"if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fists, they will find an extended hand from us"Despite the fact that Iran has never unclenched its fist by continuing its nuclear weapons program; and, by continuing the development of long range missiles; and by continuing to undermine infant democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan by arming anti-government rebels; we stupidly, and one-sidedly, extended our hand by removing sanctions against them. Even though the removal of such sanctions has produced zero slowdown in their nuclear weapon ambitions.
Then there was our "reset" with Russia in 2009 and our one-sided gifts to Putin such as agreeing not to put missile defense systems in Europe. Where did that get us? Relations with Russia are now almost as cold as they were throughout the Cold War.
Also, Obama announced a climate change deal with China in 2014. This, too, was another one-sided effort where we specifically set targets, while China, somewhat, agreed to goals. Goals with holes wide enough to drive a train through. In fact, the Chinese have declared that their carbon emission reduction programs under this agreement will not be subject to any measurable scrutiny. In other words, just believe us when we say we are meeting goals.
So, now, we learn about another one-sided deal. This time with Cuba.
In exchange for one American held in Cuba for 5 years, we gave up 3 highly-valued, convicted Cuban spies. We agreed to open an Embassy in Cuba. We will review dropping the U.S. label of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, and there will be an easing of economic sanctions and a removal of a 54-year embargo on Cuban products such as cigars.
So, what did we get in exchange?
Nothing. No promises of better treatment of the Cuban people. No promise for democracy. No freedom of press or expression. No lifting of travel restrictions on Cubans wanting to visit the U.S. and, no agreement to stop international sponsorship of terrorism. Nothing!
Once again, Present Obama has proven to be a failed negotiator. He can't negotiate with Congress and certainly can't negotiate with our international enemies. Instead, he's more like a game show host who won't just give you what's behind door number three, he'll throw in 1 and 2 as well.
What's really interesting about Cuba is that they have maintained a cozy relationship with both Russia and Iran. The two other countries that Obama showered with gifts and got nothing in return.
One last thing. Obama claims that we need to normalize relations with Cuba because 54 years of isolation hasn't worked. Really? What about nearly 70 years of isolation with North Korea? Are we now expected to normalize relations with them just because the clock ran out? By the way. Cuba is also a close trading partner with North Korea. It is surprising that a President who uses sanctions against Russia now admits sanctions haven't worked against Cuba. They obviously haven't worked against North Korea either. Then, why ever use them?
Obama offers Iran 'new beginning': http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7954211.stm
United States Has Been Secretly Lifting Iranian Sanctions: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/08/very-bad-deal-israeli-pm-netanyahu-lashes-out-over-wests-possible-nuke-deal-with-iran/
Obama Lifts Sanctions, Iranians Win, Regime Loses: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-abdi/obama-iran-sanctions_b_3358930.html
Iran nuclear talks extended to 2015 after failure at Vienna: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/24/iran-nuclear-talks-likely-extended-vienna
Obama Administration Caves to Putin on Missile Shield: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-missile-shield-russia/2013/03/17/id/495084/
Obama's One-Sided "Reset" With Russia | RealClearPolitics: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/14/obamas_one-sided_reset_with_russia_118387.html
Obama's Epic Climate Change Deal With China Falls Apart: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/120814-729590-obama-taken-by-chinas-president-xi-jinping-in-signing-phony-climate-deal.htm
Obama hails 'new chapter' in US-Cuba ties: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30516740
Obama: Isolating Cuba hasn't worked: http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/17/politics/obama-cuba-castro-relations/index.html?eref=rss_topstories
Cuba–Iran relations - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba%E2%80%93Iran_relations
Cuba-Russia relations - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba%E2%80%93Russia_relations
Cuban relations with North Korea - The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/12/cuban-relations-north-korea
China–Cuba relations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93Cuba_relations