On his way to board Marine One, my father, Ronald Reagan, had a book tucked under his arm. A reporter shouted a question about the book, asking what it was about.
My dad held the book up and said it was a brand new book by a brand new author named Tom Clancy, was published by the Naval Institute Press, and was titled "The Hunt for Red October." He described it as being a book about the superiority of the United States Navy and how it was used in behalf of freedom.
Thanks to the publicity he gave the book, it shot up to the top of the best-seller list, made Tom Clancy famous, and set off his career as a top author who would go on to write numerous best sellers about the power of the U.S. military as a force for individual rights and freedom.
Compare that with Barack Obama's reaction to being given an anti-American book by a foreign dictator. The other day, Barack Obama allowed himself to be used for propaganda purposes when Venezuela's dictator Hugo Chavez suddenly arose from his chair at the Union of South American Nations meeting, approached President Obama, shoved a book at him, shook hands with him and went back to his place at the table.
The book, published in 1971, is a vicious attack on the United States, blaming the U.S. for just about everything that has ever gone wrong in the Southern Hemisphere. Instead of tossing this anti-American screed on the table to show his contempt for Chavez's crude propaganda ploy and the book itself, Obama simply sat down after shaking hands with the dictator.
Thanks to Obama having allowed Chavez to use him as a propaganda tool, the 39-year-old book shot up to the number-two spot on The New York Times best-seller list. Anyone who saw videos of this farce had to wonder just how Chavez was able to approach the president without being prevented from getting anywhere near him. If you or I tried it, we would have been suddenly surrounded by Secret Service agents and hauled away. We would never have gotten within 10 feet of him. Yet Chavez simply got up and strolled, unimpeded, toward the mysteriously unguarded president of the United States.
Remember the shoe-thrower incident and how quickly the Secret Service reacted?
Something smells here, and you should be forgiven if you decide that it was a pre-planned, set-up job arranged beforehand. Consider what followed. In the presence of the president of the United States, Nicaragua's communist President Daniel Ortega launched a 50-minute diatribe attacking the United States.
Did Barack Obama return the compliment by defending the United States? Hell, no. Instead, he made a joke about the length of Ortega's speech, which he allowed to go unchallenged and unanswered.
It is becoming obvious that above all else, Barack Obama wants to be loved and admired, and he thinks the way to achieve affection is to act like a patsy instead of as the leader of the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation, dedicated to individual freedom.
Instead of reassuring those people being ground under the heel of despotic regimes that the United States stands with them and will refuse to bow and scrape before their oppressors, he plays kissy face with the worst of them.
Apologizing is not a sane foreign policy. It is the foreign policy of a weakling. And it didn't work in Europe where the people listened to him begging forgiveness and shook their heads in wonder.
Contrast his behavior outside the United States with that here at home. The namby-pamby, apologetic Barack Obama seen outside the U.S. disappears here at home, where his administration shows signs of employing the Gestapo-like tactics of foreign despots such as singling out patriotic Americans for opposing baby-killing and out-of-control borrowing and spending, and terming them "extremists" who are endangering our homeland security.
This is getting scary.
Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on radio stations nationally as part of American Family Radio. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.