Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama, Chávez and a New Approach to the World

By Dan Balz
President Obama's weekend of summitry in Latin America will be remembered most for his cordial encounter with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. The images of that smiling handshake spoke vividly to the changes Obama is bringing to U.S. relations abroad.

The underlying question in all this is whether Obama's approach means the United States will be dealing out of a position of strength or weakness as the new administration confronts problems ranging from Iran's nuclear ambitions to Middle East peace to better relations in this hemisphere. Does Obama's desire to deal more cordially with leaders who are hostile to the United States make him more or less likely to achieve the country's strategic goals in tough negotiations?

The president was asked at the end of his trip to define an Obama doctrine in foreign policy. After his trips to Europe and Latin America and his meetings with many world leaders, how should Americans and the rest of the world interpret what sets his approach apart from other presidents?

Obama was understandably reluctant at this early stage in his presidency to offer a lengthy or overly precise answer. But what he said underscored that his early steps are very much in reaction to former president George W. Bush's style of interacting with the world.

He said he believes the United States remains the most powerful nation in the world, but cannot solve problems by itself. That means listening as well as talking when working with other nations. He said the United States should stand for a universal set of values, live those values whenever possible -- and acknowledge mistakes when they occur.

Obama defended his approach as an improvement on the past. He said he is prepared to jettison doctrines and practices that now seem outdated, or that failed to produce real results. But he said there were limits to what he can achieve.

"In Europe, people believe in our plan for Afghanistan, but their politics are still such that it's hard for leaders to want to send more troops into Afghanistan," he told reporters on Sunday. "That's not going to change because I'm popular in Europe or leaders think that I've been respectful towards them. On the other hand, by having established those better relations, it means that among the population there's more confidence that working with the United States is beneficial, and they are going to try to do more than they might otherwise have done."

No one should be surprised that Obama has adopted this attitude in his first meetings with world leaders. To the extent that there is an Obama doctrine that describes his approach to the world, it was defined on July 23, 2007, during a Democratic debate in South Carolina.

Obama was asked an explicit question. Would he, in his first year as president, be willing to meet without preconditions with the leaders of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba. "I would," he replied. "And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous."

Obama was roundly criticized for that answer by his rivals for the Democratic nomination -- and especially by now-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He was also criticized by many foreign policy experts, who took his answer as a sign of political naiveté on the part of an inexperienced politician. Obama stood his ground, convinced that his critics were defending an old paradigm.

Over time, Obama equivocated on that answer but not apparently on his belief that a new approach could yield results that eluded the Bush administration. Having won the presidency, he has begun to act on that conviction.

He has signaled new openness toward diplomatic discussions with Iran. He said in Europe that the United States has not always lived up to its ideals. He has softened U.S. policy toward Cuba and, in return, Cuban President Raul Castro said last week everything was now on the table for talks. The weekend meetings brought him face to face not only with Venezuela's Chávez but also Bolivia's Evo Morales.

Obama was asked Sunday whether he was worried about being perceived back home as soft. "We had this debate throughout the campaign, and the whole notion was -- is -- that somehow if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness. The American people didn't buy it. And there's a good reason the American people didn't buy it -- because it doesn't make sense," he said.

Shaking hands with Chávez does nothing to endanger U.S. strategic interests, he argued. Nor does having a more constructive relationship with Venezuela.

Obama sees irrefutable logic in all this. "On this one, I think I'm right," he said Sunday -- the same posture he took when he was criticized during the campaign. But the opening rounds of his diplomatic outreach to the world provide no real answers to the bigger questions.

He benefits now from the backlash against Bush's presidency. In time, his foreign policy will have to stand on its own record.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 20, 2009; 1:19 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: POTUS Events: Addressing the CIA
Next: Obama Thanks CIA for Work Against America's Foes

Comments

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 22, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"THAT HANDSHAKE BETWEEN OBAMA AND CHAVEZ WASN'T OUR CORDIAL HANDSHAKE!! ...HE IS SIGNALING TO CHAVEZ THAT THEY ARE BROTHERS...THE SAME TRIBE.
Posted by: jjsn | April 20, 2009 6:13 PM
-------
Dang!, I thought it was a "terrorist fist-bump"

Posted by: JRM2 | April 21, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed at the negative comments made on Mr. Obama's response to Chevaz's grovelling.
Hugo was like an orphan child seeking attention. I wonder what his people think of his behavior? It was over the top and in bad taste. Its obvious he was pulling all the strings to get the President's attention. Finally he got it. He presented a book. The president accepts.

Means anything? Absolutely not! But how does a president that represents a civil society respond in such an exchange? Ask that Chevaz be removed from the room? Arrested?

No! President Obama refused to stoop to the level of Mr. Chevaz's game, whatever that was/is. A hand shake as I have come to know it is just that-- a hand shake! Whomever reads more into that have a lot of learning to do about how the world socializes outside of a 'cave.'

But may the civil and gracious among us continue to respond to the worst among us with civility. Lead by example!
http://manchestersquare.blogspot.com

Posted by: Victoria5 | April 21, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

djfeiger, in case you didn't notice, the US boycotted that farcical "anti-racism" comment in the first place. You comment about Obama is just a cheap shot.

Posted by: RealChoices | April 20, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the criticism being expressed here is quite childish, especially comments by jjsn. What do any of you offer as an alternative? Would you rather have the US President be booed by every other leader at the event. Get real, Obama was dealing with reality, Latin America isn't our back yard anymore (if it ever was). By coming across a reasonable he makes it far harder for the demagogues like Chavez to rail against the US.

Posted by: RealChoices | April 20, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

The lefts embrace of the new fascism is genuinely frightening. The propaganda of the leftist media has succeeded far beyond anything the totalitarian social engineering ideologies of Stalin, Hitler and Mao ever imagined. The American Dream has become the Western Media's PC Fantasy incorporating Cultural (Social) Relativism and Individual Relativism. So how do you like our 1984 world where the President sits and listens to an ideological cold war attack on his country then smiling shakes the hand of Mr Chavez. One comment claims that this may have weakened Chavez more then Obama or the US.
Today Pres. Obama's most important adviser, David Axelrod declared that anti Americanism is uncool due to Pres. Obama. Unfortunately Iran's President Ahmadinejad didn't read Mr Axelrod's statements. In an address that would have embarrassed most world leaders Mr. Ahmadinejad the left's new hero called Israel the worst racist state in the world, created by lies of the persecution of Jews during WWII and that it should be destroyed. As with the PA, PLO, Fatah and Hamas for Israel to be identified as a Jewish state is pure racism. This is agreed to by Mr. Ahmadinejad, Pres. of the Islamic Republic of Iran whose true ruler is a Mullah. He then attacks the US for everything wrong in the world. But then he hasn't shaken our Prophets hand yet.
UN officials are very upset and many EU countries walked out of the conference having not received Obama's guidance to shake his hand.
This UN effort to subtly continue to delegitimize Israel and the Jewish People while legitimizing the Myth of Palestine was far to delicate for such overt displays. The Venezuelan representatives did not walk out nor failed to applaud Mr. Ahmadinejad's attack on the US.
I realize these things take time. However I can't help but anticipate what France's Pres. Zarkozy so elegantly stated. To see Pres. Obama walk on water when he visits France for D Day celebrations at Normandy.

Posted by: djfeiger | April 20, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The last 8 years have proved we haven't had the right approach to dealing with both friends and foes.
Changing tactics is a good thing..........the old stuff didn't work well, if at all.
The nattering nabobs ahould give things a chance. They had their turn at "good governance" and look where we ended up last fall.
Lets all shake on it......

Posted by: amiableoes | April 20, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The last 8 years have proved we haven't had the right approach to dealing with both friends and foes.
Changing tactics is a good thing..........the old stuff didn't work well, if at all.
The nattering nabobs ahould give things a chance. They had their turn at "good governance" and look where we ended up last fall.
Lets all shake on it......

Posted by: amiableoes | April 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

People in general and Republicans in particular are putting too much into the meetings between Obama and Chavez. Anything that will aid in the thawing of hostilities between leaders of two countries should be a welcome event. People who fear that Obama is too weak or will give away anything are way too busy hurling disrespectful langauge toward clearly the most intelligent and able President in the last 8 years.

As a Christian, Jesus asked us to love our enemies. Way too many people on the right are waving their Bibles, but they have no clue what is in it. One might say that they worship the Bible but ignore its author.

Personally, I am getting tired of watching people throw stones at the successes of this President on the international front.

Posted by: EarlC | April 20, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I just wish Obama could be a bit more savy and intuitive like Bush. Bush said he could look into Putin's eyes and know this was a man he could work with. And I think he did this when they first met. Awesome.

Posted by: ohmygod | April 20, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama's approach to make talk or dialogue with friends or foes as the first option to sort out conflicts and troubling issues, is in direct correspondence to his pronounced commitment during electioneering and more of a human,logical and rational line of action for a leader of 21st century world,termed as a global village,particualry of a Super Power(rather the only one). He has not said that whatever his predecessor,Bush,did was wrong but he is proving through his actions,it could be better.Talking with adversaries is not indicative of weakness but ref;ective of moral courage and intellectual superiority.Bravo Obama,the leader of 21st century !

Posted by: saleemchaudhry | April 20, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

It would be very foolish for president obama to trust this man in any way !
he has made it clear that he is any enemy of the united states!
we do not want to be a large latin american
socialist country !

Posted by: cmt138 | April 20, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

OK folks, something the media, U.S. Senate and Congress has overlooked is the $8,000,000 in AID given some poor villages in Alaska by Citgo, owned by the Venezuelan government. YES, President Hugo Chavez authorizes the AID. This AID is given to these villages because the people of the United States of America can't afford heating oil, so Mr. Chavez sends AID. Pretty sad a U.S. state has to take AID from a foreign country considered an enemy of our country. Stick that in your hat all you comment senders!!!

Posted by: prwolfe | April 20, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This is the bizzarro world. Obama believes everything that happened prior to his presidency was wrong. Now he believes with his grand oratory Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, etc will change. No doubt Iran will become a champion of democracy, embrace Israel and give up a nuclear weapons program. I am so happy that Obama has become friendly with people that denigrate America everyday. Is his ego so big. But, at least he is cutting 100 million from his 3.5 trillion dollar budget--what a remarkable feat and I guess there are still many Obama supporters that believe all that is going on is exactly on the mark. Wait a couple of years and see what you think. I just cannot believe what I see each day on the telly.

Posted by: Mindboggle | April 20, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled at the manner in which President Obama had to be presented to the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It was similar to a Miss Universe Contest. The grimace on President Obama's face was obvious.The Opening Ceremony was wholly unnecessary, and set the tone for the casual encounter of President Chavez and President Obama. In the first place it was because of alternative security arrangements at arrival at the Summit Center that caused the two men to be in close proximity.
The preeminence and prestige of the US president is such that at all cost in meetings like these he must be protected from casual ambush.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago must take full responsibility for this.

Posted by: vrishaba18 | April 20, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled at the manner in which President Obama had to be presented to the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It was similar to a Miss Universe Contest. The grimace on President Obama's face was obvious.The Opening Ceremony was wholly unnecessary, and set the tone for the casual encounter of President Chavez and President Obama. In the first place it was because of alternative security arrangements at arrival at the Summit Center that caused the two men to be in close proximity.
The preeminence and prestige of the US president is such that at all cost in meetings like these he must be protected from casual ambush.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago must take full responsibility for this.

Posted by: vrishaba18 | April 20, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

That handshake...IT'S NOT THE USUAL CORDIAL HANDSHAKE, FOLKS! IT'S THE HANDSHAKE THEY USE IN EAST AFRICA TO SAY THEY'RE BROTHERS! LIKE TRIBAL BROTHER! TAKE A GOOD LOOK...THE FIRST GUY GRABS THE THUMB OF THE OTHER,THEN THE OTHER GRABS THE THUMB OF THE FIRST PERSON. THIS IS NOT JUST A STATESMANLIKE GREETING. OUR "PRESIDENT" IS SAYING HE IS A BLOOD BROTHER TO CHAVEZ! CAN HE GET MORE OUTRAGEOUS? WHEN WILL AMERICA WAKE UP TO WHAT IS HAPPENING???

Posted by: jjsn | April 20, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Obammy is learning. At least this time he didn't bend down and kiss Chavez ring on camera.

Posted by: Fiftycaltx | April 20, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama was Chavez's excuse to change course on the U.S. Latins still love us, and Muslims still hate us. Obama shares a culture with liberal elites that believes the rhetoric of puny dictators. That Obama doesn't recognize what has caused the problems of third world nations is a threat to our Constitution and way of life.

Posted by: rpatoh | April 20, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

After Daniel Ortega, and now Hugo Chavez? This has simply got to be the most embarrasing exhibition by an American president since Jimmy Carter's horrible conduct. Hideous.
Thought that President Obama was really Ayn Rand's Mr. Thompson. Off-teleprompter recently, one might think he is really (Kosinski's) Chance the Gardener. Dubya was supposed to be the dumb one?
This Narcissist-in-Chief is thoroughly sickening -- embarrassing!

Posted by: frost1 | April 20, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Tonisongbird34

I think President Obama showed remarkable courage in shaking the hand of Chavez.

--

It took courage? No, courage would have been what Barry should have done and is sworn to do. Protect and Defend the nation. Barry cannot do that. He does not believe in America and its Greatness. He would rather agree with our critics and apologize for it. You call that courage? And so you also believe if we had shaken hands with Al Qaeda they would not have the desire to lop your head off? It is your type of naivety that leaves us vulnerable.

Posted by: FraudObama | April 20, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Where, oh where, do guys like Chavez, Morales, and Ortega 'get off' with painting the US as a militarist, 'corporate-financial Empire' that tortures powerless people in its oil territories, and economically oppresses its own 'working class' citizens?

Oh, that's right, they 'get off' with it because they see it directly and know the truth ---- of which the American people are blinded by the 'Vichy' facade of democracy that this ruling-elite global 'corporate financial Empire' hides behind (with the help of an equally 'Vichy' corporate media) while the guileful EMPIRE hides in our kitchen of faux democracy and mis-uses the US super-power military to abuse the rest of the world!

There may be some method to Obama's madness in allowing others to inform the American people about the global corporate empire in which we really live.

My bet? That not only all the other Western Hemisphere states will deliver this message today, but that all the European and other real, sustainable, and functioning 'social democracy' (post-WWII, and post-Empire) nations of Europe and Japan will start telling America this "inconvenient truth" ---- which will make Obama's job as the reforming leader of our country more possible in bringing America from EMPIRE back to the democratic Republic that 99% of Americans thought we were and want to be again.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Posted by: macturna1 | April 20, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I think President Obama showed remarkable courage in shaking the hand of Chavez.
I'm weary of all the negative comments from the Republicans. They didn't have the B - - - -
to do anything like that - therefore we are at war
Toni Mueller
Waldport, OR

Posted by: Tonisongbird34 | April 20, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

We certainly do not know whether Obama foreign policy will work but we know that Bush policy was a failure. At least there will be some countries that will cooperate with us and that at least leads to optimism. Those who say Obama is a patsy are blowing smoke. He is willing to stand up for what he thinks is right as well as back down such as his unwilling to prosecute CIA agents. The man is not always right in my mind but those who are willing to be honest in their evaluation he gives the country something to be proud of. He is lauded or at least not scorned the way his predecessor was.

Chavez is never going to be our friend but if he remains still we have a chance to make progress is some areas of the world simply because the US is not viewed as a bully who insists that everybody walks our line. The fewer enemies one has the less frequently we have to resort to the military which can not solve political problems anyway. The most unsuccessful path in foreign policy was the one Cheney laid out for Bush. By just not following that course Obama will be remembered as successful in foreign affairs.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 20, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

This world will be best served when we begin to judge "individual"s" by the "Content of their charchter." Regardless of their race or other non consiquental physical traits. I believe God. And my faith will not allow me to think God made any human being lower than anyone else based on their race. That's mankinds garbage it created and its mankinds duty to remove it.

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | April 20, 2009 3:45 PM

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

« Who do Han Chinese think I should be?Yan Huang and racism
December 27, 2008 – 10:28 am
Posted in Han Chinese
Tagged descendant, racism, yan huang
If I say that we are superior and other people are inferior because we are the descendants of Aryan, and we should do something because of our Aryan ancestry, I would be labeled “racist”.

But if I replace Aryan with Yan Huang (炎黄), I will be thought good Han Chinese. That’s what Han Chinese have been doing all the time.

Why are we superior to all other people in the world? It is because we are the descendants of Yan Huang. Han Chinese the “victims” of invaders have never thought it racism to know they are the apogee of evolution and the rest of humanity lesser beings.

http://thenewvoice.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/dalai-lama-wants-enthic-cleansing-in-tar/

http://www.uyghuramerican.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7428

Amazing!

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 20, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I am more than willing to try something new in foreign policy, we all have seen where the "shock and awe" policy has taken us...

Posted by: BFranco | April 20, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama knows what ihe is doing in International relations far far better than Bush ever did, so the GOPer's who speak negative about this can just deal with that ro take a hike.

Posted by: TimeforChange | April 20, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Republicans love to hate. They hate America, (unless a republican is president)They hate democrats. They hate all foreign countries. They hate all foreign leaders. They hate all races and religions except there own. Hate hate hate. Kill kill kill. "Now let me see your war face." If the world should be blown to bits I have no doubt a republican will be in charge when it happens.

Posted by: kubrickstan | April 20, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

mralexva, you feel sick because you are sick.

Posted by: gasmonkey | April 20, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Reading these comments, it is clear why Bush won a second term. Many Americans are really that common confluence of Stupidity and Arrogance.

God help us all and our neighbors, more.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | April 20, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse


"the Idiot receiving an Anti-American Tome"

Yep, Chavez aced Obama right out of the gate.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | April 20, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

THAT HANDSHAKE BETWEEN OBAMA AND CHAVEZ WASN'T OUR CORDIAL HANDSHAKE!! THIS WAS AN EAST AFRICAN "BROTHER" handshake!! You grasp the other's thumb, then he grasps yours. Obama is Kenyan, for sure, and he is hardly SOFT! HE IS SIGNALING TO CHAVEZ THAT THEY ARE BROTHERS...THE SAME TRIBE. This president is outrageous, as America should be noticing.

Posted by: jjsn | April 20, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I prefer to see him shake Chavez' hand to Boosh's. Chavez didn't Lie the US into a war and destroy our economy through general stupidity.

It was actually the US which staged a coup of Venezuela in 2002, which, of course, and again, is not allowed to be mentioned in the Washington Post.

Chavez isnt so bad. I'm trying to remember what Venezuela did to us...

Other than have oil and tell us to get in line for it.

Chavez passes out constitutions to the poor of Venezuela so they know their rights.

Bush, himself, has no clue what's in the Constitution and does not recommend anyone else does either.

Glad to see Obama knows when to call a spade a spade, without letting somebody else dictate who he's supposed to get along with...

I think it's called Integrity.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | April 20, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Posted by: rlj1 | April 20, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Chavez didn't say he was against America, .... what he did say was, he was against Bush and his administrations policies. And if I remember correctly, so were we.

Posted by: safmmail | April 20, 2009 4:58 PM

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Bush, you traitorous pig, was president of the United States.

Bush had 100% of our loyalty when dealing with foreign leaders who CARE NOTHING ABOUT US, you jerk.
If your a USA citizen you should give it up.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 20, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Barry mingling with company he finds most at home with during his I Am The One Apology Tour. Dictators, Marxists, Communists. And no one should be surprised. It is who he is. You can tell a man's character by who he associates with. In this case Barry's extended family includes Ayers, Resko, Wright, Daniels, Flagler, ACORN and God knows who else. Yep he is on the same plane, wave length as these enemies of America and what does he do, not defend America but accept the critic's spewing and sit there with his wide smile.

(Now Dan is this more acceptable for you to allow without censorship?)

Posted by: FraudObama | April 20, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pedagogosporlaemancipacion | April 20, 2009 5:12 PM

First greetings to the people of the United States of America, we express our appreciation for the kind gesture and positive at the diplomatic level that took the Presidents Chavez and Obama in the V Summit of the Americas.
From Venezuela we clarify certain aspects of this article, first described leaders who are hostile to the United States, attention is not hostility, it is a wrong definition in our opinion, is the right to dignity and the defense against claim by the Imperial forces continue to dominate the world. We are brothers of the people of the continental United States of America. Secondly, when the President cited that Obama believes the United States remains the most powerful nation in the world, but can not solve problems by themselves, then we wonder If I can not solve problems by themselves, it not a contradiction to be the most powerful nation in the world, "What if it has to be unable to solve problems on their own? Furthermore, when stated in the article should abandon doctrines and practices that now seem outdated, to say that we believe that these practices are: coups, assassinations, economic blockades, media campaigns, lies, etc.
....Chavez does not support the FARC, and if we talk about drugs, Venezuela is used to bridge the drug that is produced in Colombia and is directed mainly towards the United States, which is considered one of the highest consumption drug in the world! then friend, you must analyze the U.S. should do to prevent his campaign uses drugs and youth who are addicted, given special medical attention urgently. In relation to that offered to allow the Russians to establish a port on a Venezuelan island where they can maintain warships and nuclear bombers, friend "Free-Donny" really be free with what he reads, hears and sees in some media, this is part of the media war that imperialism practiced for seeking to discredit the progressive countries, sovereign and independent.

(Nuclear Bombers??)

To complete a message to the people of the United States from Venezuela: here we want them as brothers, not enemies, just as we are friends of all the peoples of the world. Imperialism is our real enemy that intends to continue to dominate loot our oil is not the American people, and we say that here in Venezuela we are one people and we love and we want our President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Hugo Chávez, as evidenced several times through the sacred and free popular vote.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 20, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Those complaining about Obama's smile and handshake when he met Hugo Chavez should remember Winston Churchill's quip:

"WHEN YOU HAVE TO KILL A MAN, IT COSTS NOTHING TO BE POLITE."

Posted by: norriehoyt | April 20, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

....and all the Texas Moron ever got was the smell of sulphur and a pair of shoes!

Posted by: analyst72 | April 20, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Rather than compare Obama new approach to former President Bush, we should examine what Chavez can do for the U.S. and what we can do for him. when you get down to the economic of our relationship with Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has used their oil resources against the U.S. Hugo Chavez trade agreements with Iran in the form of Venezuela resource for Iran nuclear techology. We should hope that Obama new approach is not in the line of goverment control of U.S as Chavez has done to Venezuela. We should be more concerned with developing U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement instead of trying to defend our image with Hugo.

Posted by: klausdmk | April 20, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

How do I define Diplomatic Incompetence?

Well, aside from stating the Obvious and saying: Congressional Lawyer Clown;

Let's place the Image of the Idiot receiving an Anti-American Tome from an America Hating Thief of American Ventured Capital;

that is NOW a Best Seller!

Must have made Chavez's day!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 20, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

bueyesxyou,
Democrats traditionaly start wars, and by tradition Republicans end them.

think about it.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 20, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

SAFMMAIL,,I DONT REMEMBER WHICH OCCASION IT WAS WHEN WE TRYED TO FOOL THE WORLD INTO THINKING THAT WE HAD NO FALTS,,CAN YOU PLEASE REFRESH MY MEMORY AS TO WHO DID THIS AND WHEN??? ARENT YOU JUST MAKING A FRUSTRATED EMPTY SWEEPING STATEMENT OR DO ACTUALLY HAVE (ONE)SPACIFIC EXAMPLE TO SHARE.... IM SURE JUST THE THOUGHT OF MR OBAMA BE CRITIZED FOR ANYTHING WILL EVOKE A RESPONSE FROM YOU,,,,,MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST TALK ABOUT THE NEW DOG AT THE WHITE HOUSE,,OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN,,,,,WOULD THAT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER??

Posted by: mralexva | April 20, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

These remarks re President's response to hand shakes, accepting book, etc as being weak demonstrates that a few folks here, still have a personal kind of inside war pro bush,going on; and they expect Obama to come out fighting. How ludicrous. We have LEADERSHIP now..Please tell those angry men that their war and their way of fighting ended in November..We need to learn how to roll up our sleeves get busy with the tasks at hand and oh yes, ACCEPT the gifts,even if it includes only a dishrag. This indicates finesse and Diplomacy.

Posted by: mamamay | April 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.

$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.

Posted by: davidwaters1
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

have you noticed how fast wealthy China, India, Saudi Arabia and other centers of wealth rush to give you the 30 billion?
The only reason people go hungry is politics. And not USA politics.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 20, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I think some are making way too much of the fact that Obama had a cordial exchange with Chavez (was he supposed to spit in his face?). Nixon was cordial with Chou En Lai and Brezhnev - I don't recall anyone having a stroke over it.

We need to graduate from the grade school mentality of shunning those we don't like. This is the real world, folks. You talk to your friends, and talk even more to your enemies.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | April 20, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Not surprise here . Democrats traditionally embrace friendship with other nations while Republicans prefer to have enemies, the more the better so they can win elections scaring American people to death. . It is also good to have wars so their military contractors friends make tons of money aka Cheney's Haliburton.

Posted by: bueyesxyou | April 20, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

En primer lugar un saludo al pueblo de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, queremos manifestarles nuestro agrado por el gesto amable y positivo a nivel diplomático que tuvieron los Presidentes Obama y Chávez en la V Cumbre de las Américas.

Desde Venezuela queremos aclarar ciertos aspectos de este artículo, en primer lugar se indica líderes que son hostiles a los Estados Unidos, atención: no es hostilidad, que es una definición errada a nuestro parecer, es el derecho a la defensa y a la dignidad contra la pretensión del IMPERIALISMO de seguir dominando a la fuerza al mundo. Somos hermanos continentales del PUEBLO de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica. En segundo lugar, cuando se cita que el Presidente Obama cree que los Estados Unidos sigue siendo la nación más poderosa del mundo, pero no puede resolver problemas por sí mismos, nos preguntamos entonces ¿Si no pueden resolver problemas por sÍ mismos, acaso no es una contradicción con el ser la nación más poderosa del mundo?, ¿Cuál poder posee si sería incapaz de resolver problemas por sí solos? Por otro lado, cuando se indica en el artículo que se debe abandonar las doctrinas y prácticas que hoy parecen obsoletas, queremos manifestarles que consideramos que estas prácticas son: golpes de estado, magnicidios, bloqueos económicos, campañas mediáticas, mentiras, etc.

De igual manera queremos aclararle al comentario de " Free-Donny", que Chávez no apoya a las FARC, y si hablamos de drogas, Venezuela es utilizada de puente de la droga que se produce en Colombia y va dirigida en gran parte hacia LOS ESTADO UNIDOS DE NORTEAMERICA, que es considerado uno de los países con más consumo de drogas en el mundo! entonces amigo, debe analizar que EEUU debe hacer campañas para evitar que su juventud consuma drogas y a los que son adictos, darles atención médica especial urgentemente . Con relación a que ha ofrecido a permitir a los rusos para establecer un puerto en una isla venezolana en el que puedan mantener los buques de guerra y bombarderos nucleares, amigo" Free-Donny", sea libre de verdad con respecto a lo que lee, escucha y ve en algunos medios de comunicación, esto forma parte de la guerra mediática que el imperialismo practica para pretender descalificar a los países progresistas, soberanos e independientes.

Para concluir un mensaje al pueblo de los estados unidos desde Venezuela: aquí los queremos como hermanos, no como enemigos, al igual que somos amigos de todos los pueblos del mundo. El imperialismo es nuestro real enemigo que pretende seguir dominarnos para saquear nuestro petróleo, no es el pueblo norteamericano, y le decimos que aquí en Venezuela también somos un pueblo y que amamos y queremos a nuestro Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela Hugo Chávez, demostrado en varias oportunidades a través del sagrado y libre voto popular.

Posted by: pedagogosporlaemancipacion | April 20, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

mralexva....We are not perfect and don't you think the other Nations can see that. I think it is better to admit we DO have some faults instead of trying to fool the world into believing we have none. They can see through that, why can't you? It doesn't mean we are not the greatest Nation in the world, as of course we are, and everyone knows that also but no ones perfect and everyone knows that too. We have some areas to work on and it is not a sign of weakness to admit that we are less than perfect.

Posted by: safmmail | April 20, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

davidwaters1:

How about we "end world hunger" just as soon as the Great Society wins that war on poverty?

Posted by: JakeD | April 20, 2009 4:42 PM

------------------------------------------

Spoken like a true fake Christian. Cause you know what the Bible says.... Jesus hates the needy.

How was tea bagging with the other fat, angry, white males in San Diego this past Wednesday Jakey?

I don't wanna pay my taxes, I'M AN AMERICAN! :(

I don't wanna pay my taxes, I'M AN AMERICAN! :(

I don't wanna pay my taxes, I'M AN AMERICAN! :(

I don't wanna pay my taxes, I'M AN AMERICAN! :(

I don't wanna pay my taxes, I'M AN AMERICAN! :(

Posted by: htruman | April 20, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhhh LOL! :-D

The Libbies REFUSED to open their Eyes and judge O'Bomba-Nation by the Company he Kept-Ayers, Rezco, Wright,...

So, now that he is with Chavez, Morales, Castro Bro's, Ortega, Ahmadinejad, Il, Putin...

Why is ANYONE Surprised?!

Then, FARC is enmeshed in not only Colombia, but Ecuador and Venezuela.

Shining Path is the Problem Child for Peru, and gets support from Chile and Bolivia!

Only a Fool would not assume they communicate, and only a Bigger one would not assume the Leaders of the Leftist States are not supporting them!

Then, let's add in Ahmadinejad-Putin's LapDog!

Barack is a BLITHERING IDIOT, THEY are going to have a Field Day with!

Or, maybe I should say: MayDay! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 20, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Chavez didn't say he was against America, matter of fact he said he would help the American people with oil last year because we were in trouble, what he did say was, he was against Bush and his administrations policies. And if I remember correctly, so were we.

Posted by: safmmail | April 20, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Chamberlain met with Hitler, and the press loved it. "Peace for our time"

Posted by: pondering | April 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

EVERYTIME I SEE OUR LEADER APOLIGIZING FOR (US) I FEEL SICK,,WE HAVE NOTHING TO APOLIGIZE FOR, NO OTHER COUNTRY IN THIS WORLD HAS DONE MORE AROUND THE WORLD TO HELP THE OPPRESSED THAN(US)...IF YOU CAN THINK OF ONE, LET ME KNOW...WHILE HE SMILES AND BOWS AND TELLS THE LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD HOW ITS ALL OUR FALT AND HOW SORRY HE IS FOR ALL OF OUR ACTIONS, THEY ARE GIGGLING BEHIND HIS BACK AND GAINING MORE POWER OF OPPRESSION OVER THEIR PEOPLES,,WE HAVE A NIEVE CHARLITAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE,,HOW DEMORALIZING

Posted by: mralexva | April 20, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"free-donny, you forgot a few things: Chavez supports FARC, the South American rebels who are trying to take control of Columbia, Argentina, Bolivia, and Equator...."

Posted by: mike85 | April 20, 2009 2:51 PM
--------------------------------------
mike85, try to be better informed.
FARC are trying ONLY to take control of Colombia. Never in Argentina, Bolivia or Ecuador. They are present only in Colombia.

FARC is presents in Colombia.

Posted by: abejorros | April 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it about time for the screaming neocons to say that shaking hands with Chavez is the worst thing that Obama could possibly do? On, nevermind, here they come. . .

Posted by: gasmonkey | April 20, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

And now it's time for a mini chronology of Saint --- The's lifeline, and the fearful mindset that pervades these messaging boards.

Once, when Saint --- The was but a youngling something unusual happened. He had an original thought. In the ensuing shock that followed (because mind you, this was after all the only original thought he would ever have) he over reacted and attempted to "BOMB IT". After the trip ensuing trip to ER, poor loathsome Saint developed a little psychological barrier to original thinking (or to put it more bluntly rationality). CAUSE IT HURTS!!!! :)

Thus every since Saint --- The has stuck with the time trued process of watching Faux and regurgitating "the facts" for us lucky readers of WaPo. Ye Haaa!!!

Posted by: htruman | April 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

davidwaters1:

How about we "end world hunger" just as soon as the Great Society wins that war on poverty?

Posted by: JakeD | April 20, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I think that the handshake was a good move and that Obama needs to use more soft power than Bush used. In addition to simple diplomacy, Obama should increase the U.S.'s soft power by increasing the foreign aid budget. The Borgen Project has good info on the estimated cost of ending global poverty:

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.

$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.

Posted by: davidwaters1 | April 20, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Allowing someone to shake your hand isn't groveling.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

duyda-
Good advice.

Shock Doctrine and Hegemony or Survival also shine a light into the darkness on these issues.
http://contemporarylit.
about.com/cs/currentreviews/fr/hegemony.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/books/review/Stiglitz-t.html

Posted by: rooster54 | April 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

While arrogance is a trait that commonly comes hand by hand with ignorance, diplomacy is a fine skill that wise people and true statesmen can express without hesitation. That's why Chavez is widely seen in Latin America as boastful and arrogant, lacking even the most basic qualities of a statesman, not very unlike the reputation that Bush manage to earn and consolidate throughout his presidency.

Not surprisingly, Obama's diplomatic approach and superior statesmanship are inspiring greater respect and openness among his peers and the public globally. Those qualities are essential to strengthen our relationships with so many different countries and cultures if we are to establish a peaceful future for generations to come.

Posted by: JohnCe | April 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Reading The Open Veins of Latin America might give some a better understanding as to why there is such hostility.

Bitter Fruit, Overthrow and Confessions of an Economic Hitman can also shed some light.

Looking out for the millions or billions of a handful isn't necessarily the best for millions.

Posted by: duyda | April 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

cadams 3 writes:But we must not defend liberty with injustice and threats of mass murder. Liberty and truth have never and will never exist with injustice and tyranny. In the end we all loose even if we win the war. This country for all it's problems, is based on the sound foundation of Liberty and Justice for all.

- I lose you when you write this, yr for freedom and liberty yet when Iraqi's are rid of sadam and cast there first votes, you call that mass murder ? Sadam had torture chambers, committed genocide and invaded a nieghboring country, raped and pillaged but we get the mass murder label ?. That is a total disconnect.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | April 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I love how shaking hands and being the grown up is considered "sucking up"...there are people I work with that I can't stand, that no one can stand...but I'm nice to them, try to hold a conversation with them, act interested in their lives, etc...you'd be amazed at the response you get from these people...while everyone else is complaining these people don't get anything done, are terrible workers, lazy, etc, I'm getting everything I need from them. It's called empathy, and its part of being a good leader.

Chavez is a bumbling idiot, but he's not the world's leader...him acting like a 2 year old is not going to negatively effect every aspect of world affairs. However, we are the world leader, and we have to be the adult here. I'm glad we finally have an adult President. Good job Mr. Obama.

Posted by: sicksidvt | April 20, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

If Obama were a true patriot and he really loved this country, when greeting Chavez he would have pulled out his Chinese made puffy foam U.S.A. No. 1 finger, jabbed it into Chavez's face, while yelling at the top of his lungs, U-S-A, U-S-A. At least that's what the right wing nut jobs would want to see.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | April 20, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

JRM2- Let me try to use an analogy.

Since I cannot work, sleep, conduct my life, AND Watch over my belongings at the same time;

I "Hire" someone to do it for me!

Now, after winning my trust and securing the Job of being my protector;

my appointed people betray my trust, and while I am not there to do it myself-or, CAN'T, THEY allow my stuff to be grabbed by whoever wants to come along and just help themselves!

THAT, is how I feel about any "Representative" who feels any Non-American should have access to American Services, Money, Education, Jobs, or WHATEVER!

At a time when MILLIONS of Americans are losing everything we ever had,

the ONLY thing I want to hear ANY Representative in this Country saying, is:

AMERICANS FIRST!

Here illegally? 10, 9, 8, 7, (Sound of a Hammer being pulled back), 6, 5...

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Chavez is a friend to the US is sadly mistaken, so let me set you straight: Chavez (not Venezuelans) hates everything America stands for, but will take any benefits he can get from us, regardless of who the president may be. If this weren't true, his rhetoric against the US would (should) have stopped once Bush left office AND he would be less amicable to countries that are not necessarily the most cooperative with the rest of the world. An example of his barbarism? Well, he recently invited the Sudanese ex-president accused of genocide against his own people to visit Venezuela... why? Who does this? Know that Chavez has only one purpose: to execute his socialist agenda. If you drive through the streets of any Venezuelan city today, you will find them filled with government propaganda and socialist rhetoric. Should you speak against it, you'll be accused of treason and face prosecution, threats and prison. Let me be clear: this is not a democracy AT ALL!
Some of the facts stated in the comments are historically true as far as the relationship between Venezuela and the US. But the past 10 years (Chavez's term so far) have been dedicated to brain washing uneducated people to view the US as the enemy (categorizing the US as imperial), while in the mean time, Chavez, his family and followers have corrupted the country and made millions from the US and American companies that he publicly criticizes. In the midst of all this, professionals are out of work ‘cause he’s brought Cubans to replace them, children are begging in the streets, violence is out through the roof, inflation is out of control, local production of goods is almost non-existent as he’s made it impossible for local owner to produce… in short, he’s turned a rich country into pieces and is living off it like it were his personal account.
He may have shaken Obama’s hand, but this is only for his own ego satisfaction. Thankfully, Obama is a man of class and superb intellect who can’t be easily manipulated into Chavez’s game.

Posted by: rosiepalmerf | April 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Different time. Everybody's got nukes. Lets just pray that everyone has the good sense not to use them. I agree with you that we must maintain a stong defense and military. But we must not defend liberty with injustice and threats of mass murder. Liberty and truth have never and will never exist with injustice and tyranny. In the end we all loose even if we win the war. This country for all it's problems, is based on the sound foundation of Liberty and Justice for all. If we loose that because of paranoia and an unwillingness to understand those who are different. We stand to loose the very basis of the "Greates Nations In History."

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | April 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I've read many articles. This article is the most ridiculous I've ever read. It is so ridiculous that it merits no further comment.

Posted by: david-mckenzie | April 20, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Cadam3 writes;I shutter to think of what the world would have been without Henry Kissenger "TALKING" to Communist China to resolve things with diplomacy and truth.

Dont agree with yr other points, but here you are clearly off track. We fought a number of proxy wars(Vietnam, Kore) prior to Kissinger, not to mention our threat to use nukes should Mao go after Chiang Kai Shek. It clearly wasnt just talk but a history of armed conflict and the threat to go nuclear which bought both parties to an understanding. Mao and the cg=hinese understood power and understood Nixon. Obama on the other hand has a history of passivity that is well known, I hope the
many comparisons to JFK are not correct because JFK"S naiveness bought us to the brink of nuclear war.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | April 20, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama praises Chavez? My my...

Posted by: mftill | April 20, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This world will be best served when we begin to judge "individual"s" by the "Content of their charchter." Regardless of their race or other non consiquental physical traits. I believe God. And my faith will not allow me to think God made any human being lower than anyone else based on their race. That's mankinds garbage it created and its mankinds duty to remove it.

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | April 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

IT'S NOT THE HANDSHAKE THAT RANCKLES THEM...

IT'S THE COLOR OF THE CLASP THAT THEY DON'T LIKE.

If the optics lead to an increase in production and flow of reasonably priced Venezuelan oil to the U.S., the charm strategy will gain the begrudging praise of even his harshest critics...

...the ones that aren't blinded by smoldering racism.

What really bothers them is the visual of a supremely self-confident black president meeting with a brown Latino strongman -- who just may be enough of a narcissist to be swayed by the opened-armed approach.

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 20, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Snapplecat. MLK was possible because George Washington, though he owned slaves, fought the opression of the British who are now our allies. Ghandi did also. My point is opression, in any form, for any reason is wrong and can and should be delt with in a manor called for by the situation at hand. Mankind is too quick to welcome acceptance because the perception of power supports their cause. Humanity is served by mutual respect, understanding and humility. Sometimes, as in The American Revolution, force is necessary. Sometimes, as in the Civil Rights Movement, humility and dialouge works. At this time, Chavez is a hero to his people. Do we do as Bush did in Iraq and just point the big gun at him and expect him to be afraid. Guns were pointed and used during the 60's, Ghandi and the latest Iraq. Besides the thousands of innocent, human beings, Iraqi and American who are dead and mamed for this cause, what about those who served in the military who came back with all their parts who killed the so call "Enemy", innocent humans, who now suffer PTSD and commit sucide. War and violence in general may rob the victim of their life, but eventually robs us all of our humanity. I shutter to think of what the world would have been without Henry Kissenger "TALKING" to Communist China to resolve things with diplomacy and truth.

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | April 20, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

How way way way COOl the U.S. president sucks up to Hugo Chavez!

Posted by: mftill | April 20, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

Too bad this subtlety is lost on the right-wing thug mentality which is beneath even the Italian Mafia in its narrowness. Obama by his thoughtful presence, his stature and polite mannerisms shows us clearly that we do live in world inhabited by goons like Chavez, Castro, Bush and Cheney and every day he shows them to be the small potatoes they truly are. How extremely irritating to the white racist, Type-A personalities in our country and to the petty dictators still left in this world this must be. The posts on here prove my point beyond a doubt.

Posted by: sunnsea | April 20, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

How way, way cool is it that the U.S. President sucks up to Hugo Chavez?

Geeeezus!

Posted by: mftill | April 20, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

cadams3:My point is missed by your taking different periods of history and situations and intertwinnig them to make an incorrect conclusion.

-yr holding up MLK and Ghandi as an example of how we should deal with the problems of today. Yr not intertwining ? Why bring them up ?

Posted by: snapplecat07 | April 20, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Repub policy for everything: "Stay the course" no matter how miserably it has failed in the past.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Snapplecat. Neither may not have lasted against the British, but Washington did and that lead to MLK being able to do in this country what he definately would not have done in Cuba in the 60's after Fidel took power. My point is missed by your taking different periods of history and situations and intertwinnig them to make an incorrect conclusion. What would have happened if the DC snipper, VA Tech shooter and Charles Manson had collaborated with Hitler? Different times and situations all together. That logic you suggest is where the blinders go on.

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | April 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The previous approach obviously didn't work and only wound up emboldening Iran, Venezuela and N. Korea.

Time to try a different approach.

I remember a picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Sadaam Hussein.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 20, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Its high time for a change in our Hemispheric relations. These countries are our neighbors. Many of the Caribbean Countries who are members of the Summmit have decendents who have become Leaders in the United States.
Colin Powell, Shirley Chisom, Eric Holder Mayor Fenty all have Caribbean Roots. But yet we find ourselves at odds with mny of the Latin American and Caribbean Countries.
For decades wehave cuddled Dictators in Latin america. Financed Overthrows, financed the Contras and other Right Wing Militia Groups. BUT we cant talk to Castro or Chavez.? Go figure.
Its a New Day Dudes and Dudetts .
What we are witnessing is a complete U-Turn in US Foreigh Relations. Get Used to It.
There is More to come.
The Only to curtail the Obama Doctrine is for the US to use the same "Overthrow" tacticts that they have used for years in the Americas.

Posted by: Carprin | April 20, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"There once was a Great American Dream! Then, TRAITORS let thieves come and steal it all away!

Posted by: SAINT---The |"
---
Care to mention who these "traitors" are?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 20, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

To the TEA-baggers:

You had your chance for eight years.

Do not dare to raise your voices after only 88 days.

That is treason.

Posted by: bs2004 | April 20, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't make sense that a man who campaigned as a pacifist is perceived as weak? I give Georgia six months before they are taken over by the Russian army.

Ukraine, maybe a year.

Posted by: alstl | April 20, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr Balz;

I am afraid;

VERY Afraid;

that O'Bomba is using the proper wording for what is about to become the new Reality.

As the Socialist addressed the other Socialists(Believe me, the Photo of O'Bomba in the midst of all the Socialist Leaders, and El Salvidor's Leader, is by far more Damning than his handshake with Hugo!);

and spoke of talking to each other as "Equals", he meant it!

Third World Nation, meet other Third World Nations! :-(

There once was a Great American Dream! Then, TRAITORS let thieves come and steal it all away!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"A couple of months ago Chavez said Obama was an IGNORAMOUS"

Now he can see that President Obama is one of those sincere but naive men that Chavez can manipulate to get just what he wants. Good for him, bad for U.S. It is a shameful and disgraceful sight to see an American president running around apologizing for the U.S.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | April 20, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

cadams3 writes:Martin Luther King and Ghandi

MLK fought for his in the US, Ghandi vs the Brits. How well do you think they would have faired in Castro's cuba ?(home of 24/7 firing squads against there enemies in 1959) or in North Korea's death camps ? or In Iran. Or do you think Chavez would have hugged Ghandi if Ghandi rebeled against Chavez ? Obama=sucker

Posted by: snapplecat07 | April 20, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This whole premise is ridiculous. What makes Hugo Chavez an enemy of the United States?

(1) Chavez annually sells severly discounted heating oil to Americans who cannot afford the going rate. U.S. oil companies refuse to help.

(2) During the Katrina response fiasco by Bush-era FEMA, Chavez was one of the first nations to offer assistance.

(3) The United States gets 9% of its oil from Venezuela.

Chavez is not an enemy of the U.S. - he is our business partner. He may have considered George Bush his enemy, but not Americans.

I guess anyone if free to delude themselves that Venezuela is planning to invade the U.S., but thankfully, President Obama is not delusional. He is lucid and capable of diplomatic relations with our regional business partners. Let's be clear, Bush/Cheney are gone. True, the mess they left is here to deal with, but they no longer declare who is an enemy of the U.S.

Posted by: free-donny | April 20, 2009 2:09 PM
======================

free-donny, you forgot a few things: Chavez supports FARC, the South American rebels who are trying to take control of Columbia, Argentina, Bolivia, and Equator. He facilitates much of the Latin American drug trade by permitting the drug cartels to freely move their product through Venezuela and to use the country's ports to ship the drugs to Europe, Mexico and the US. He is a strong supporter of Iran and Hamas in South America. And, he has offered to allow the Russians to set up a port on a Venezuelan island where they can keep warships and nuclear bombers.

Other than these few things, he is an ardent supporter and friend of the US

Posted by: mike85 | April 20, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

A couple of months ago Chavez said Obama was an IGNORAMOUS

Posted by: skip1937 | April 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Right on free-donny. I am so pleased to see Americans such as yourself actually thinking and not just believing what you are told because in makes you seem like an innocent victim who needs protection or a great beacon of truth, justice yada yada yada. The world has changed for the better, thank God. Somehow those who see Chavez as the enemy because they are told seem to have missed it. We in this country have come a long way with a very long way to go. I am a child of the south now living in the north. The cultural differences in this country alone are remarkable. My experiences are so diametrically different based also on the fact that I am AA, it astounds me daily. I would have never been given the opportunities in the south and texas that I have achieved in the north, simply because of my race. Yet, I am an American citizen born and raised. How different then are the cultures of other nations to ours. If we can't understand each other how can we, without dialouge and experiencing life as others see, relate to it, come to a valid determination of their intent and society? It is not humanly possibly, not truly. I want someone to make a Tee Shirt, not my skill set, that says "I Love President Barack Obama and What He Stands For, I stand with him." I'll be your first customer. Besides, America needs to understand that not everyone is afaid to die for what they believe in. ie George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Ghandi to name a few. I've never understood dominance. After all how long do we live 80 or 90 short years? The President is putting America on the true path, I only hope we are willing to follow with our eyes and minds open. PS "Trust me, Its something about those Hawians." Read their history to understand.

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | April 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

stosp writes:I believe that the results of the election AND the clear failure of the opposite logic as practiced by 8 years of neocon hedgonomy demonstrates that the American electorate has come to the same conclusion.

--well, here is dangerous delusion #1, up till 1-2 months before the election Obama and Mc were neck and neck. In Oct, the stock market tanked and that was the end of Mc, prior to that, the country was quite satisfied with "neocon" rule. Obama is like a Jimmy Carter with a twist of Neville Chamberlin. Obama's sweet talk got ZERO troops from his fawning fans in europe and got ZERO in the g20. Its only been 3 months but feels like three years.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | April 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama has ordered to new offices to be built in the West Wing, right outside of the Oval Office. One for Hugo Chavez, the new Czar of Latin American Fascism, and the other for Ahmadinejad, the New Czar of Middle Eastern Terror.

Posted by: mike85 | April 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he was "understandably reluctant" to be precise, just as he was "understandably reluctant' to let us in on his mentors and his ideology while campaigning, just as the press was "understandably reluctant' to dig too deeply into his formative years and his proclivity to regret the greatness of his country. Yes, yes, we understand. He is not yet ready to sing the old church/patriotic standard "God --mn America" in public.

Posted by: chatard | April 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

This relationship confirms where Obama is taking us- from a great DEMOCRACY to the crazy MEDIOCRACY Social Democracy. He is not an IDIOT, he is setting up collabarative Communism- holding his hands.This may have been for show, believe me it is not.Now, he has greater plans to steal from our retirement accounts to pay for his budget.For a starter, how do you generate money by printing, NO, he has greater plans. He has come up with a great scheme to steal from IRA's and 401. This real with double taxation. Read on

Obama has found another method of revenue to reduce the budget by $ 100 million .He has found a way to dip his hand in the cookie jar for elderly who have 401K and IRA. All these years, UBTI tax amounted to no more than $ 500.00. This is IRS form 990T. This taxes the dividend and interest from certain stocks- It has no relationship to the current price of the stock. It only takes the yearly interest. The tax rate on this 28%, eg if the interest you received is $ 1000.00, 28% of it- $2800.00, is automatically taken out by IRS from the IRA account. Some of these holdings are traded as STOCKS on the NY exchange.

Here comes the liar who has found a way to cover the deficit. Individuals would not be aware of this missing money in the retirement account. Many of these stocks have taken a big hit, the VALUE is far less than the interest/dividend it pays. By the way, it does not take into account what the INCOME LEVEL is. Just as an example, if your income is $ 100,000 from your retirement account, the IRS confiscates 28% of income derived from certain stocks. Obama government has found this loop hole in 2009 under Geithner. Individuals have no say, but no one notices the drop in the holdings. All seniors and those who have 401K, BEWARE- money is being STOLEN FROM YOUR RETIREMENT PIGGY BANK. When money is withdrawn from the account, you are taxed again- what do they call this DOUBLE TAXATION.

What a way to steal, Our own government is becoming like the big corporations. Obama should be stopped. This stealng pales NO TAX TEA PARTY. Any one listening or reading, act now.

Posted by: jayrkay | April 20, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I support President Obama's logic that refusing to negotiate with one's adversaries is a sign of weakness, not strength. Further, I believe that the results of the election AND the clear failure of the opposite logic as practiced by 8 years of neocon hedgonomy demonstrates that the American electorate has come to the same conclusion.

The best Obama's detractors can do at this point is listen and watch how adults handle differences of opinion, policy and morality. It might even help them improve their personal lives a little.

Posted by: stosp | April 20, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Well I find myself agreeing, with one of Chavez's comments.

Obama is a idiot.

Posted by: dashriprock | April 20, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I believe Obama is right to try to restore diplomatic relations with countries hostile to the United States. Eight years of posturing and machismo under Bush only served to alienate the US politically and economically. At the present time, Obama has the world's ear and to date, he has used that influence wisely.

Posted by: CarpeDiem705 | April 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

More brilliant "smart power". Under Bush, diplomacy would be tried, it would fail, and then we would resort to force (even with Iraq, we first tried to enforce UN resolutions and re-insert inspectors, which nobody remembers anymore). Under Obama, diplomacy is tried, it fails, and then we do nothing. North Korea ignored Obama's diplomatic overtures and launched a missile anyway, and what did Obama do? He promised to cut our missile defense budget! You can't make this up.

Obama and his staff remind me of Ned Flanders' beatnik parents complaining about how they've tried not disciplining Ned and all it did was made him wild - to which they have no answer. "We've tried [doing] nothing, and we're all out of ideas."

Posted by: zippyspeed | April 20, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

This whole premise is ridiculous. What makes Hugo Chavez an enemy of the United States?

(1) Chavez annually sells severly discounted heating oil to Americans who cannot afford the going rate. U.S. oil companies refuse to help.

(2) During the Katrina response fiasco by Bush-era FEMA, Chavez was one of the first nations to offer assistance.

(3) The United States gets 9% of its oil from Venezuela.

Chavez is not an enemy of the U.S. - he is our business partner. He may have considered George Bush his enemy, but not Americans.

I guess anyone if free to delude themselves that Venezuela is planning to invade the U.S., but thankfully, President Obama is not delusional. He is lucid and capable of diplomatic relations with our regional business partners. Let's be clear, Bush/Cheney are gone. True, the mess they left is here to deal with, but they no longer declare who is an enemy of the U.S.

Posted by: free-donny | April 20, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

As much as I'd like to believe the contrary, I fear we will now be dealing from a position of weakness. Chavez' rude, arrogant remarks towards the United States, his support of insurgency in neighboring Colombia, his nationalization of oil companies and trying to change election laws to serve as president for life show that this is a man who believes he can make up the rules as he goes along. Hugo Chavez is only slightly more rational than his friend the Iranian president. I seriously doubt that meaningful dialogue can be held with either. Warming relations with Cuba, however, were a good move and long overdue.

Posted by: OhYeahBabe | April 20, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Ahmed tosses Ob a smile, a journalist but ramps up his Nuke program. Kim Il knows a sucker when he sees one and is ramping up his nuke plant. Chavez gives Ob a book and a smile but keeps on truckin with his anti american schpeel. Castro's just about dead and they are desperate down there so they smile and look "for more stuff" from Obama but keep there prisons full of political prisoners. Welcome to Odumbo's new foriegn
policy. It would be funny to watch this Jimmy Carter unfold but unfortunately
I happen to live in this country. It really is Bush's fault for messing this all up sooo bad that out of desperation we grab the first idiot that comes along.
Bush stinks, its all his fault that we have a fool like Obama.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | April 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Nixon, Ford and demigod Reagan all met with commie leaders. Bush said he could see into the soul of a KGB agent named Putin. Were they traitors? Nixon groveled to Mao. How has that helped us? Ronnie cozied up to Gorby. Now Russia mocks us. Thanks Republic Party.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | April 20, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez scores regional and national political points by criticizing the US. Has anyone stopped to think that a cordial and polite response by Obama may have hurt Chavez in the eyes of America's critics more than it weakened Obama and the US?

Posted by: mcke | April 20, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company