I’m in agreement with what you wrote about immigration and Cuba….. though that is probably no surprise. Sixty years of the same policy has done little to free Cubans, what could trying a new approach hurt?
And as for immigration, as you know, the Senate passed a bill months ago that the House refused to take up. I laugh at the Republican “concerns” about security as that Senate bill has an abundance of security measures as judged by the likes of John McCain. If the concern with security is so important to them, doesn’t letting our present level of insecurity go on and on from year to year make any sense?
In terms of the Mid-East and Ukraine, I don’t think Obama has done a great job, but I think these problems are uniquely complex, new to our time……especially the burgeoning chaos in the Mid-East. That mess is a result of decades of strong men violently keeping a lid on seething undercurrents and now the lid has been lifted, first by our toppling Saddam and then the so-called Arab spring, which I welcomed at the time, not really thinking through the likely aftermath.
The dilemma seems to be that toppling a strong man in the Mid-East usually leads to a situation even worse. So, take your pick, suppression or chaos (with the kicker being that suppression doesn’t always work as the Shah of Iran, whom we supported, learned decades ago.)
Here is something I’d like your reaction to. It strikes me that American foreign policy has long been a stew composed of 1) wanting international stability that suits capitalism, 2) spreading democratic values and 3) acting humanely. That’s fine when the values don’t conflict, but they usually do and when push comes to shove it is stability concerns that usually win out, which is why we have supported dictators in the Mid East for the past 100 years, including Saddam Hussein prior to his Kuwait venture.
But the other two values often muck up the realpolitik nature of the policy, such as when GW Bush envisioned setting up a democratic state in Iraq and when Obama’s humanitarianism compelled him to stop Gaddafi from crossing Libya to exterminate thousands of rebels.
I was all for the Libya intervention, but I did not imagine how little we would help solidify that country afterwards. Understandably we had become tired of trying and failing to rebuild countries, and neither party showed interest in doing much to develop a secure aftermath.
While Obama can be blamed for not doing more, what have the Republicans done to help? Conduct hearing after hearing right to the present day in search of ways in which Hillary was at fault regarding Benghazi? No matter that the country has dissolved into civil war in the mean time. Most important is to besmirch Hillary right up through 2016.
At this point, with ISIS becoming the scourge of the entire region (now including Libya), we clearly most value strong men who rally to the anti-ISIS cause such as President Sisi of Egypt, who seems more repressive than Mubarak but is tolerated because he is showing commitment to fight ISIS, not to mention applying pressure on Hamas, which Israel welcomes.
It must be nice being a Vladimir Putin with such a clear cut agenda of regaining Russian greatness uninhibited by humanitarian or democratic values, free to conduct foreign policy like a complete thug.