So, this has been an interesting week past. We saw the final end of a tyrannical despot in Fidel Castro. A man that brought the world closer to nuclear annhiliation than anyone before or since. A man that killed, imprisoned, tortured and enslaved a captive population. A people that often risked near certain death in makeshift ‘boats’ in an attempt to make it to Florida and freedom. Despite the overwhelming, clear and (seemingly irrefutable) evidence of such horrendous crimes against humanity – there were some that outright praised Castro (see Justin Trudeau of Canada….what a disappointment he has turned out to be) and even more that gave a tacit pass to the dictator by not speaking out against him (see our very own President Obama). Speaking of which, his statement released regarding the death of Obama is truly emblematic of the vanilla, off-brand of leadership that he has provided (or, more appropriately failed to provide) over his nearly 8 years. Here is the statement in its entirety:
At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.
For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.
Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.
Okay, I’m not going to parse it line-by-line….you can do that with any statement and find things you can object to. However, there are a few lines that struck me as being particularly in opposition to the facts in this case. First, the choice of the words “countless ways in which Fidel Castro ALTERED the course of individual lives…” WTF? Seriously? Let’s remove the name “Fidel Castro” and replace it with “Ted Bundy” or “Richard Ramirez” or even “Joseph Stalin”. You would NEVER insult the victims and their families of atrocities by using such weak wording.
Secondly, the sentence “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him”. I think it was Michael Medved (MichaelMedved.com) that pointed out how ridiculous this was. This individual has been in power since 1959. His history has already been written and judged. Once can only assume, knowing this, that President Obama is referring to the revisionist history that future faux-historians will concoct to make his legacy one of fiction rather than fact.
Lastly, the overall tone of the statement is lame considering the lengths this country has gone to – oftentimes sacrificing soldiers – to contain the spread of Communism in this hemisphere and the world at large. By giving a “meh” statement, instead of confronting the evil that was Castro, we do a disservice to all those that have gone before and believed in their sacrifice. This is really emblematic of the Obama foreign policy agenda as a whole. Lots of tepid statements and not-too-strongly-worded pronouncements so as not to ruffle any feathers or make any country feel that they weren’t our equal – even our enemies….remember the famous “line in the sand” in Syria? Pathetic.
President Obama was right in one regard: Castro did indeed have an enormous impact on both our countries and will be remembered for centuries to come, as we remember Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pot et al. Unfortunately for our President both he and his feckless foreign policy will be relegated to the dustbin of history where it belongs.