Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama Gets Thrill With Gaddafi Handshake!

Via Gateway Pundit, "Once Again ... Obama Batters US Allies & Uplifts Foes in Latest World Tour."

Check out that photograph of President Obama giddily greeting Libyan authortarian Muammar Gaddafi (via

By now there's no doubt that President Obama gets a thrill up his leg when he's pressing the flesh of the world's most brutal dictators. As Joseph Loconte remarked earlier:
If the Obama White House intends to elevate human rights within U.S. foreign policy, then the State Department and its new boss, Hillary Clinton, should re-acquaint themselves with their file on Libya. Under Qaddafi, the country became a major state sponsor of terrorism and was responsible, among other atrocities, for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight that killed 269 passengers over Lockerbie, Scotland. Even the U.N. Security Council, often enfeebled by its moral cynicism, imposed an arms embargo and froze Libya's foreign assets. An officially Islamic state, Libya bans the existence of political parties and trade unions. Opposition figures are jailed or forced to flee the country. There is no freedom of the press--the state owns all print and broadcast media--or freedom of assembly. The judiciary remains under political control. Arbitrary arrests, imprisonments, and torture are commonplace. All mosques, overwhelmingly Sunni, fall under government scrutiny and must uphold the state's version of Islam. Minority faiths, including about 100,000 Christians, face restrictions on worship and freedom of speech.

It is true that, shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Libya somewhat changed its tune: it accepted responsibility for the Pan Am bombing, renounced terrorism, and promised to dismantle its program to develop weapons of mass destruction. In June of 2006, the Bush administration ended Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Last year Libya's foreign minister met with then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first such visit since 1972.

These are positive steps for a longtime pariah state, but do they represent anything more than short-term political necessity? The fact is that Libya's machinery of repression hasn't changed. It is a crime to publish anything deemed critical of Qaddafi's "Green Book," his rambling manifesto of Pan-Arabism and socialism, coated in Islamic ideals, which rejects representative democracy as "an obsolete experiment." There is no genuinely independent civil society, the historical prerequisite for political and social reform. Political corruption is rampant. The most recent report from Freedom House designated Libya as among its "worst of the worst" nations with regards to political and civil liberties." Anyone daring to challenge the regime or the Libyan state openly," according to Freedom House, "is in danger of arrest, torture, and imprisonment."

Is this the proud, progressive face of the African continent? The silence of the Obama administration over Qaddafi does not bode well for its Africa policy: the diplomatic temptation, acute among political liberals, is to "engage" authoritarian regimes while ignoring their domestic despotisms.
The handshake came at the G-8 summit in Italy (no doubt as prelude to Obama's sub-Saharan apology tour).

Here's how
the press spoke of Obama's meeting with Ghaddafi as the G-8 dinner in Italy:

Meet and greet; family photo and dinner hosted by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano ...

Libya's Qaddafi entered in a colorful outfit. He had red and gold cap a red and gold draping over his shoulder and wore a matching shirt and pants that were an black and orange/peach color with a wave-like pattern ....

The handshake. Obama wore a polite look but not exactly a smile as he shook Qaddafi's hand. This happened as the leaders filed onto steps for a family photo. I checked the picture on one of the official photog's cameras to get a good look at Obama's face since this happened so quickly. Qaddafi shook several other leaders hands as he walked down the front row to take his place for the picture ...
A fuller description of Ghaddafi's outfit - "red and gold cap a red and gold draping over his shoulder" - at the link.

Man, these journalists really are people from another world - an Obamaworld!

Obviously, to say that's "not exactly a smile" would be to simply change the definition of smiling. No, it's not a huge upturned teeth-flasher, but Obama is eminently pleased to shake this dictator's hand. Just as he's been pleased to hug, high-five, and fist-bump other Third World despots and crooks from
Caracas to the West Bank:


Related: From July 2008, "
Abbas' Damascus Odyssey":

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas was in Damascus this week. It had nothing to do with the Turkish-mediated Israeli-Syrian “peace talks” that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been trying to spin into a raison d’ĂȘtre for his miserably corrupt, incompetent governance.

Instead Abbas met with an anti-American dictator, Bashar Assad, and with leaders of three anti-Israeli, anti-American, anti-Western terrorist organizations—Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine—to discuss achieving unity between two other terrorist organizations, Hamas and his own Fatah.


Tom the Redhunter said...

"If the Obama White House intends to elevate human rights within U.S. foreign policy..."

Obama has no intention of making human rights any part of his foreign policy, because he couldn't care less about people in the rest of the world

Like most leftists, he's just interested in his own moral purity. Just read some of the comments by leftists on this blog; they don't care about fighting the jihadists, they'd rather spend their time trying to put Bush and Cheney in prison.

Rusty Walker said...

Is there no end to the embarrassing display of this president's schoolboy-meets-his-heroes, non-events!? Nothing of merit is being advanced for the American people in foreign affairs media display-except the underlying sinister calculating of our reinforced enemies. Beware, America. And, I always caution the left, as part of my own experience during the Viet Nam war, we will be fighting on the same side, one…alarming…day.

Being a student of history, I expected so much more from an elected president. History has shown on some occasions the unlikely elected, difficult, or happenstance Democratic presidents, can rise to the position: Van Buren, Polk, Truman, (even our Republican Reagan rose to the occasion and exceeded all expectations), but not Obama. He is acting like a junior senator... oh, sorry, that is what he is.

We, as Americans, Lefties included, need to examine our complaisant fantasies and realities in this country. We have enemies. Obama is dragging his entourage of adoring press, that influences the public zeitgeist, with him in confusing surface friendships with opportunists -deeply soulless dictators. They will take all of your American comforts, and turn them into ashes. And they will not care if you are sympathetic to their causes. You, my leftist friends, are their enemy, too.