Excuse us for asking because the president after all represents us all, the American people. The American voter.
What exactly are the guiding principles behind all the president’s bows, apologies and chummy photo ops with lawless dictators? I mean, just because the U.S. needs China to buy U.S. debt have we given up on human rights altogether and across the board for everyone?
I mean, is President Obama Madonna, Bono or the Commander in Chief of the World’s Greatest Democracy?
President Obama talks with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Photo: Alfonso Ocando / EPA
What is the Obama Doctrine? Something read from all that Marxist literature while at Harvard?
We seem to have a one man show on our hands. I mean the president has given at least one speech per day and has captured an already fawning media: but how are people like cabinet secretaries supposed to be guided? By what principles and interaction? Are they supposed to watch CNN to get the drift of the president’s policies?
The first cabinet meeting of the Obama Administration is today. If a new CEO took over at say, GM, and he didn’t meet his department heads for three months would Tim Geithner approve? I think not…..
Obama’s First Cabinet Meeting Goal: Cut One Ten Thousandth From Debt Owed To China
If we are going to continue hugging and bowing to thugs we have a right to ask where are we going with all of this? What is the goal for America?
As retired Army Lieutentant Colonel Ralph Peters said today, “President Obama is using his pupularity to help tyrants. He is empowering the enemies of democracy…”
In search of an Obama doctrine
Obama’s Popularity, Apologies, Bows Not Helping America
By Mary Anastasia O’Grady
The Wall Street Journal
If President Barack Obama’s goal at the fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend was to be better liked by the region’s dictators and left-wing populists than his predecessor George W. Bush, the White House can chalk up a win.
If, on the other hand, the commander in chief sought to advance American ideals, things didn’t go well. As the mainstream press reported, Mr. Obama seemed well received. But the freest country in the region took a beating from Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and Nicaragua’s Danny Ortega.
Chavez and Obama. Photo: AP
Ever since Bill Clinton organized the first Summit of the Americas in 1994 in Miami, this regional gathering has been in decline. It seemed to hit its nadir in 2005 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, when President Nestór Kirchner allowed Mr. Chávez and his revolutionary allies from around the region to hold a massive, American-flag burning hate-fest in a nearby stadium with the goal of humiliating Mr. Bush. This year things got even worse with the region’s bullies hogging the limelight and Mr. Obama passing up a priceless opportunity to defend freedom.
Mr. Obama had to know that the meeting is used by the region’s politicians to rally the base back home by showing that they can put Uncle Sam in his place. Realizing this, the American president might have arrived at the Port of Spain prepared to return their volley. They have, after all, tolerated and even encouraged for decades one of the most repressive regimes of the 20th century. In recent years, that repression has spread from Cuba to Venezuela, and today millions of Latin Americans live under tyranny. As the leader of the free world, Mr. Obama had the duty to speak out for these voiceless souls. In this he failed.
The subject of Cuba was a softball that the American president could have hit out of the park. He knew well in advance that his counterparts would pressure him to end the U.S. embargo. He even prepared for that fact a few days ahead of the summit by unconditionally lifting U.S. restrictions on travel and remittances to the island, and offering to allow U.S. telecom companies to bring technology to the backward island.
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The president says Americans want him to interact with foreign leaders and that the U.S. has nothing to fear from Venezuela. He stresses importance of collaboration and earning goodwill.
Reporting from Tobago and Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad — Rebuffing criticism of the warm greetings he exchanged with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, President Obama said Sunday that the United States, with its overwhelming military superiority and need to improve its global image, could afford to extend such diplomatic “courtesy.”
In a news conference capping a three-day meeting of leaders from the Western Hemisphere, Obama also said the U.S. must engage other countries through humanitarian gestures, not only military intervention.
Obama said it would be a mistake to measure the Summit of the Americas by the specific agreements reached. By listening to his counterparts and eschewing heavy-handed diplomacy, he said, he was creating an atmosphere in which, “at the margins,” foreign leaders are “more likely to want to cooperate than not cooperate.”
A running theme of the summit was Obama’s cordial dealings with Chavez, who once called former President George W. Bush the “devil” and who last month dismissed Obama as an “ignoramus.” The two were photographed smiling and clasping hands.
At one meeting, Chavez made a show of walking around the table as the cameras rolled and handing Obama a copy of “Open Veins of Latin America,” a 1971 book by Eduardo Galeano chronicling U.S. and European imperialism in the region.
Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, appearing on CNN on Sunday, said it was “irresponsible” for Obama to be seen “laughing and joking” with the Venezuelan president.
Obama dismissed such concerns. He said the 2008 presidential campaign proved that American voters want the president to engage with his counterparts, whether or not they are avowed friends of the U.S.
He said it “was a nice gesture to give me a book. I’m a reader.” The president added that the election was a referendum of sorts on the argument that U.S. solicitude toward foreign leaders could be seen as “weakness.”
“The American people didn’t buy it,” Obama said. “And there’s a good reason the American people didn’t buy it, because it doesn’t make sense.”
The U.S. has nothing to fear from Venezuela, a large supplier of crude oil to the country, Obama said.
“Its defense budget is probably 1/600th of the U.S.,” he said. “They own [the oil company] Citgo. It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States.”
That said, Obama aides were not so charitable toward Chavez. In a background briefing earlier, one senior official accused Chavez of performing for the cameras.
The official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity, said, “Anybody who’s been at international conferences with Chavez knows that if there’s a camera around, he’s going to find a way to get in it.”
Apparently impressed with Obama, Chavez seemed ready to reevaluate relations with the United States. He announced that he was considering appointing an ambassador to Washington, an idea he discussed over the weekend with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The two countries expelled each other’s ambassadors last year.
“We have a different focus, obviously,” Chavez said on Venezuelan state television. “But we are willing. We have the political will to work together.”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gives U.S. President Barack Obama a copy of “Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina” by author Eduardo Galiano during a meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad April 18, 2009. Photo by Kevin Lamarque, Reuters.
Though Cuba’s fate was not on the official agenda of the summit, which included only democratically elected leaders from the hemisphere, many Latin American leaders pressed Obama to lift the United States’ 47-year-old trade embargo on the island nation and normalize relations. Obama resisted.
His administration has already announced that it is loosening travel restrictions on Cuban Americans visiting family on the island. But at this point, Obama has refused to go further, calling upon Castro to move toward a more open and democratic form of government.
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U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Bolivian President Evo Morales during the opening ceremony of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain April 17, 2009. REUTERS/Xinhua/David de la Paz