What if we wake up one day and learn that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in affairs of others and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?
Written by Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
To a degree almost impossible to imagine just a month ago, North Korea has won international attention, dominated events in Northeast Asia, and embarrassed the United States. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has played into Pyongyang’s hands by responding to the North’s provocations. Now Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting East Asia, beginning Friday, where the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will dominate the agenda.
Rushing off to the region on a high-profile trip is another mistake. Whatever Secretary Kerry does or says is likely to be seen as enhancing the DPRK’s stature. Better for him to have stayed home, phoning his counterparts as appropriate.
No doubt the Obama administration hopes to craft a diplomatic answer to what is widely seen as a crisis. However, Washington dare not reward the North for its caterwauling, even if Kim Jong-un suddenly adopts the mien of a serious leader of a serious nation. Rather, Secretary Kerry should hold out the possibility of engagement, even diplomatic relations—but only if Pyongyang chooses to behave like other nations. No more providing benefits in response to threats.
On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a speech on foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation, which is likely the most well known conservative think tank in the movement.
This was a significant event. The Heritage Foundation has been known for its aggressive foreign policy views. Dare I say that it would have been unthinkable five or six years ago to have someone like Sen. Paul — the son of former Rep. Ron Paul, who is know for his anti-war views — speaking at such a prominent institution.
As he explained in the speech, Sen. Paul was trying to present a “middle path” on the issue, one that stressed a reasoned, fiscally responsible approach. Unfortunately, the reaction to the speech has been met with negative and, in some cases, outright contempt.
While most of the comments border on the absurd, John Glazer at Antiwar.com has one of the more straightforward critiques of Sen. Paul’s speech:
Paul suggested the United States reapply its Cold War strategies of engagement, aggression, and containment to the 21st century’s version of a Soviet threat: “Radical Islam.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been making a big foreign policy push lately. Paul, who is thought to be considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, went on a trip to Israel earlier this month and skewered Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) over the Obama Administration’s foreign policy during his confirmation hearing. More recently, Paul declared support for Israel if they were to come under attack from enemies in the tumultuous Middle East.
Paul is looking to make another strong statement on foreign policy by offering an amendment to ban the Obama Administration from sending F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, a country that has been a concern recently.
While presenting his amendment on the floor this morning, Paul explained that much has changed in Egypt since the so-called “Arab Spring.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tahrir square to protest a government that was instituting martial law,” explained Paul. “Ironically the current President now has instituted martial law and once again the dreaded indefinite intention is threatened to citizens in Egypt.”
During an interview with Breitbart.com last week, Ben Shapiro posed a question to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) about a hypothetical attack on Israel that has become a source of some controversy in the blogosphere, particularly among those of us who have been critical of the foreign policy direction of United States in recent years.
“Does the United States stand with Israel, in terms of giving military foreign aid?” asked Shapiro. Sen. Paul responded, “Well absolutely, we stand with Israel, but what I think we should do is announce to the world, and I think it is well-known, that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States.”
Sen. Paul was critical of the foreign policy views of President Barack Obama during the confirmation hearing of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who has been nominated to serve as the next Secretary of State. He was also critical of Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012, who advanced the idea that a president can unilaterally go to war without congressional approval.
Doug Stafford, Sen. Paul’s Chief of Staff, recently clarified the remarks in an e-mailed statement.
A few months ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), son of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), took on Mitt Romney on the issues of foreign policy and presidential war powers after the Republican nominee said he could unilaterally go to war with Iran. While he supported Romney, Sen. Paul showed the divide between the freedom movement and the status quo of the Republican Party.
Sen. Paul will have a chance to make further his impact in the discussion on these important issues thanks to his appointment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
The GOP side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be drastically altered in the new Congress that began today, with four new members on the minority side led by Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the new ranking Republican.
Corker takes over for Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), and he will have a roster of Republican members on the committee that is diverse and powerful. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joins the committee for the first time. McCain is no longer the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, due to term limits, but remains on SASC as a rank and file member. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the new ranking Republican on SASC, relinquished his SFRC seat to make room for McCain.
With UN Ambassador Susan Rice pulling her name out of consideration due to her role in the post-Benghazi narrative, it comes as no surprise that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will get the nod to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department:
President Obama has decided to nominateSen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state and could make a formal announcement as early as next week, a Democrat who spoke to Kerry told CNN Saturday.
The expected nomination follows U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the post. She dropped out of the running Thursday after weeks of criticism from Republicans about statements she made about the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
If confirmed by the Senate, Kerry would replace current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who plans to leave her post within the administration.
Kerry, who has served in the Senate since 1985 and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004, has chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations since 2009. He’s expected to sail through the confirmation process with the support of key Republicans, including Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Written by Alex Nowrasteh, Immigration Policy Analyst for Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute. Originally publish on Tuesday, October 16th, it has been cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
This morning the Cuban government announced reforms of its 52 year old travel ban. In mid-January, the Cuban government will cease requiring exit visas and invitations from foreign nationals so Cubans can leave. It’s unclear how the new plan will be applied in practice. The Cuban government’s announcement might not be as welcome as people hope, but this is a substantial change in rhetoric. My colleague Juan Carlos Hidalgo wrote about how such an approach would affect Cubans here.
Assuming the travel ban is mostly or entirely lifted, this policy change will also affect Americans in numerous ways.
First, the United States has a unique immigration policy for Cubans. Known as the “wet foot/dry foot policy,” if a Cuban reaches American soil he or she is allowed to gain permanent residency within a year. If a Cuban is captured at sea, he or she is returned to Cuba unless they cite fears of persecution. This means that most Cubans who want to leave, with the exception of violent or other criminal offenders, will be able to stay in the United States if they are able to make it to American soil. No other nationality in nearly a century, except the Hungarians in the 1950s, has been subject to such a generous policy.
Seeking to score some points in the aftermath of the disaster in Libya and ahead of two debates that will touch on the subject, Mitt Romney gave a speech yesterday in Virginia outlining his foreign policy viewsin the Middle East, notes the Washington Post:
In what was billed as a major foreign policy address, Mitt Romney blasted President Obama’s leadership in the Middle East on Monday, saying that a withering of American resolve had made the region a more dangerous place where the United States has less leverage.
“Hope is not a strategy,’’ Romney said.
Romney said he knows “the president hopes for a safer, freer, and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope.”
But he added: “We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds.”
The address mostly repackaged things Romney has said before, sometimes with greater precision. The Republican offered few specific ways he would change the Obama administration’s current approach.
Although he made broad critiques of Obama’s “passivity,” Romney did not call for any new armed intervention in any Mideast conflict.
Despite an exit poll showing him down to Henrique Capriles in his bid for re-election, Hugo Chavez was declared the winner of yesterday’s election in Venezuela:
Fighting for his political life, President Hugo Chavez overcame a vigorous challenge by Henrique Capriles in Sunday’s presidential election, receiving another six-year term that will give the populist firebrand the opportunity to complete the consolidation of what he calls 21st century socialism in one of the world’s great oil powers.
The victory, announced by the National Electoral Council late Sunday, gave Chavez the win with 54.4 percent of the vote, while Capriles took 44.9 percent. In winning his fourth presidential election since 1998, Chavez captured just over 7.4 million votes to 6.1 million for his adversary, turning back what had been a determined battle by Capriles, a 40-year-old former governor.
Chavez’s supporters, many of whom come from Venezuela’s poorest neighborhoods, took to the streets in celebration last night after he was declared the winner of the race. Capriles conceded that the lost not long after the results were announced.