Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two handshakes: Fox News is gonna love it

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

Hugo Chavez unexpectedly walked up to Barack Obama, gave him a book and shook his hand at just before the start of the Summit of the Americas.
Asked how he responded, Obama said he asked Chavez:
¿Cómo estás?"
Later they shook hands again.
The Venezuelan president's official Web site said Chavez told Obama, "With this same hand eight years ago, I greeted Bush. I want to be your friend."
The book was Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina by Eduardo Galeano. Its sales will no doubt climb over the weekend.

Approaching Obama was a shrewd, calculated move. Chavez comes across as someone who is willing to make peace, to settle any differences with the United States. That's a good thing.

Photo credit: Reuters

But Chavez and Obama have certain irreconcilable differences: Chavez is bent on turning Venezuela into a socialist state. Obama is not a socialist, no matter how many times Fox News and Rush Limbaugh repeat that line.
Citizens of a socialist country risk jail, criminal charges or fines if they:
* Start opposition political parties
* Operate their own small businesses
* Criticize their political leaders
* Accept money and supplies from pro-democracy and human rights organizations
* Publish material that the government sees as threatening
* Stage public protests
The list goes on.
This does not describe the United States, which has its own faults. Nor is it the political system Barack Obama is trying to create.
So, sorry to disappoint, but Barack Obama is not a socialist.
Now, though, Obama's foes are likely delighted that he shook hands with Hugo Chavez. It proves - Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and others will report - that Obama is a communist, socialist or whatever other name you want to give him.
Chavez has unwittingly given the anti-Obama forces more ammunition.

This was no chance encounter. Source of photo: Sky News

Chavez has his own political motives. I don't pretend to know what they are, but my guess is that they have as much or more to do with Cuba than they do Venezuela.
When Chavez shakes Obama's hand, he may be sending a message of reconciliation from Cuba, and perhaps from Fidel Castro himself.
Clearly, the Venezuelan president's stature does not match that of Castro, who for decades has been at the center of key events in U.S. history. 
Castro is a Titan of the Cold War. According to the documentary, American Experience: Fidel Castro:
By deftly manipulating the opportunities afforded Cuba by the Cold War, he managed to turn his island into a launching pad for the projection of his leadership throughout the world.
Chavez has also used his opposition to the U.S. government for his own political gain, and that has raised his profile around the world.
Now he's reaching out to Obama. But if things don't go his way, he'll quickly slip back into his anti-American role, a source of much of his political influence.

1 comment:

The Camera Fanatic said...

The louder someone complains, the closer you are to the truth. I anticipate a lot of ad hominem complaints from statists here. Do not let them talk you out of reading this book.

In any given generation, there are but a few authors and thinkers whose creations can survive the ravages of time and the shifting sands of societal evolution. It is rarer still when a key book is written, recognized, and celebrated contemporarily. This is one such book.

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For too long, Conservatives have let themselves be defined by the media. Mr. Levin's book recasts what it is to be a proud Conservative, and gives voice to those who are often silent in the face of ideological slander. If you believe in this great country, if you believe in truth and honesty, if you believe in life and principles, if you believe in freedom and patriotism, if you believe that all people are created equal and it is up to the individual to succeed according to their talents and interests, and if you believe in a smaller efficient government, and lower taxes, then this book is for you.

NY Times Best Seller - Hardcover Nonfiction - #1 for 3 weeks running! - all categories - #1 for 29 days and counting.
Over 900,000 in print, in its 15th printing.

...and all the while, a deafening silence from the major media outlets - until now, April 20th, when the MSM champions an anti-American book.

This book is perfect for the individual who has always "felt" conservative, but couldn't quite explain herself. Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny" begins with an excellent overview of where our country is as a constitutional republic and how we got here. He then states clearly his book's theme and rallying cry -- Conservatives must know the philosophical foundations for the principles they purport to advance in order to defend liberty from the "soft tyranny" of modern liberalism.

Levin goes on meticulously (many more than 300 endnotes), but plainly explaining the principles of classic conservative philosophy of "prudent" progress, a government that is subservient to the people (rather than the other way around), the fundamental truth that rights are not derived from the government but from a higher power, that the free market system more than any other in history provides the best, most efficient and most just opportunity for individual prosperity as well as for the general welfare, and much much more.

Levin's book provides ample evidence of government encroachment on individual liberty and our country's descent into the soft tyranny warned of by Alexis de Tocqueville in our country's earliest years. Economic regulation, environmental extremism, the usurpation of representative government by the judiciary, unprecedented and uncontrolled illegal influx of people into out country, and the like threaten our economic viability. Finally, Levin's book details how the liberal (and some so-called conservative) political elite rejects the notion of American Exceptionalism and seek to surrender voluntarily the sovereignty our forefathers fought and died to give and to preserve for us.

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