The funniest thing I’ve read all day…

…comes courtesy of Patrick Dorwin over at Badger Blogger:

You might be willing to surrender to a Communist sympathizer, I’m not.

The communist sympathizer Patrick references is Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and I’m left to assume the “surrender” Patrick is referring to is a handshake between President Obama and President Chavez of Venezuela at last week’s Summit of the Americas. For the record, here’s a picture of President Obama’s “surrender” to President Chavez:

Courtesy AP
Courtesy AP

I’m no fan of Hugo Chavez, and I think he’s said some things that are certainly inflammatory and downright hostile towards the United States, but that’s certainly no reason to refuse to engage in a little diplomacy with the man. Sure, he’s been no friend of the United States during his time in office, but I’m willing to bet the Cold War would have lasted a lot longer had the United States refused to engage the Soviet Union on any level during the Cold War.

President Obama’s handshake with President Hugo Chavez isn’t surrender; it’s called diplomacy.


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9 thoughts on “The funniest thing I’ve read all day…

  1. Well said. Take a look at the expression on Chavez’s face. He looks genuinely delighted to be meeting our President. Compared to his predecessor, Obama has an enlightened attitude about foreign leaders. He respects them for being in that very narrow club of national leaders. Obama respects their power, and respects them as human beings who happen to be in that very unusual position of being a world leader. (Such a good politician, getting me to say all this about him.)

  2. Jason Haas…There are some people like Hugo Chavez who do not deserve “respect” but a handshake is nothing to get all upset over…and I don’t think is means President Obama “respects” him. It’s funny though…I thought Hugo Chavez looked a bit deranged when he met President Obama but you thought he looked “genuinely delighted”…that goes to show how different people’s perspectives can be. 🙂

  3. Don’t you think that the handshake with Hugo Chavez and the bow to the Saudi King Abdullah was all about OIL?

    Look at where Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are. And which other top countries did Obama just visit?

    Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
    (Thousand Barrels per Day)
    Country Feb-09 Jan-09 YTD 2009 Feb-08 YTD 2008


    CANADA 1,913 1,946 1,930 1,920 1,933
    MEXICO 1,219 1,299 1,261 1,231 1,214
    SAUDI ARABIA 1,135 1,337 1,241 1,614 1,544
    VENEZUELA 962 1,172 1,072 945 1,043
    ANGOLA 671 527 595 341 458
    IRAQ 519 568 545 780 658
    NIGERIA 457 488 473 982 1,075
    BRAZIL 365 397 382 169 169
    KUWAIT 251 225 237 261 249
    ECUADOR 243 272 258 169 209
    COLOMBIA 225 225 225 220 194
    EQUATORIAL GUINEA 167 118 141 69 53
    ALGERIA 142 359 256 191 281
    RUSSIA 139 157 149 80 47
    CHAD 101 79 90 89 103

  4. “Jeff, wasn’t President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq all about OIL?”

    oh boi… 🙁

    spin, spin, spin. Don’t you get dizzy after a while? Isn’t it exhausting?

  5. Rich, the point I was trying to make by asking that was that foreign policy is never as simple as it seems. There are probably multiple reasons why President Obama chose to shake Hugo Chavez’s hand, just as there were probably multiple reasons why President Bush chose to invade and occupy Iraq. What’s more, I have no doubt oil does factor into President Obama’s actions; in fact, President Obama has all but said as much:,0,3878264.story

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