Why is the President Smiling?

Rory Cooper /

Shmuley Boteach asks some┬ábrilliant questions in his article today in the Jerusalem Post that examined President Obama’s handshake diplomacy, like:

ALL THIS LEADS to one important question. Suppose Obama succeeds in building friendships with Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad and the Taliban. What then? Does America still get to feel that it stands for something? Will we still be the beacon of liberty and freedom to the rest of the world, or will we have sold out in the name of political expediency? And do any of us seriously believe that presidential friendship is going to get a megalomaniac like Hugo Chavez to ease up on the levers of power, or are we just feeding his ego by showing him he can be a tyrant and still have a beer with the president of the United States? Will the Iranians really stop enriching uranium through diplomacy rather than economic sanctions?

And also:

And if Obama feels that he has to be the one to greet a man like Chavez, must it be with the kind of ear-to-ear grin that one might show girl scouts selling cookies? It must surely be disheartening for those who suffer oppression in countries like Venezuela, Cuba and Saudi Arabia to see the American president backslapping their oppressors when these victims have always looked up to the United States as their champions.