- - Thursday, February 18, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Americans hold their breath every time President Obama whistles up Air Force One for another trip abroad. He has a habit of getting cozy with people no American president should get cozy with, lest he come home with fleas.

More than seven years into his presidency, Mr. Obama can no longer play the innocent rube abroad. He went to Cairo only weeks after his inauguration in 2009, his primary stop on a voyage of apology, to tell the radical Muslims that America was ever so sorry for all the bad things it had done to Islam. He was surprised when the hand of friendship he extended was answered by the assassin’s fist (and trigger finger). America’s friends in the Middle East, Jew and peaceable Muslim alike, felt betrayed.

Those friends are rightly fearful of the aspirations of the mullahs in Iran, with whom the president made his notorious deal to preserve Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. Mr. Obama’s subsequent sponsorship of the Palestinian cause while mouthing empty reassurances to Israel has not moved negotiations one step further. How could it? There is no Arab negotiating partner who will recognize the mere existence of the Jewish state.

America’s friends in Latin America have been similarly frustrated. With no one to rally to, the region has watched anti-American regimes popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain, and Communist Cuba and its acolytes continue to blame the United States for their own failed Marxist and socialist economics, sinking deeper into debt and the squalor of debauched politics. Venezuela’s enormous debt, in fact, threatens to contribute to another worldwide financial crisis like that of 2007-2008.

Mr. Obama’s administration has cheerfully ignored America’s national security interests south of the border. Hillary Clinton’s emails from her tenure as secretary of state, released by the State Department with great reluctance, reveals how she and the Obama administration ignored the growing infiltration and influence of Hezbollah in the region. This the same Hezbollah that established the pattern for suicide bombing with its attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.

And now the president is determined to warm relations with Cuba at the expense of freedom, liberty and decency. The negotiations for the opening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, encouraged by greedy American business interests and Marxist advocates in the region, have required nothing from Havana. Fidel and Raul Castro have neither ended the repression of dissidents nor done anything to foster the recovery of the Cuban economy.

Only days after the announcement of the resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Castro brothers imprisoned more political dissidents. The Ladies in White, wives of the imprisoned, are still regularly beaten for their protests against the regime, which flirts with China and old allies in Moscow. The so-called new day for small businesses in Cuba is but a farce, with harsh regulations and suppression of capital needed to get business moving.

Mr. Obama’s narcissism has persuaded him that direct communications with the Castro brothers, and the rapture he imagines he can evoke in the Cuban masses, will make all rough places smooth, and every day things will get better in every way.

Congress could, and should, clear the air and affirm that American foreign policy still must have a moral component, and wish the president bon voyage with a joint resolution denouncing the sins of the Cuban regime and propose a transition to a representative government of the Cuban people.

Barack Obama has demonstrated that he can’t be trusted to deliver such a message. The sound of the golden voice in his own ears drowns everything else. Anything short of such a congressional sendoff of another presidential misadventure is passive consent to another betrayal of martyrs to a regime that defines evil.

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