I don't think the leader of the Free World -- particularly on his first postelection trip -- should make getting buddy-buddy with the leaders of one of the most oppressive regimes in history a priority.
The fact is, regardless of how many statistics Obama and Romney drop about their economic or health care policies, neither the average voter nor the incredibly exceptional American voter is going to understand them. What we can understand is how our Commander-in-Chief plans to navigate the world's increasingly treacherous diplomatic waters and what his priorities are.
Few understand human suffering better than Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who lost most of his family in the camps, yet still fewer seem to understand the human condition as well as he.
Until the world accepts this – that separatist movements exist for a reason and solutions need to include them – peace in Mali is looking increasingly like a mirage.
Since her release from house arrest and her election to parliament, Suu Kyi is no longer just a symbol of hope but also a political figure. As a political figure, Suu Kyi has to navigate the treacherous waters of Burma's polity, and that means steering away from the tough questions.
Ultimately, the panel was paradigm shifting for me. I had bought into the media's rosy picture of democratic reform in Burma. The question I prepared had to do with allowing Western companies in to provide better telecommunications access -- Burma has the second lowest mobile-phone penetration in the world after North Korea. Before letting Western telecom giants cut deals with the Burmese power apparatuses' capitalists, however, the panel made it clear that we should wait for real reform.
Of course, the Kurds and the Sunnis feel jointly oppressed by the Shia majority, particularly given the Sunni's several decades on top under Sadaam Hussein. Kurdish and Sunni politicians quickly rallied behind Al-Hashimi. This is disturbing. Political leaders cannot unite by virtue of their faiths, when those very faiths are tearing Iraq apart and killing hundreds.
If anything, our track record in Libya is cause to never support rebel factions again. Overthrowing a tyrant like Qaddafi is something to be proud of, to be sure, but our work in Libya helped create a far larger mess.
Fighting has spread to Damascus, the capital, and to the largest city, Aleppo. This is not just sporadic gunfire, but real, bloody, daily fighting. Border crossing stations are being seized by the rebels, letting more lethal weapons seep through the porous Turkish border. Hundreds of defectors join the resistance every day. On all fronts, the rebels are advancing.
The crux of Waltz’s argument is that “power begs to be balanced.” He suggests that “Israel’s nuclear monopoly has long fueled instability in the Middle East." I’m no fan of Israeli nukes, but I don’t think the warheads are the primary source of Israeli unpopularity.