Gleanings and observations.2:22 PM, Apr 24, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The day President Obama believes relevant history began. Rather like the French revolutionaries who decreed that the establishment of their Republic be dated Year I of the French Republic. August 4, 1961 was the day on which Barack Hussein Obama arrived on this earth in Honolulu, Hawaii. Anything occurring before the world received this blessing is irrelevant, the President told the gathering of heads of state at The Summit of the Americas. Not directly, but in effect. “The Cold War has been over for a very long time. And I am not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.” So because these battles pre-dated, he has no interest in either the Great War or WWII, much less the Civil War and the war that established this nation he is so determined to “transform.”
In any event, we are in the here and now, approaching the end of 53 AO. Relations with Cuba are to be normalized to provide “more opportunities and resources for the Cuban people.” Obama has the Castro Brothers’ word for that, although architects have not yet filed plans to convert the islands’ prisons into hotels for visiting America tourists, whose cash will enable the Cuban government to open the Internet to all, allow free travel from Cuba, and otherwise retire the guardians of the omnipresent state.
Vladimir Putin was not invited to the Summit of the Americas despite his country’s expanding interests in the region -- hardly the “near abroad” he covets, allegedly only to ensure Russia’ security. Putin has always believed that the Cold War was merely on hold between the death of Stalin and his own rise to power, and that the era BO contained battles in which he, at least, is interested in re-fighting. A view shared by literate Americans of all stripes in our own War of Independence, Civil War, the World Wars, even though of no interest to our current president. And by NATO commanders who increasingly liken current provocations to those practiced by Russia in the Cold War, which having started before the President was born, are of no interest to him. And, by extension, of no interest to “my cabinet”, “my State Department”, “my national security team”, or other institutions like the cabinet, the State Department, and the national security team that have been, well, privatized in a funny kind of way.
Cuban communist leader lectures Obama for 30 minutes.2:34 PM, Dec 19, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Barack Obama apologized to Cuban president Raul Castro during their phone conversation after the American commander in chief's opening remarks. Speaking to reporters at his final White House press briefing of 2014 Friday afternoon, Obama gave more details about his phone call with the communist leader of Cuba earlier this week before the announcement of a change in U.S. policy on the Caribbean island nation.
6:29 AM, Dec 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Chinese equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the Confucius Peace Prize, has been awarded to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
"Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is this year's winner of the Confucius Peace Prize, China's alternative to the Nobel Prize," reports the Associated Press.
Gabriel García Márquez’s ignoble decision to embrace Fidel Castro May 12, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 33 • By LEE SMITH
While the encomia from world leaders and cultural figures continue to pour in after the death of Gabriel García Márquez at the age of 87 last month, a Charles Lane column in the Washington Post last week on the 1982 Nobel Prize-winning novelist threatened to reopen a 40-year-old wound.
12:17 PM, Jan 22, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Politico reported this morning that "Henry R. Muñoz III of San Antonio -- an Obama bundler and a national chairman of the Futuro Fund, a group of Latino leaders who raised money for the president’s reelection -- is expected to be named DNC Finance Chair, the first Latino to hold the title."
12:27 PM, Apr 10, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
“This is the last time this person talks about politics.”
Good career move by Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Miami Marlins, who was indiscrete enough to tell Time magazine that he “loves Fidel Castro.”
1:02 PM, Jan 29, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Thomas Friedman, apparently trying to top his many previous attempts to convincingly demonstrate coherence is just beyond his grasp, opens his column today thusly:
What should we make of Castro’s charm offensive?2:10 PM, Sep 27, 2010 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
In a recent series of conversations with Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg, Fidel Castro made several eyebrow-raising comments. The one that received the most attention was Castro’s assertion that the Cuban economic model no longer works. (He later tried, disingenuously, to backtrack on this statement.) Surprisingly, his remarks on Iran and anti-Semitism caused less of a splash. But these remarks were equally (if not more) significant, for they were part of a broader, ongoing charm offensive conducted by the Cuban dictatorship at a time of internal distress.
On the odd meeting between The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg and Fidel Castro. 12:07 PM, Sep 10, 2010 • By LEE SMITH
Jeffrey Goldberg is back from Cuba, where he was summoned by Fidel Castro after the former Cuban president read Goldberg’s recent article on the likelihood of an Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear program. Goldberg promises that his Havana adventure will be the subject of a forthcoming story, but in the meantime, he’s blogging about it, the highlight of which appears to be a dolphin show he watched alongside Fidel himself and the daughter of Che Guevara, whom we are told loved animals. And then there’s the dog-and-pony show, which was conducted solely for the benefit of The Atlantic’s national correspondent.
'The age of useful idiots is not quite dead yet.'10:22 AM, Aug 13, 2010 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
What causes Western intellectuals and journalists to suspend their critical faculties and euphorically embrace genocidal anti-Western regimes and tyrants like the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?
Spain helps Cuba engage in human trafficking.10:18 AM, Jul 20, 2010 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
It’s a familiar trick: When the Castro regime wants something from the international community, it makes a grand show of releasing political prisoners, in hopes of convincing foreign officials that Cuba has liberalized and thus deserves to be rewarded.
On Israel, health care, and many other issues, Obama's opposition has its work cut out for it.Apr 5, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 28 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
President Obama’s theory has always been that once health care reform passed, people would rally to it.
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