Thursday, December 18, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
Obama’s Christmas For Dictators
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 GOP primaries.)
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.
Sony’s Surrender On Free Speech
I touched on this yesterday, but I want to revisit the Sony movie disaster. It is easy to laugh at — particularly watching Hollywood liberals discover the evil of communism as it hits their bottom line. But it really isn’t a laughing matter. Think of what other hackers and terrorists will learn from this sorry episode.
Sony is a private company that came under attack from North Korean hackers, and it caved. But the implications go way beyond Sony, and once again this administration is doing nothing in the face of a North Korean attack on a major company. According to one estimate, Sony could lose $200 million.
North Korea is an impoverished country in which nothing works. It’s been described as one giant prison camp. Its people face routine starvation. It can’t even produce enough power to keep its lights on at night.
Yet this basket case of a nation has enough computer hackers to wage a cyberwar against the United States and prevail. As Newt Gingrich tweeted yesterday, “No one should kid themselves. With the Sony collapse America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very, very dangerous precedent.”
And why wouldn’t North Korea think it would win when it has watched Iranian, Russian and Chinese hackers attacks our banks, government agencies, utilities and defense companies, while business as usual goes on?
Bill Kristol makes a great point in an editorial you can read here. He notes that there is precedent for Sony’s surrender.
Recall the reaction of liberal elites, and the West in general, when someone writes a book or produces a movie critical of Islam or threatens to burn the Koran. When radical Muslims riot and threaten us with violence, the first reaction of Western officials is to stifle free speech, rather than the radicals.
Kristol quotes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who noted years ago that Western Civilization was losing its courage. History shows that when a nation or culture goes soft, loses its courage, it may well be in the final throes of decline.
Democrats In Decline?
Yesterday, six weeks after the November elections, the final House race was called. Republican Martha McSally defeated incumbent Democrat Ron Barber in Arizona’s Second Congressional District by 167 votes. With McSally’s win, House Republicans next year will control 247 seats to 188 for Democrats, the GOP’s largest House majority since 1931.
Democrats got more bad news yesterday from the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, which found that only 26% of Americans now identify as Democrats. That is the lowest level of Democratic Party allegiance in the poll’s 34-year history. Much of the party’s decline can be attributed to President Obama’s unpopularity. For example:
- 54% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s overall job performance.
- 52% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.
- 54% disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign policy.
- 55% disapprove of his handling of immigration.In addition, 47% of Americans trust congressional Republicans to do a better job of managing the economy, while 38% trust Obama more. And 48% of Americans have more faith in Republicans to better manage immigration issues, while 39% trust Obama more.
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