Monday, April 20, 2009

Shaking Hands (an update)

The conservatives have gone a bit overboard about the Obama-Chavez handshake. But they tend to forget (especially when it's not one of their own) that shaking hands with the enemy is a way to make diplomatic inroads.

Nixon's trip to The People's Republic of China on February 21, 1972 confused most average Americans of the time. For one thing, most Americans had come to believe that all communist countries were evil, and that it was American's duty to rid the world of such threats - hence the military involvement in Vietnam. So, you can imagine their confusion when they saw Nixon shaking hands with a communist leader in the name of friendship. After all, if communism was the enemy, and China was communist, didn't that make them the "bad guys?"
From "Nixon's Visit to China"

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