Obama Fumbles Again on Cuba and North Korea

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

With the New Year approaching, I was hoping that we might be able to forget about the steady stream of lies, gaffes and ineptitudes by President Barack Obama that demonstrate his inability to lead the country. But Mr. Obama insists on reminding us that he is unfit for the high office of President of the United States.

You will be given a chance to voice your displeasure with Mr. Obama beginning the first full week in January.

Out of the blue and without consultation with the Congress or the public, Mr. Obama announced a resumption of diplomatic relations with the communist government of Cuba – still led by the brutal and despotic Castro brothers. In doing so, Mr. Obama demonstrated that even when pursuing an appropriate policy he gets it wrong at every turn.

According to Mr. Obama the diplomatic and economic isolation of the Castro regime “did not work.” Of course it worked. Cuba is stalled in time. There has been neither economic nor industrial development for fifty years. True to the communist dream everybody is the same – poor, destitute and deprived of opportunity. However, it did not bring about policy changes in Cuba because the Castros were propped up first by the Soviet Union and then Venezuela and Iran. The Castro hierarchy lived bountiful lives (some pigs are more equal than other pigs) and saw little need for change so long as they dominated their population through fear and military might. But with those three oppressive oil exporting countries reeling from the dramatic drop in crude oil prices, financial support to Cuba has been reduced to the point where the abundant lives of the elites cannot be sustained and payments to army and secret police for protection will dissipate.

So what did Mr. Obama do? Threw in the towel.

So what did Mr. Obama get in return for this unprecedented move? That’s right – nothing. In fact, less than nothing because Raul Castro almost immediately stated that nothing was going to change in Cuba and that he would continue to imprison, torture and execute any who disagreed with the communist government. Mr. Obama had neither a goal nor a plan as to how to achieve the goal. This was a spur of the moment decision and it looked like it. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) noted that Mr. Obama was the worst negotiator he has ever seen in public life – and he was being kind.

For a man so adverse to military conflict, you would think that Mr. Obama would recognize and seize upon one of the country’s greatest and least lethal weapons – economic might. But I am convinced that Mr. Obama is not so much opposed to military victory as he is to American victory. I don’t mean he wants to see America lose; he is just not invested in seeing it win. Why, just when economic sanctions are beginning to work would Mr. Obama ease those economic sanctions – first in Iran and now in Cuba? Mr. Obama has long believed that America plays too large of a role in international affairs and any form of victory would be contrary to his vision of a diminished United States as just “one amongst many.”

And apparently once is not enough. Mr. Obama announced that he may re-establish diplomatic recognition of the Islamic terrorist state – Iran.

In lieu of his “middle of the night” announcement, Mr. Obama should have first consulted with Congress and then publicly announced that it was time for another try at détente with Cuba. He should have offered restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba coupled with a series of concessions from Cuba surrounding economic relations – recognition of private investment, easing of import/export sanctions, freedom of travel to and from Cuba, and lifting of censorship on the internet. The concessions need not directly address human rights of Cubans, or democratic political reforms because the presence of greater economic freedom would – as it has in China – bring with it greater freedom and opportunity for the Cuban people. But Mr. Obama continues to show a reluctance to negotiate with Congress and an ignorance of economic reality that makes it nearly impossible for him to envision such opportunities or to achieve them even if someone else points them out.

And while Mr. Obama was ruminating about how to give the Castro brothers an early Christmas gift, the North Koreans (according to the FBI) were busy hacking Sony and threatening to recreate the horrors of September 11, 2001 in theatres across the country that dared to show The Interview – an “alleged comedy” about assassinating the “Dear Leader” of North Korea, Kim Un. (I say “alleged comedy” because I have seen three of Seth Rogen’s films and walked out on two of them. If you are a twelve-year old boy who still giggles when the science teacher mentions Uranus you might find some humor but otherwise, not so much.) Sony initially pulled the film after several theatre chains declined to run it. And the leader of the free world declared that he would respond “proportionally.”

The response was to disrupt the tiny internet service available in North Korea for a couple of hours. That is the moral equivalent of TP-ing someone’s house in response to them torching your car. That’s what substitutes for “leadership” under Mr. Obama.

A more appropriate response would have been to reinstate the “terrorist state” designation for North Korea, re-impose and tighten the economic sanctions and blow up their next missile test on the launch pad – yes, we have the capability to do that. And then Mr. Obama you should have called your Hollywood phonies at Sony and told them to grow a pair – North Korea’s threats were as empty as your promises.

Proof yet again that Mr. Obama lacks the essentials necessary to lead the people of the United States.

Please, Mr. Obama, leave – and take Joe with you.