Squandering American prestige and honor

obama castro

Most of the Obama-related commentary on the funeral in South Africa is about his selfie with with David Cameron and the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. But that wasn’t the blockbuster moment. John Hinderaker at Powerline explains the deeper significance.

Otto Reich, former assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, explains the damaging significance of Obama’s handshake:

The Castro brothers have been vying for the world to see a handshake with a U.S. president for over 50 years. (President Clinton did shake hands with Fidel at a U.N. summit in 2000, but there was no photo.) They knew it would represent a form of recognition, something they forfeited by virtue of presiding over a military dictatorship, and their support for violence and anti-American terrorist movements and governments on three continents.

Until now, every American president had studiously avoided this mistake: At U.N. and other gatherings U.S. Secret Service agents and diplomats were under orders to make sure such a ‘photo op’ so highly desired by the Castros did not happen.

With his greeting, President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor.

All very subtle to you and me but not to those who count.

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31 Responses to Squandering American prestige and honor

  1. Bruce

    Raul Castro is 82 and frail. Obama has decided he likes being boss guy. Term limits stop him from continuing to run the People’s Soviet Republic of America so he needs to keep sweet with other suitable opportunities. His CV is perfect for the job.

    That’s why Michelle was so unhappy: the nightlife in Havana sucks.

  2. feelthebern

    Obama was set to get rid of the travel ban & open he door for US companies to invest in Cuba but the 2010 mid terms put an end to that.
    I predict he will roll with that as one of his 2015 agenda items.

  3. David

    With his greeting, President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor

    He had any left after his betrayal of Israel and Saudi Arabia over Iran and its nuclear programme?

  4. Empire Strikes Back

    Handshake aside, why is he bowing to a tin pot commie henchman?

  5. Zatara

    I’m sure American Alan Gross, who has spent 6 years as a political prisoner of Castro, might have some strong opinions about that handshake.

    He’s serving a 16 year sentence for “acts against the … territorial integrity of the state” — bringing cellphones, personal computers and networking devices to help connect Cuba’s tiny Jewish population to the Internet.

    As to Obama trying to lift the embargo in Cuba, horsepucky. He is fresh out of political capitol for one thing, it’s looking likely that the Democrats are going to lose the Senate in November for another and a move like that would be political suicide for the Democrats because it would be a cold day in hell before they ever won anything in Florida again. It also has huge implications on the hispanic vote in general. Oh, and he’d be directly attacking Marco Rubio, son of Castro driven refugee parents and the only remaining Republican supporter for his fubar of an illegal alien amnesty plan.

  6. Ant

    It was a hand shake and a bow.

    The man is a first class butt kisser. If you’re a murderous tinpot tyrant, Obama will polish your apple for you.

  7. Fleeced

    Obama is so self-centred and clueless, he probably won’t even know he shook Castro’s hand until he reads it in the paper… but maybe I’m just giving him too much credit – I never do like to believe the worst of people.

  8. hzhousewife

    I remember some movie or political drama series or some such where the “Presidente” was minded to the degree that there was a whisper in his ear prior to each approaching individual with the “low-down” -”this is so-and so’s wife Freda”, “this is George your daughter’s current boyfriend” “this is Fred the Chairman of the Means Committee” etc. etc.
    Good idea, obviously not taken from Real Life.

  9. Fleeced

    Michelle doesn’t look too happy with him… in fact, check out this hilarious before and after pic (H/T: Tim Blair)

  10. Handshake aside, why is he bowing to a tin pot commie henchman?

    He has to bend because he is tall and Castro is short, you morons.

    Reagan sent Rumsfeld to not only shake hands with Saddam but also sell him mustard gas to use on his own civilIan population. Nixon shook the hand of Fidel Castro.

    Obamacare must be going well, the US right has given up on it in favour of this rubbish.

  11. JC

    No wonder you ended up at J school, Fatboy. The tripe you write isn’t even funny. Just pathetic and spiteful.

    He has to bend because he is tall and Castro is short, you morons.

    Taller men don’t need to bend over to shake hands. There’s no physical reason to, you complete idiot.

    I actually feel embarrassed for you.

  12. JC

    Moderator;

    Monster is fully roasted. Please remove him from the oven.

  13. LOL, human body mechanics denialism, that’s a new one JC.

  14. JC

    LOL, human body mechanics denialism, that’s a new one JC.

    what would you know about body mechanics, Fatboy?

  15. Robert Crew

    Mum watched the memorial last night, and ended up turning it off in disgust at the so-called “world leaders” (and all the others) showing such disrespect, everyone was turning their backs on the woman delivering the eulogy just before Obama came to the stage, the pollies were all laughing and turning their backs, even the people on stage were doing the same, turning their backs and talking to each other, as if the event was their personal photo opportunity rather than a solemn event. At least GWB had the decency to show some respect, unlike his predecessor and his successor, who showed no respect at all.

    Personally, I didn’t watch last night, as I am still conflicted by the dichotomy between the terrorist Mandela who deservedly entered Robbeneiland, and the humanitarian Mandela who left it. I tend to see Mandela as a modern-day version of the jailer of Phillipi in Acts 16:27-35, a bad man who was redeemed while in jail – with the obvious difference, of course.

    Although I didn’t watch at the time, on the replays today it was good to see the liberator of South Africa, F W De Klerk, pay true respect to Mandela. BHO might as well as sent a copy of the iPod he gave the Queen, it would have seemed more sincere.

  16. You know a lot about being pathetic and spiteful, JC.

    You would need a stepladder to reach Obama.

  17. JC

    Other than spite, why are you here Fatboy? You hate the site, dislike most of the other commenters and all your comments are spite ridden. You’re mocked incessantly for your stupidity. There’s no reason for you to be here.

  18. Token

    Lol, M0nty shows he doesn’t understand subtlety, using his deep knowledge of how Custer won the Battle of Mohacs

  19. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    the liberator of South Africa, F.W. De Klerk

    An outstanding piece of T.V. footage, years ago, as an excited journo shoved a microphone under F.W. De Klerk’s face and said “I am speaking to F.W. De Klerk, the former President of South Africa.”

    De Klerk shot her a glare that would have penetrated armour plate and said “To the best of my knowlege and belief, I am still President of South Africa…..”

  20. Andrew

    Yes, Masai tribesman The Kenyan IS 9’4″ tall, but even that doesn’t explain the fact that he’s grovelling lower than he did before the Saudi King.

    Someone please take the dog out – he’s just making a mess.

  21. Some sort of detente between Cuba and the United States has been long overdue, but the mindless, arse-kissing twit who occupies the White House today should not have been the one to do it.

  22. JohnA

    m0nty #1107110, posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Handshake aside, why is he bowing to a tin pot commie henchman?

    He has to bend because he is tall and Castro is short, you morons.

    I call that a load-a-bull.

    If he’s tall, let other people look up to him. Maybe he’s trying to hide his arrogance?

  23. srr

    I’m on a Windows phone and the image is not showing. A live link is in it’s place, but that goes to a blank page. Is it only my phone, or, is it such a damaging photo for Obama that his global mobsters are busy making it another, “it didn’t happen, so it can’t be an issues”, “lie ‘birthers’ spread”?

  24. srr

    Or is it an Australian Left Thing? Since Bolt called Catallaxy Files , “influential”, on The Bolt Report, I’ve noticed more overt and covert Leftists here and other blogs that refuse to be suckered by the, “O G, aren’t Obama & Gillard godly”, ‘narrative’.

  25. .

    The Cat has been a lefty killing field of late.

    You almost feel sorry for them.

  26. Gab

    You almost feel sorry for them.

    Enough with your bleeding heart commie attitude.

  27. Vagabond

    That photograph should figure prominently in Republican advertising in expat Cuban and Latino districts

  28. .

    An outstanding piece of T.V. footage, years ago, as an excited journo shoved a microphone under F.W. De Klerk’s face and said “I am speaking to F.W. De Klerk, the former President of South Africa.”

    De Klerk shot her a glare that would have penetrated armour plate and said “To the best of my knowlege and belief, I am still President of South Africa…..”

    LOL

    The ATAR mark for J school must be about 15 out of 100.

  29. boy on a bike

    I could understand the handshake and the bending close to his ear if it was Clinton:

    “Hey Raul – I’ve brought Monica with me and I’m all out of cigars. Can I bum some from you?”

  30. feelthebern

    Obamacare must be going well, the US right has given up on it in favour of this rubbish.

    Fuck me dead.
    The Obamacare stats would be laughable if its impact wasn’t so insidious.
    This is what happens when community organizers who have never had a real job get elected.

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