Squandering American prestige and honor

obama castro

Most of the Obama-related commentary on the funeral in South Africa is about his selfie with with David Cameron and the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. But that wasn’t the blockbuster moment. John Hinderaker at Powerline explains the deeper significance.

Otto Reich, former assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, explains the damaging significance of Obama’s handshake:

The Castro brothers have been vying for the world to see a handshake with a U.S. president for over 50 years. (President Clinton did shake hands with Fidel at a U.N. summit in 2000, but there was no photo.) They knew it would represent a form of recognition, something they forfeited by virtue of presiding over a military dictatorship, and their support for violence and anti-American terrorist movements and governments on three continents.

Until now, every American president had studiously avoided this mistake: At U.N. and other gatherings U.S. Secret Service agents and diplomats were under orders to make sure such a ‘photo op’ so highly desired by the Castros did not happen.

With his greeting, President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor.

All very subtle to you and me but not to those who count.