Peace and Security
After meeting with Israeli officials and declaring there was “no space between the United States and Israel,” Biden was hit by news of the Israeli government’s approval of 1,600 new Jewish-only homes on Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem. The settlements are illegal under international law, and the U.S. government has consistently opposed their construction since the Johnson administration.
Israel is escalating its quiet campaign to round up and detain nonviolent Palestinian protesters, from leaders to children, in nighttime raids. And although these protesters remain committed to nonviolence, the world continues to believe the Palestinian struggle is mainly based on violence.
As we all know, the United States doesn’t torture. Within our own borders. Anymore. That we talk about.
The nation called the “pearl of the Antilles,” back when it was the wealthiest Caribbean colony, has always known how to fight like hell. The African slaves, who were brought to Haiti to generate wealth for France, launched a rebellion in the 1790s that merged subterfuge on the plantations with guerrilla warfare. They won in 1804, thus creating the only successful slave revolution ever and the world’s first black republic.
Made it again. Onto and off of a plane, that is. Not everyone does. Immigration authorities held two members of my recent delegation to Haiti for hours. There was no clear reason for that and it caused them considerable airline and hotel expense from missed connections. Tough luck.
The recent Taliban attacks on Kabul provide another wake-up call about why this war in Afghanistan simply isn’t going to work. It won’t bring security to Afghans. It won’t turn Afghanistan into a democracy. And it won’t make us safer.
Yemen? Yes, boys and girls, it’s time to look at our world atlas again, to see where America’s tax dollars and troops are headed next.
President Barack Obama deserves credit for ordering a new study of NASA. The findings of his Augustine Commission review of our plans for human spaceflight are impressive as well. We needed to seriously question our financial will to send humans to Mars. Not every taxpayer is ready to sign on for that expense.
After beginning negotiations in April of last year, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have made tremendous strides towards completing an agreement. Once the treaty is signed, the Senate will need to approve it. Unlike most votes, however, treaty approval requires 67 “yea” votes.