Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cruising the Web

Is there any tyrant around whom Obama won't appease without getting anything in return? He started off by giving Russia what it wanted by backing out of a deal to put a missile defense system in Poland. And we got nothing in return. He's made a deal with Syria to ignore his supposed "red line" and got only empty prisons. The administration continues its negotiations in Iran without achieving anything except extending Iran's opportunity to continue building its weapons program. It's not so much that recognizing Cuba and ending the embargo is the wrong thing to do, but that Obama gave Cuba what it wanted without getting anything in return. Paul Mirengoff notes the many anti-American tyrants that Obama has appeased and gotten nothing in return.
President Obama was a good friend to Mohammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s man in Egypt. He has made nice with the mullahs in Iran, bailing their country out of serious economic woes under the pretense of slowing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He “reset” relations with Russia on terms highly favorable to Putin and would have done more to help the autocrat, as he promised to do after he gained “flexibility” following the 2012 election, had Putin not set out to dismember Ukraine.

Why should the Castro brothers be nearly the only anti-American tyrants not to benefit from Obama’s largess? Only domestic politics stood in the way....

The consequences of Obama’s action are also clear enough. As Falcoff explains, “the normalization of relations with Cuba comes at precisely the moment that the Castro brothers need it the most, since their principal foreign patron, Venezuela, is running out of money because of the collapse in the world price of oil.” Obama “has decided to make the United States a replacement for [Venezuela's] Maduro.” Obama thus gives the Castros a new lease of life and helps forestall the total discrediting of Latin American communism.
Mirengoff links to this analysis by Elliot Abrams on the consequences for other countries' evaluation of the U.S.'s policies of Obama's announcement yesterday.
magine for a moment that you are a Saudi, Emirati, Jordanian, or Israeli. Your main national security worry these days is Iran—Iran’s rise, its nuclear program, its troops fighting in Iraq and Syria, its growing influence from Yemen through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.

Your main ally against Iran for the past decades has been the United States. Naturally you worry about American policy. You remember President Obama’s outreach to Iran in 2009, and his failure to back the Iranian people’s protests in June of that year after the stolen election. You wonder if the United States can be relied on, or will one day announce a major policy shift.

What shift? A rapprochement with Iran that ends the sanctions, throws an economic lifeline to the regime, re-establishes diplomatic relations with it—in exchange for nothing. That is, the Islamic Republic would make no concessions about its foreign or domestic policies. And the change in U.S. policy would show that in the long struggle between the United States and Iran since 1979, the Americans have finally blinked.

And now, you turn on the TV and see the announcement about the change in American policy in Cuba. Re-establishment of diplomatic relations. Lots of changes in the embargo that will mean plenty more cash for the Castros. A change in the whole American official position vis-à-vis Cuba. In exchange, the Castro brothers have pledged to let 53 political prisoners out, free one American spy, and free the American hostage Alan Gross. As to real changes in the regime—changes in its foreign or domestic policies—none. Zero. Zip. So, you conclude that in the long struggle between the United States and the Castro regime since 1959, the Americans have finally blinked....

The American collapse with respect to Cuba will have repercussions in the Middle East and elsewhere—in Asia, for the nations facing a rising China, and in Europe, for those near Putin’s newly aggressive Russia. What are American guarantees and promises worth if a fifty-year-old policy followed by Democrats like Johnson, Carter, and Clinton can be discarded overnight? In more than a few chanceries the question that will be asked as this year ends is “who is next to find that America is today more interested in propitiating its enemies than in protecting its allies?”
And to sweeten the pot for Obama, Iran just has to capture more American hostages because we see now what Obama is willing to trade for them. It's impressive how many diplomatic "victories" Obama can rack up if he doesn't worry about getting much in return.

Marco Rubio reminds us of what we have traditionally looked for in return for regularizing relations with Cuba.
Since the U.S. severed diplomatic relations in 1961, the Castro family has controlled the country and the economy with an iron fist that punishes Cubans who speak out in opposition and demand a better future. Under the Castros, Cuba has also been a central figure in terrorism, narco-trafficking and all manner of misery and mayhem in our hemisphere.

As a result, it has been the policy and law of the U.S. to make clear that re-establishing diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba is possible—but only once the Cuban government stops jailing political opponents, protects free speech, and allows independent political parties to be formed and to participate in free and fair elections.

The opportunity for Cuba to normalize relations with the U.S. has always been there, but the Castro regime has never been interested in changing its ways. Now, thanks to President Obama’s concessions, the regime in Cuba won’t have to change.

The entire policy shift is based on the illusion—in fact, on the lie—that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people. Cuba already enjoys access to commerce, money and goods from other nations, and yet the Cuban people are still not free. They are not free because the regime—just as it does with every aspect of life—manipulates and controls to its own advantage all currency that flows into the island. More economic engagement with the U.S. means that the regime’s grip on power will be strengthened for decades to come—dashing the Cuban people’s hopes for freedom and democracy.
And don't believe that there is no connection between Cuba releasing its American hostage, Alan Gross, or its own political prisoners.
The problem is that wrapping the prisoner swap into a larger policy shift makes it look like Cuba’s hostage-taking of Mr. Gross paid off. All the more so because Mr. Obama is going out of his way to give formal U.S. recognition to the Castro government that remains one of the world’s most tyrannical.

The benefits for the regime from this new era are obvious. Cuba is starved for cash, and its main patron in Venezuela is teetering as oil prices fall. The country desperately needs hard currency, which is the main reason it exports its doctors to work abroad.

So the dictatorship will cheer Mr. Obama’s decision to allow greater dollar remittances to the island, as well as more opportunities for Americans to travel and invest in “humanitarian projects” and information technology, among other things.

Only Congress can fully lift the trade embargo, but with Mr. Obama’s many new loopholes, creative investors will find ways to gradually break it down. Keep in mind that the regime confiscates every dollar spent in Cuba now, while paying its workers in near-worthless pesos. The White House press release did not say that will change.

Mr. Obama is also giving U.S. companies more freedom to export telecom equipment to the island, in the name of giving ordinary Cubans the tools to communicate with the outside world. But other countries can already supply Cuba’s telecom needs. The problem is that Cuba’s police state bars private ownership and limits and monitors private communication.

The least defensible part of Mr. Obama’s new policy is its attempt to rehabilitate Cuba as an ordinary state. The President has tasked Secretary of State John Kerry to begin talks on renewing formal diplomatic ties, and he wants “high-level exchanges and visits between our two governments as part of the normalization process.”

Mr. Obama also called for a review of Cuba’s designation on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba wants off that list, though there is solid evidence that it has helped Venezuela relocate Iranian agents in the Americas.

What’s striking is how little Cuba had to do for such a major shift in U.S. policy. At least Burma’s military government released the leader of the opposition and opened up its political process before the U.S. lifted sanctions....

Mr. Obama came to office in 2009 promising a new era of engagement with U.S. adversaries, and engage he has. Perhaps his Cuban “reset” will turn out better than have his efforts with Russia, Syria, North Korea and Iran.

Ross Douthat expresses the distaste that many might feel at having to vote in 2016 for either the Bush or Clinton dynasty. It's just as John Podhoretz writes - Jeb Bush's real weakness is not his ideology, which is actually rather in line with many Republicans, but his last name.
But there’s something else that I doubt he can overcome.
Flash forward to one of the GOP debates next fall. Imagine that Bush is leading in the polls, or close. One rival takes the opportunity to say this:

“Jeb, you were a great governor. You’re a fine man. Your father is a great American. Your brother gave his all to keep America safe and secure.

“But Jeb, we have to face facts. This is a party that needs to convince ordinary working-class and middle-class Americans that we stand with them.

“Look around you. Scott Walker and Ted Cruz are the sons of preachers. Marco Rubio’s father was a bartender and his mother cleaned rooms at a hotel. John Kasich’s dad was a steelworker. Chris Christie’s was a CPA.

“This will be the 10th presidential election since 1980. In all but three of them, a Bush was on the ticket. America isn’t a monarchy, Mr. Bush. That’s not who we are.

“Is this the message we want to send to the American people — that to get a major-party nomination, Democrats need to be named Clinton and Republicans need to be named Bush?”

It may not be fair. But it’s unanswerable.

Charles C. W. Cooke also writes that Jeb Bush has the wrong name at the wrong time.
Dynastic objections aside, it strikes me also that Jeb is almost perfectly wrong for this moment in American history. Without doubt, he is a talented, upstanding, and accomplished man, and he would probably do an admirable job if he parachuted into power. But, this being hardball democratic politics, and not the Biography Channel, there are many, many more questions for us to consider. In 2012, a weak President Obama not only managed to draw an astonishing amount of blood simply by riffing on Mitt Romney’s remarkable business career, but, with a little help from Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, was able to adroitly leverage the still-tender memories of the recent financial collapse and to paint his opponent as a detached, Gilded Age demon. Presumably, Bush would get precisely the same treatment. Just a few months ago, he teamed up with a bunch of Wall Street bankers and started a private-equity fund that will specialize in oil and gas. A few years ago, moreover, he worked with Lehman Brothers until, in the heat of the 2008 financial crisis that is still largely blamed on his brother, it collapsed in ignominious disgrace. Fair or unfair, what exactly do we imagine the story will be if the next Republican candidate is not only vulnerable in this area in his own right, but has the surname “Bush” to boot?

As the days roll on, I am increasingly of the view that if Republicans are going to win the White House in 2016, their candidate will have to run as an insurgent. In my ideal world, the GOP’s choice would present himself to the public as a breath of fresh air after the fractious and moribund Obama years; he would cast his philosophy as an alternative to a progressivism that is intellectually exhausted, unbearably arrogant, and increasingly frivolous; and, as far as is humanly possible, he would sell himself to swing voters as the rightful torch-bearer of dynamism itself. Without being too obvious about it, then, the Republicans’ candidate will need to advertise his youth, and to contrast it with his opponent’s wear and tear; he will need to make it clear that, in government at least, the Left has no monopoly on women and minorities, and that its ideology is marked by irreconcilable contradictions; and he will have to simultaneously cast the Obama administration and its champions as irresponsible despoilers of vital American traditions, without permitting his defense of classical liberalism to be mistaken for a defense of the status quo. In other words, he will need to be the candidate of both sober responsibility and of forward-looking change: one part ascetic fixer-upper, one part Space Age futurist, with a little Patrick Henry thrown in for good measure.

Further, he will have to run not only against the last eight years, but against the last 16 – a considerable challenge, and one that can only be met by someone who is flexible enough to explain what the last Republican administration got wrong without alienating his supporters too badly. The brother of the last Republican president, suffice it to say, cannot do this.

It is true that some of these challenges would be mitigated if, as is expected, the Democratic party chooses Hillary Clinton as its aspirant. Certainly, in the case of a Bush-Clinton matchup, progressives will not be able to shout “retread” without the charge rebounding on their own heads. But Republicans who note this should not be kidding themselves as to Bush’s prospects writ large, for while both names are damaged, the Clinton years are remembered a great deal more fondly than are the Bush years. Should 2016 become a referendum on the question of whether 1993–2001 was a better era than 2001–2009, Clinton will win handily. Likewise, if the battle is between the “First Woman President” and the “Third Bush President,” Clinton will prevail. Yes, Hillary would neutralize some of Bush’s more toxic attributes. But the Right should not be seeking to “neutralize” Hillary; it should be seeking to vaporize Hillary. Since when exactly did successful political parties nominate weak candidates in the hope that the other team will willingly cancel out their deficiencies?
It is rather a shame since I had really liked Jeb as governor of Florida and appreciated his strong support of school choice. I would have preferred him to his brother in 2000.

So is Atticus Finch, the much-admired hero of To Kill a Mockingbird, actually the most famous rape apologist in history? After all, we're being told now by feminists that we should never doubt a victim's story of having been raped.

Stuart Rothenberg had to serve jury duty on a rape trial. His tale provides interesting and relevant insights as to what is like to sit on a jury and be presented limited evidence because of what the prosecutor can't tell the jury.

Shop Amazon 12 Days of Deals in Home

Another reason the Democrats should be upset about this year's elections is that they've lost a lot of the farm team for future candidates as legislative and congressional candidates lost. Another effect could well be that those Democrats who did win were more likely to be from quite blue districts thus pushing Democrats further to the left.

Apparently, a University of Michigan professor doesn't think that there is anything wrong with publishing an essay about she hates Republicans and thinks that they're despicable human beings. Katherine Timpf notes,
U of M’s anti-discrimination policy forbids “creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University activity.”

It seems as though, for a student who votes Republican, knowing you had a teacher who assumed you were an intolerant bigot and blatantly advocated for hating you would likely create an “intimidating” educational environment; however, the anti-discrimination policy only protects against discrimination against someone “because of that person’s race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight or veteran’s status.” (Basically anything except for political affiliation.)

Daniel Henninger argues that the Democrats have now become the "new stupid party." The Republicans used to own that title, but the Democrats are now competing to maximize stupidity.
The Obama administration’s resolute opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has cost the party the support of the Laborers International Union’s 500,000 members, plus their families and relatives. Would a smart party do that?

It won’t stop. One of Elizabeth Warren’s key constituencies—the Occupy Everything movement on campuses and in the streets—is wholly alienated from the private sector, like much of this new generation’s Democrats. A lot of men and women who go to work daily in the private sector surely have decided that they are the object of these attacks.

Sen. Warren’s fiery “middle-class” speeches are normal politics. But the activist left’s political compulsions are producing a lot of stuff that isn’t close to normal. It is craziness at the political margins, and like weeds, it is occupying the party’s public personality.

The left often says its ideas should move people out of their “comfort zone.” Whatever the ancient attractions of radical populism, discomfited people abandon the party of discomfort. In November’s election, 64% of white males voted Republican.

The GOP showed in the midterms that it had rescued itself with voters from terminal stupidity. The Democrats? I’d rate the chances of the party reining in its extremes at below zero.

Many traditional liberals still consider themselves JFK or Clinton Democrats. But that party is gone. The party’s presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, is going to be transformed into a Warren Democrat, the party’s future.

Some Democrats may console themselves in thinking the Republicans will always be stupid. Now, though, there’s dumb, and dumber.


mark said...

Elliot Abrams is a convicted liar involved in illegally sending weapons to Iran Oh, and a cake. though I assume that was legal (and sweet) gesture by Reagan.
Rubio lied about his parents fleeing the Castro dictatorship.
Two men who have no credibility on this.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...


President Obama lies repeatedly, convicted by his own words and the media. By your logic, Obama has no credibility on this.

Rick Caird said...

Mark still supports attacking the man because he cannot attack the argument. I hope that some day, Mark becomes an adult.

So, Mark, try to be an adult and tell us what part of Elliot Abrams argument you think is wrong (or a lie). What part of Rubio's analysis or history is wrong. Remember, the Rubio is close the the Cuban exile community, so I am quite curious as to what your "outsider view" thinks is wrong.

Rick Caird said...


I am also trying to figure out why you think Rubio lied about his family fleeing Cuba. It is true they first fled under Batista, but then they tried to return under Castro and quickly realized living under Castro and communism would also not work for them.

Are you actually trying to claim, Mark, that you can only flee once? Is there some kind of "flee limit" only you are aware of?

David said...

Sean Davis makes the point "...I want to believe the free trade rhetoric. I want to believe that any type of relaxation of the embargo would benefit the Cuban people. I really do. But I don’t, and here’s why.

Cuba’s economy is not normal by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it actually has two economies: the dollar economy, and the peso economy. Americans who are allowed to visit get to participate in the dollar economy, and only the dollar economy. Cubans who live there are required to participate in the peso economy, and only the peso economy. The markets are completely segregated.

So, when an American goes down there, he buys things with either the dollar, or the Cuban version of the dollar (CUC), which generally has a 1:1 conversion ratio. Cubans are forced to use only the peso (CUP), which has roughly a 25:1 conversion ratio to the dollar (for every 25 CUP, you get one dollar; or for every 1 CUP, you get about $0.04). That rate is set by the Cuban government. That leaves Cuban vendors who accept dollars with only two ways of using those dollars to get the things they need to survive: 1) purchase them on the black market using dollars, a risky proposition for obvious reasons, or 2) exchange the dollars for CUP.

There’s no trading the CUP on the open currency market. Apart from sentimental souvenir value, it’s worthless everywhere else in the world. Whenever a Cuban gets his hand on a dollar, he either has to put himself at risk by using it on the black market, or he has to turn the dollar into the government in order to receive a pittance which he can use to buy food for his family..."

mark said...

This is the info I'm going on, Rick. If I'm wrong, please prove it and I'll apologize. If I'm not, I trust you'll do the same.

I won't pretend that I believe Obama has never lied. Not sure what "convicted by his own words and the media" means. Surely you understand how the law works: Constitutional protections, due process, etc.

Three easy cases for a change in policy: Freedom (to travel wherever one wants), trade and jobs. Usually conservatives are all over those three issues. Politics are once again trumping conservative principles.

David said...

Obama let Iran off the hook by relaxing sanctions just when they were starting to bite. What he has done with Cuba has the same effect.

mark said...

After 50 years of futility, perhaps we can give a new policy more than 24-hours to determine it's success or failure.
Again: Freedom, trade and job creation. I believe it will benefit us as well as the people in Cuba.

David said...

Andy McCarthy explains in simple terms why those saying the embargo hasn't worked are either misinformed or just fellow travelers looking to help out Comrade Castro and Co.

I will include part of the article here:

"...In other words, it has been American policy for decades – the policy Obama says does not “work” – that the United States may and should provide significant aid as long as Cuba, in return, stops terrorizing its citizens, respects basic human and civil rights, respects democratic freedoms, refrains from arming terrorists and insurrectionists, liberalizes its economy, establishes a free press, and lays the groundwork for free and fair elections.

So, if that hasn’t “worked” to encourage Cuban reform, what is the president suggesting will “work”? Giving Cuba aid and legitimacy without requiring the regime to change? Why would we want to give an American taxpayer dime to, or help legitimize in any way, a regime that rejects these basic elements of a civilized society?

And has it occurred to the media and the president’s other apologists that American law and policy have not relentlessly mandated a blockade on and isolation of Cuba for all these years? All that had to happen to eliminate the restrictions, without any congressional action, was a halt to the persecution of the Cuban people by the Castro dictatorship.

The blockade is still in place because the Castro regime will not change and therefore Obama cannot make the required representations.

So, since the dictator will not change, what will “work” is for us to change? What will “work” is to give the dictator the recognition, the legitimacy, the aid, and the trade money in exchange for no reforms?

Why worry … just two more years of this, right?"

mark said...

The goal of our policy was to drive out Castro. That obviously hasn't worked. Has the embargo hurt the govt and people of Cuba? Of course.

The regime has already changed under Raul Castro. To say it has not is demonstrably false:

You claim it will not change (for the better) in the future. I believe it will, and am glad I now have the freedom to travel there and see for myself.

David said...

"And has it occurred to the media and the president’s other apologists that American law and policy have not relentlessly mandated a blockade on and isolation of Cuba for all these years? All that had to happen to eliminate the restrictions, without any congressional action, was a halt to the persecution of the Cuban people by the Castro dictatorship..."

Mark. Stop your whining and read the passage.

mark said...

What whining?
The policy change has bi-partisan support and bi-partisan opposition. Raul Castro is clearly more pragmatic than Fidel. Both sides can cherry-pick facts and opinions to bolster our position.

Again, why do you ignore the benefits of trade and job-creation? Usually go-to issues for conservatives.

mark said...

I would say this undermines all the fake outrage conservatives have regarding human rights abuses:

Rick Caird said...


This story says that the Rubio family tried to go back to Cuba under Castro, but quickly realized it was worse than Batista.

Living in South Florida, two very good friends of mine had escaped Castro. Julian only got out because he had friend in the police who told him that he had a warrant for Julian's arrest. He could hold it until the next day. Julian ended up on the last plane out of Havana that night. It turned out it went to Houston. He had a very successful career in hotel management ultimately managing all of Leona Helmsley's hotels in NYC and living in the penthouse. He and Jolene (who escaped in 1960) were very good friends and really loved Cuba. It makes eminent sense that the Rubio family would try to go back after Batista. Remember Castro claimed he was not a communist, but that was not the reality. Communism is just a method of seizing power and installing a totalitarian government.

Politifact is is a part of the St. Petersburg Times. It is further to the left than most leftist newspapers. The WaPo picked up on the Polifact article and did no checking on their own.

tfhr said...

mark said:

I won't pretend that I believe Obama has never lied.

Hilarious! The point is that while you know fully well that the centerpiece of an Obama policy or program will be built around a massive lie like "If you like your
doctor, you can keep your doctor", you will dutifully support the lie and the liar anyway. Oh you "won't pretend" - how noble - but you're all over that lie like Bill Clinton on an intern. Whether you choose to deceive yourself or you're simply just too stupid to know when you're being lied to doesn't change the fact that lying to the American public is just part of the game for Obama and his minions like Gruber.

As for the supposed benefit to the Cuban people from this new foreign policy, it doesn't matter what you "believe" or Hope® when the fact is that the totalitarian, family-owned, Cuban government will ultimately determine what that "benefit" mightbe. While you may relish the thought of donning your Ché shirt for a romp through the streets of Havana, I've not heard that Cubans will be allowed
to travel freely. As far as we've seen, this agreement, negotiated in the shadows of a back alley and trotted out after Congress left town, will do nothing to improve basic freedoms or civil rights for Cubans. If you think things are going to Change® because more Americans can spend tourist dollars
in Cuba, you're wrong. Foreigners have been coming to vacation in Cuba for years and it has not changed the lot for Cuban people. Cubans are not going to be paid above board in dollars and a Cuban that is caught with foreign
currency will be in big trouble because Cubans legally doing business with foreigners get paid by the state in Cuban currency at a rate determined by the Cuban government. I hate to say it your forecast for jobs in Cuba is a little shallow - kind of shovel-ready in a shallow grave kind of way.

No, mark. This is just more bad foreign policy practiced by the inept Obama administration. Cubans will continue to be servants of their government
even if they will now finally get to wait on more Americans than before.

Worst of all is that this does not have to be the case. With oil revenues falling, Venezuela and Russia were no longer in a position to subsidize the
corrupt, controlling and repressive regime in Havana. This could have been the time to secure more freedom for the Cuban people but this agreement does nothing other than open a door to help keep the Castro brothers' slave ship afloat.

Finally, I see you've already been taken to task for attempting to smear two prominent figures that oppose the Obama administration's accommodation of the Castro brothers instead of offering an intelligent supporting case for Obama's foreign policy folly. Liars are they? It's kind of interesting that you didn't take a shot at Senator Menendez. Isn't he a liar too? Or is it that he just happens to be the right (left) kind of liar?!

tfhr said...

Now you're after Cheney!

mark, can't you come up with a supporting argument for propping up the Castros without comparing the Cuban people with terrorists responsible for flying planes full of men, women and children into our buildings?!

Squirting some water up the nose of KSM, well that must be just as bad as when KSM sawed off Daniel Pearl's head. I wonder if mark sees the irony in the fact that Gitmo detainees have better living conditions than most Cubans! Who
has a better diet? Who has better medical and dental? Who gets to worship openly? I do suppose there are similarities: Gitmo inmate or Cubano, you can't just
leave because you are, after all, in a prison.

Mark gets misty-eyed over the horrible fate of the Gitmo detainees but it's all crocodile tears for Cubanos. He wants his cabana boy to bring him a fresh
umbrella drink and a big fat cheroot and to be most grateful that Barack Obama has helped keep the slave galley from sinking under the weight of the Castros. Viva Fidel! Viva Raul! Viva mark!

mark said...

Good God, Rick, are you taking ethics lessons from tfhr?
Rubio's parents came to the US in 56, stating an intention to be permanent residents. Perhaps they changed their minds about returning. Perhaps they were dishonest when they filled out their forms. Or perhaps Marco is lying about that, also. Nowhere in the article you cited does it say the Rubios fled from Cuba in 1959, as Marco Rubio claims. He lied, and you are pathetically spinning his lie into some kind of half-truth.

mark said...

It is not a "smear" to point out that Abrams is a convicted liar or that Rubio lied about when his parents came to the U.S., anymore than it's a "smear" to call out Obama for lying about the ACA.
A "smear" would be calling someone a rapist without presenting any evidence. Or calling a decorated general a "serial adulterer" (again, without evidence). But who would do something so shameful?
Bush and Cheney assured us that torture wasn't being used and that only the "worst-of the worst" were given "enhanced techniques". Those were lies. If you want to defend them buy bringing up Gruber, go right ahead. Makes as much sense as anything else you've written.

mark said...

btw, Rick,
I have my share of stories of people who have known Fidel Castro or fled Cuba. My sister-in-law's father worked in Castro's govt before falling out of favor and fleeing with his family. Fidel Castro is the godfather to one of his daughters. He hated Castro with a passion and shared several stories about him with me. I have taken on liberal friends who have praised Castro and Che Guevera.
This is not about defending Castro crimes any more than Bush's outreach to Libya's Ghadafi was condoning his. The policy has not worked. Whether or not Raul is a better person, I don't know. But he is certainly more pragmatic.

tfhr said...


To you, Raul is "pragmatic". He gave the order to shoot down a plane carrying 4 Americans. Is that your idea of pragmatism?

Raul was responsible for many executions in Cuba after the Castros seized power. Here is a link to some pictures of Raul (and Ché) being practical with enemies of the Workers' Paradise in Cuba:

The point about Abrams and Rubio is that you attack them but cannot refute their argument. It's what you always do.

If Obama thought that his plan was acceptable to a majority of Americans, he could have discussed it with Congress, instead he waited until the session closed. That is weak and dishonest and decreases the chance of getting anything like national unity behind his "strategy". Such a backdoor approach certainly does not help Cubans but he doesn't give a damn about them or he wouldn't be offering the Castro regime a bailout in the first place.

As for your comparison with Bush and Libya, where is there any evidence that Obama managed to get a concession with the Castros? After taking down Saddam, Ghadafi was ready and willing to shut down his WMD facilities and ultimately allowed for destruction of all of his nerve agents and other chemical weapons stocks. Speaking of Libya - thanks to Obama it looks like North Somalia now and the impact of that is being felt in Egypt and Algeria these days.

Leading from behind in Libya, against the JV team in Syria and Iraq, and now in Cuba, when are your leftists going to stop your idiocy?

mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mark said...

Yes tfhr, in a perfect world, all involved in torture and killing innocent people would be held accountable for their actions.

Then again, in a perfect world, someone who accused someone of heinous charges(let's say...raping children) would have the integrity to back up the charges or the courage to admit error.

But it's not a perfect world, is it?

tfhr said...

Still cannot defend the Obama lifeline to Castro, can you, mark?

Thus far your only effort has been to attack critics as "liars". To be consistent, the man that chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, was left in the dark by Obama and, go figure, opposes the President's policy change toward Cuba. He has been an ardent critic, ergo, Menendez must be a liar. Why else would Obama not engage him in the process? Why else would Menendez object to Obama's helpful hand extended to the Castros?

There you go - your practice of branding anyone that objects with your extreme leftist point of view as a "liar", if it is to be consistent, means that a guy like Menendez must be a liar. Well what do you know? We might have found something we can agree on after all!

So you think Menendez is lying about Cuba but not about how he got to the Dominican Republic and what and who he did there? He wouldn't lie about something like that but he would lie about the President and Cuba?

I guess having the ability to "suspend disbelief", as Hillary says, is important for someone that supports people that, as a matter of routine practice, lie to to you.