In light of Barack Obama’s obvious and rather pointed decision just yesterday to refuse to shake the hand of Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy and an ally of the United States, this looks rather bad for Obama. Because Obama today did make it a point to shake the hand of Moamer Kadhafi of Libya.
US President Barack Obama shook hands warmly on Thursday with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, long reviled in Washington.
The landmark handshake took place as leaders from major economic powers and emerging nations prepared to take a group photo at a summit in L’Aquila, central Italy.
Relations between Libya and the United States have repeatedly see-sawed over the past 30 years. Diplomatic relations were broken in 1981 and only restored in 2004 after Libya renounced its quest for weapons of mass destruction.
However, relations remain strained mainly over compensation for terrorism victims in the 1980s.
Spurning the hand of allies and warmly grasping the hand of people who do not like us may seem a good thing to Obama, but it certainly doesn’t help us with our relations with our friends, does it?
Our geopolitical friends have got to be worried at this point. Our geopolitical enemies have got to be laughing out loud.
Diplomatically speaking, this has been a very, very bad couple of days for America.