As President Obama plans trip to Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa, a press conference at the National Press Club will give voice to those calling for change in his Africa policy.
This week’s relatively informal and unscripted summit between the presidents of the United States and China on a private estate in southern California is being welcomed by most analysts here as a virtually unprecedented opportunity for each side to gain a better understanding of the strategic aims of the other.
With a handful of legislators finally beginning to tackle the broken U.S. immigration system, immigration reform is back on the front page in the United States for the first time this decade. But it has never been off the radar for immigrant groups, who have witnessed first-hand the toll that indiscriminate deportation, indefinite detention, and ongoing discrimination have taken on our communities.
As I looked onto the tens of thousands of people proudly waving American flags at April’s immigration rally in Washington, D.C., I couldn’t help but think of my immigrant parents. Driven by a lack of economic opportunity and a desire for a brighter future, they escaped to the United States in their late teens. They were able to become citizens through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which included Ronald Reagan’s so-called “amnesty.”
President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to the Middle East presents an opportunity to move the dormant Palestinian-Israeli peace process forward. If he’s serious about making progress, the president should take into account how dispute resolution works in the Arab and Muslim world and note how little resemblance it bears to the West’s approaches to resolving conflicts. Understanding the sides’ different cultural perspectives on key aspects of negotiations will be crucial to creating a successful peace bid.
Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech suggests the president is banking his legacy on “nation-building at home.” But with the United States waging an opaque and clandestine war in an ever-widening global battlefield, nation-building at home does not mean an end to nation-bombing abroad.
Focusing on the executive actions you can take without Congress is a great idea, Mr. President.
The coincidence that the presidential inauguration should fall on Martin Luther King Day provides much food for thought. But beyond simply castigating the years behind us or prognosticating about the years to come, there is a broader, riper opportunity in this coincidence. Let’s challenge our society to look at how well we are addressing what King called the “giant triplets” of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.
Anyone expecting Obama to be decidedly more pro-peace this time around is likely to be sorely dispirited. However, there is a diverse, growing peoples’ movement in the United States linking human and environmental needs with a demand to end our wars and liberate the vast resources they consume.
On December 1, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) assumed the Mexican presidency amid a flurry of protests against the party, whose previous 70-year rule defined the country’s authoritarian past. Yet it’s difficult to imagine that the new president’s term could be worse than the unmitigated disaster of his predecessor’s, which was marked by a dramatic militarization of Mexico’s drug war, widespread human rights abuses, and tens of thousands of deaths.