and in this case, a former foreign head of state. It is all part of Obama’s racial presidency in which he plays off racial and ethnic groups against each other, no matter what lasting harm it does to society. The flag-lowering is better treatment than he gave the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a far more consequential world leader whom he snubbed by skipping her funeral.
We’ve known for a long time that Obama is most at ease when he’s hanging out with thugs, terrorists, murderous anti-American despots, and anti-Semites. He carefully avoids harsh language when describing Iran’s barely concealed nuclear weapons program that his administration is allowing to go forward. A relativist and multiculturalist, Obama respects the former Persia’s so-called right to self-determination and nuclear arms even though the theocratic regime persecutes religious dissenters, puts gays to death, and almost daily promises to vaporize U.S. ally Israel.
Communist Cuba doesn’t have an evil system in Obama’s view. The Communists who have been terrorizing and enslaving the Cuban people are merely misunderstood. Americans, especially with their embrace of imperialism and colonialism, supposedly have no moral standing to criticize what the Castro brothers have built.
Ascertaining whether Obama actually bowed before Castro in reaching for his hand is a subjective exercise. The president often leans forward when greeting people. In order to be at eye-level and look in the face of Castro, who is much shorter than Obama, the president had to move the upper portion of his body simultaneously forward and downward.
Perhaps this has something to do with why MSNBC’s slogan is “lean forward.” After all, the cable news network full-throatedly supports Obama’s policies which are aimed at humbling America and punishing it for its greatness.
As president, Obama has long had a disturbing habit of bowing before foreign heads of state, as Keith Koffler observes. He has bowed before Communist Chinese President Hu Jintao, Saudi King Abdullah, Queen Elizabeth II, Japanese Emperor Akihito, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.
“American presidents, who have been put in charge of a democratic nation that specifically broke from royalty, particularly should not bow to kings and queens,” Koffler writes. “Especially ones running repressive societies like Saudi Arabia. But on the very same day he bowed to Abdullah, he also bowed to Queen Elizabeth, chief of the monarchy that was our former Lord and Master.”
Obama may as well have warmly slapped Castro on the back and given him an “attaboy!” for all the hard work he’s done over the years to achieve redistributionist nirvana on his decrepit island nation that has become a popular sex tourism destination in the de-developed world. We can only wonder how many death warrants for anti-Communist dissidents and freedom fighters Castro has signed with that hand or how many times he has used the fingers that touched Obama’s to pull the trigger of a rifle and execute an enemy of Cuba’s long-lived gangster regime.
Shaking Castro’s hand implies that the Cuban president is Obama’s equal, a legitimate world leader worthy of respect. This is consistent with our president’s worldview.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) appropriately upbraided President Obama for the hit-and-run grip-and-grin, comparing the gesture to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s infamous handshake with Adolf Hitler in the run-up to World War Two. That handshake symbolically gave Nazi Germany a green light to take over the Sudetenland and helped to clear the way for the Third Reich’s violent expansion across Europe.
“It gives Raul some propaganda to continue to prop up his dictatorial, brutal regime, that’s all,” McCain said.
Obama shouldn’t have done it, McCain asserted. “Why should you shake hands with somebody who’s keeping Americans in prison? I mean, what’s the point?”
McCain appeared to be referring to Jewish American Alan Gross who has been rotting in a Cuban jail since 2009. Gross is a political prisoner who was snagged for outreach to Cuba’s Jewish community.
Say what you will about his flakiness, but Americans can always count on President Obama to embarrass them on overseas trips. He routinely makes a mockery of the high office to which the American people have twice elected him.