Tag: Foreign Affairs

Men of God and the Genesis of the U.S.-Saudi Relationship

On February 14, 1945, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, his advisors, and United States Envoy William Eddy crossed the gangplank from the USS Murphy to the USS Quincy for the first ever meeting between a Saudi king and a U.S. president. Over lunch and the coffee that Ibn Saud personally served Franklin Delano Roosevelt, […]

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The Growing Toll of the Global Gag Rule

Xai-Xai, a peaceful coastal town a few hours north of Mozambique’s capital, sits in a province with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the country. One-quarter of the population in this region is HIV-positive, a figure which along with tuberculosis contributes significantly to high maternal-mortality rates. Sixteen percent of residents have malaria. In regions where […]

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Is Anyone Surprised Iran Has Returned to Enrichment?

The United States continues to have one strategic overriding objective with Iran: to prevent it from acquiring the capability to build nuclear weapons. If that one objective is achieved, then the United States, Israel and its friends in the region are more than capable of deterring Iranian aggression in the region, and defeating it in […]

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Can Married Priests Help Save the Amazon?

Last week, the New York Times reported that Pope Francis had “open[ed] the door to limited ordination of married men as priests.” Specifically, in trying to meet the pastoral needs of the Pan-Amazon region, including remote communities in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, the Vatican mentioned in a planning […]

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We Are All Complicit When It Comes to Assault Allegations

“I don’t think they want to hear about that kind of thing.” That’s how Boris Johnson, the man about to become the United Kingdom’s prime minister whether the public likes it or not, responded when a journalist obliquely invited him to reassure the public that he didn’t beat up his girlfriend last Friday night. Occasionally this […]

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Why It Matters How Powerful Men Treat Women

“I don’t think they want to hear about that kind of thing.” That’s how Boris Johnson, the man about to become the United Kingdom’s prime minister, whether the public likes it or not, responded when a journalist obliquely invited him to reassure the public that he didn’t beat up his girlfriend last Friday night. Occasionally this […]

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Fire John Bolton

Thursday night, The New York Times reported, we narrowly avoided a first step toward what could become a regional war in the Middle East. President Trump’s go-ahead—reportedly quickly revoked—for airstrikes targeting radar stations and missile facilities would almost certainly have resulted in Iranian deaths. This would not have been a replay of the targeted attack […]

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The Clinton Administration Did Not Fix the Balkans

Kosovo reached peak euphoria last week when Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright descended on the capital Prishtina. The ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing that ended Serbia’s political crackdown on Albanians in the former province, and led to the eventual declaration of Kosovar independence in 2008. Brandishing American flags and clamoring for […]

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The Depressing Reality Behind Hong Kong’s Protests

The images from Hong Kong over the past two weeks were stunning. On Sunday June 15, one million Hong Kong residents flooded the downtown streets, demanding that city authorities scrap a bill which would allow mainland China’s communist government to extradite fugitives from the semi-autonomous region. Protesters feared that Beijing would use the law to […]

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The West’s Complicity in Sudan’s Massacres

Omar al-Bashir had just fallen as president of Sudan when I visited Sarah Abdelgalil at her home in England this April. Abdelgalil is a spokeswomen for the Sudanese Professionals Association, the organization that spearheaded protests that removed Bashir. When there was a statement to make about how to topple Bashir, she was usually involved. When […]

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The Man Behind the State Department’s New “Natural Law” Focus

The State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, a body of some 15 academics, legal scholars and nonprofit leaders advising Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about human rights, was announced in late May without input from human rights groups or even the department’s existing Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Its purpose is to “provide […]

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The Sneaky Politics of “Natural Law”

On May 30, the State Department announced that it was setting up a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise the Secretary of State, and “provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.” Immediately, the reference to natural law and natural […]

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The Biggest Barrier to a Leftist Foreign Policy: Democrats

In the last six weeks, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has called for President Trump to invade Venezuela. National Security Adviser John Bolton proclaimed that the Monroe Doctrine is “alive and well” as he announced new sanctions on Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in front of a group of Bay of Pigs veterans. Secretary of State Mike […]

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The Conspiracy to Discredit Brazil’s Left

On Sunday evening, The Intercept published a series of incendiary articles and documents purporting to expose massive problems of unethical behavior and political motives in Brazil’s Operation Car Wash—a five-year investigation into corruption at state oil company Petrobras, which resulted in the conviction of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Based on “a massive […]

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Making Sense of Bernie’s Sandinista Sympathies

Was Bernie Sanders inappropriately, even disloyally, supportive of the Nicaraguan Sandinista government 34 years ago? Sanders, like many liberals and leftists, opposed the United States’ support for the hard-right Contras rebelling against the revolutionary Sandinista government in the 1980s. Two weeks ago, a New York Times report drew particular attention to his attendance at a […]

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Tariffs Are a Bad Response to an Imaginary Border Crisis

Donald Trump won the presidency–despite losing the popular vote by 2.8 million—with a campaign that careened wildly from one distraction to another. He has clung to this as a Twitter and governing strategy ever since. As there are 190 countries in the world, and the United States trades with most of them, trade wars so […]

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