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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obama's Christmas For Dictators - America Handcuffed!

America Handcuffed - Down But Not Out!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Yesterday, at the White House, amid great fanfare, President Obama announced a new policy toward Cuba. But it is nothing more than the same old left-wing appeasement.

Obama declared that America's foreign policy toward Cuba -- instituted by John F. Kennedy and carried out by subsequent Democratic and Republican administrations -- was "outdated." The president said, "We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result."

As usual, Obama misunderstands American policy. It is Cuba's failed economic system and brutal political repression that is "outdated." Our values are not the ones that need changing. Our policies are not the problem.

Nevertheless, Obama "extended a hand of friendship" in the interest of "normalizing relations" with the communist Castro regime. He vowed to open a new embassy in Havana and announced that his administration was further relaxing restrictions on travel and cash remittances to Cuba.

As part of this thaw in relations, the Vatican reportedly played a key role in securing a prisoner swap. I am pleased that American Alan Gross is now free after five years in a Cuban jail. This is a happy time for Gross and his family. But, as usual, Obama is the worst negotiator -- he agreed to release three Cuban spies.

Obama's announcement was greeted on Capitol Hill with bi-partisan criticism. Speaker John Boehner blasted the policy change as "another in a long line of mindless concessions." Boehner added, "Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom -- and not one second sooner."

Florida's Senator Marco Rubio ripped Obama's move as "part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants," adding that Obama is "constantly giving unilateral concessions in exchange for nothing." Rubio also noted it would take an act of Congress to repeal the trade embargo.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government. . . . Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent."

Dictators all over the world are receiving the gift they desired most -- America handcuffed by a president intent on giving them whatever they want. Yesterday it was the Castro brothers turn to sit on Obama's lap and get their goodies.

Cuba's communist government has its back against the wall. Russia is reeling from falling oil prices and couldn't bail Cuba out. The same is true for Cuba's socialist ally, Venezuela. And then along comes "Obama Claus."

Even the liberal Washington Post's lead editorial today accused Obama of giving Cuba a "bailout." The Post editors wrote: "President Obama granted the regime everything on its wish list. . ." They quoted Cuba's leading dissident blogger, Yoani Sanchez, who said yesterday, "Castroism has won," and sadly observed that freedom fighters like her in Cuba will have to endure the gloating of their oppressors.

While Obama was speaking to the American people yesterday and claiming that our "isolation" of the Cuban regime was a failure (It was not a failure -- it succeeded in marginalizing Cuba's dictatorial government), Raul Castro spoke to the Cuban people for four minutes. He used his brief address to dig in his heels and defend his communist/socialist regime.

Congressional Republicans were loud and strong in their condemnation of Obama's move, including Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Ryan. But Senator Rand Paul broke ranks and said more trade with Cuba was "a good thing." I don't know what Paul's strategy is, but siding with Obama, Hillary and Jimmy Carter doesn't seem like a winner for 2016.

Elliott Abrams made perhaps the most insightful observation on the impact of Obama's move. You can read it here. His point: The world just saw our 50-year old foreign policy on Cuba change in the blink of Obama's eye -- and not because Cuba changed for the better. Fears among our allies will grow that he could do the same rash thing with Iran or China.

Our Increasingly Dangerous World - Internet hacking may not seem that significant compared to challenges posed by Russia, China, Iran and radical Islam. But the current attack on Sony offers a glimpse into the future.

American corporations and the U.S. government are under constant cyberattack. And the people most responsible for these attacks are in Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The Obama Administration has done little, beyond encouraging the private sector to build more firewalls and install better virus protection software. But the time may be coming when we must act on the Pentagon's 2011 conclusion that cyberattacks can be an act of war.

The group behind the Sony cyberattack, the Guardians of Peace, is most likely being directed by North Korea. Sony was about to release a comedy about the CIA attempting to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The code used in the attack was written in Korean and is similar to "a presumed North Korean digital assault on South Korean banks and broadcasters last year."

While we may laugh at the hypocritical emails of Sony's elite liberal executives, this is a very serious attack -- a form of economic terrorism likely to cost Sony tens of millions of dollars, if not much more.

The group has also issued a threat, invoking the September 11th attacks, against theaters that show the film. The New York premier has been cancelled, theater chains are refusing to show the movie and the stars of the film have cancelled promotional tours. But Hollywood's appeasement sends the wrong message. Caving in to the demands of terrorists only reinforces their perception that terror threats work.

We know that foreign hackers have been probing banks, Wall Street and utility companies for years. Earlier this year, Iranian hackers attacked the Las Vegas Sands casino in revenge for comments made by CEO Sheldon Adelson. Reports indicate that the White House, State Department, Postal Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have also been hacked in recent months.

There is deep concern that the next war will begin -- and perhaps end -- with a massive assault on the electronic/Internet infrastructure that we increasingly rely on. Add this to the list of things that the next conservative president will have to clean up after the hapless Obama Administration leaves town.
-------------
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: President Obama, Christmas Present, for dictators, America Handcuffed, Cuba, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:00 PM - Post Link

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