by Dr. Ronald Walters, University of Maryland
I am missing something here. President Barack Obama just went to Europe and Iraq and made speeches saying that he would be deferential to Communist China, that he would meet without conditions with the leadership of Iran and that he wanted to open up a new relationship with the Islamic world. Then he went to the Conference of the Americas in Trinidad and shook the hand of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela who has said some devilish things about America and the Bush administration. But the key issue that took the conference over was the American overture to Cuba to talk, in response to Raul Castro’s statement that he would talk with the U. S. and that everything would be on the table. Moreover, the Obama administration has said that it wanted to open up a new chapter in its relationship with the United Nations. To that end, it has appointed an African American Ambassador and put in its application for a seat on the Human Rights Commission. Against this background, the decision of the Obama administration not to go to the United Nations Conference On Racism in Geneva, Switzerland April 20-24 would appear to be a powerful refutation of this relatively liberal approach to the international community it has established.