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Friday, March 13, 2009


The Obama foreign policy

I just wrote about the absurd situation in which the Obama administration put forward a budget with no money for enforcement of regulations against frequent travel by Cuban-Americans to Cuba, despite a campaign promise to loosen those regulations in the first place. Curiously enough, a few days after passing the budget, after having to overcome the objections of right-wing legislators on that very point, the Administration went ahead and loosened those regulations, which now revert American policy all the way back to...the early years of the George W. Bush administration. Why they didn't release these regulations before the budget fight is a mystery.

What progress. So now Cuban-Americans who wish to visit their relatives in Cuba once a year (no more than that! heaven forbid you have two aged relatives who die in the same year!) won't have to commit civil disobedience to do so - that's just left to the rest of us non-Cuban-Americans, whose right to travel remains restricted.

On the other side of the world, the Obama Administration demonstrates (unsurprisingly) its continued hostility to Iran, not to mention the complete and utter inanity of formal U.S. policy, by issuing a statement declaring that "the actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." Not a "potential threat" (since Obama continues to insist in the absence of evidence that Iran is planning to develop nuclear weapons), not just a "threat," but an "unusual and extraordinary" threat! Of course, those of us of a certain age remember when the U.S. similarly declared Nicaragua (!) under the Sandinistas a "threat to U.S. national security" so that the U.S. could carry on hostile policies toward that nation as well. Honestly, the national security of the United States, the most powerful military and economic nation in the world, is awfully fragile, isn't it?

Obama has called on Iran to "unclench its fist." Perhaps if the U.S. took its hands off Iran's throat, that might be helpful.

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