Obama Cozies Up to Dictators, for Unions' Sake

Labor-beholden govt. supports oppressors: Henninger
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2009 7:10 AM CDT
Holding a green ribbon, a symbolic color of pro-reform Iranian opposition, a female opposition supporter attends a protest in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Sept. 18, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In his inaugural address Barack Obama pledged to "extend a hand" to America's foes—and he sure has, writes Daniel Henninger. Hillary Clinton is opening "direct dialogue" with the Burmese junta, John Kerry went to Syria, and the president himself has greeted Hugo Chávez and even reached out to Raúl Castro. "The baddest actors in the world get face time with Barack Obama," says the Wall Street Journal columnist, "but their struggling opposition gets invisibility."

In "rogue No. 1" Iran, the astoundingly brave green-clad reformists are still protesting, but their continued demonstrations "seem to have earned them nothing in the calculations of US policy." Similar movements in Egypt, Syria, and Venezuela have been neglected—and for Henninger the reason is clear. Obama and the Democrats are "fused to financial support from domestic labor unions," and helping the world's oppressed would endanger their protectionism-loving benefactors. "Today," he writes, "social justice stops at the water's edge."