Trump Reverses Parts Of Obama’s Opening To Cuba

Foolishly, President Trump is rolling back part of President Obama’s opening to Cuba.

Trump Considering Reversing Obama Policy On Cuba

President Trump is reportedly considering at least partly reversing one of the great foreign policy successes of the Obama Presidency.

Obama And Biden Will Skip Castro’s Funeral

Neither President Obama nor Vice-President Biden will attend Fidel Castro’s funeral.

Fidel Castro Dead At 90

One of the Cold War era’s last dictators has finally died.

As Obama Arrives In Havana, Poll Finds Most Americans Support His Opening To Cuba

With President Obama becoming the first American President to visit Cuba in 88 years, a new poll finds majority support for his changes in Cuba policy.

U.S. To Resume Commercial Air Travel To Cuba

Another step forward with regard to the American-Cuban relationship.

U.S., Cuba Reopen Embassies For First Time In 54 Years

There are mutual embassies in Havana and Washington for the first time in 54 years. It certainly took long enough.

U.S. And Cuba To Reopen Embassies After 54 Years

For the first time since 1961, there will soon be an American Embassy in Havana, and a Cuban Embassy in Washington. It’s well past time that this happened.

It’s Time To End The Cuba Travel Ban

It’s easier for an American citizen to go to Iran or North Korea than it is for them to go to Cuba, That’s insane.

Cuba Removed From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism

Another step forward toward ending a U.S. policy regarding Cuba that was outdated twenty years ago.

Marco Rubio’s Supposed Expertise On Foreign Policy Leaves Much To Be Desired

Marco Rubio is often described as one of the GOP’s leaders on foreign policy, but a close look reveals a decided lack of substance.

Cuba To Be Removed From List Of Terrorist States

Another step forward for U.S.-Cuban relations.

Most Cuban-Americans Support Obama’s Opening To Cuba

New polling on President Obama’s opening to Cuba is likely to surprise some, and disappoint others.

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio Exchange Barbs Over Cuba Policy Changes

Two potential candidates for the Republican nomination in 2016 traded barbs this week over the President’s new policy toward Cuba.

Rand Paul Breaks With Other 2016 GOP Contenders In Backing Obama’s Opening To Cuba

Rand Paul is one of the few Republicans who seems to be evaluating the new policy toward Cuba through something other than an outdated Cold War perspective.

Obama Has Made An Historic Change In U.S. Cuban Relations, It’s A Good First Step

The resumption of diplomatic relations between U.S. and Cuba, and expansion of some commercial trade ties, is historic but it’s only the first step toward the goal of ending an outdated embargo.

It’s Time To End The U.S. Embargo Of Cuba

The U.S. embargo of Cuba, and our lack of diplomatic recognition of the government in Havana, is an outdated relic of the Cold War. It’s time to end it.

Kissinger Wanted To Bomb Cuba

Newly released documents reveal that Henry Kissinger wanted to attack Cuba in the mid-1970s.

Edward Snowden Asks Ecuador For Asylum

Mere hours after he landed in Moscow after a long flight from Hong Kong, it was revealed that Edward Snowden had asked the nation of Ecuador for asylum: Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor who leaked classified documents revealing US internet and phone surveillance, has asked Ecuador for asylum. The request was confirmed by […]

Edward Snowden Leaves Hong Kong For Russia And Parts Unknown

Despite an extradition request from the United States, Edward Snowden left Hong Kong overnight on a flight to Moscow and parts unknown.

Fidel Castro Reportedly Suffers Stroke

The Miami Herald is reporting that Fidel Castro has apparently suffered a debilitating stroke: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and his state of health is so precarious that he has trouble feeding, speaking and recognizing people, said a Venezuelan physician who assured El Nuevo Herald that he has access to firsthand sources […]

Fidel Castro Admits Communism Doesn’t Work

Fidel Castro is back in the public eye, but he’s singing a slightly different tune now.

U.S. Tightens Airport Screening for Foreigners

The Obama administration has announced that citizens traveling to the United States from 14 countries will undergo more intensive airport security screening.   Eric Lipton for NYT: Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that […]

Christopher Hitchens on Edward Kennedy

Christopher Hitchens is an iconoclast’s iconoclast, famously willing to piss on anyone’s grave, whether it be Mother Tereasa, Bob Hope, or Teddy Kennedy. Interestingly, this time he smacks down with one hand whilst patting on the back with the other: Sure, the “tragedy” of Chappaquiddick had its necessary moment, but even in those days Barbara […]

Glenn Beck: There’s a Coup Going On. A Stealing of America.

Glenn Beck continues to impress in his ability to top himself with zaniness.  Today, he explained how “they” have all manner of plans to destroy America and make it more like Cuba.  And “they” may be getting away with it because “they” are so far ahead of us. For those who can’t view the video […]

Palau Takes Uighur Detainees

Remember those 17 Uighar captives at Gitmo being held in a state of limbo because nobody would take them?  Palau has come to our rescue. The tropical Pacific island nation of Palau announced Wednesday it will accept up to 17 Chinese Muslims who have languished in legal limbo at Guantanamo Bay despite a Pentagon determination […]

Diplomacy Without Precondition

In my latest for New Atlanticist, “Preconditions, Preparations, and Posturing,” I argue that Matt Yglesias, Kevin Drum, and perhaps even Nicholas Burns are misreading the now 16-month-old debate over Barack Obama’s pledge to meet “without precondition, during the first year of [his] administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, […]

On Being a Citizen of the World

Said an American politician, speaking to an international audience: “I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world. I come with the heartfelt wishes of my people for peace, bearing honest proposals and looking for genuine progress.” I mean can you imagine? Didn’t this politician know that he was […]

U.S. Stationing Diplomats in Iran

The United States has not had a formal diplomatic presence in Iran since our embassy there was stormed and its staff taken hostage on November 4, 1979.  That may soon change, Ewen MacAskin reports for The Guardian. The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US […]

Jesse Helms’ Foreign Policy Legacy

Christopher Hitchens joins the legions dancing on Jesse Helms’ grave.   Rather than piling on about the racism of a Southern politician whose career began sixty-odd years ago, he instead focuses on Helms’ foreign policy: His chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a period of national embarrassment and, sometimes, disgrace. The Helms-Burton Act of […]

Addington Displays Contempt for Congress

David Addington, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was testifying under subpoena yesterday to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. He took great delight in being a complete jackass, as Dana Milbank details. Could the president ever be justified in breaking the law? “I’m not going to answer a […]

Online Life Rewiring Our Brains

The cover story of the current Atlantic (Monthly) is an interesting piece by Nicholas Carr which asks, Is Google Making Us Stupid? It begins with the standard “the Internet is giving us short attention spans” meme but eventually gives us much more than that. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that […]

High Gas Prices Our Own Fault

George Will joins the Blame America crowd on the issue of high oil prices. Responding to Chuck Schumer’s suggestion that we block arms sales to Saudi Arabia until it “increases its oil production by one million barrels per day,” which would cause the price of gasoline to fall “50 cents a gallon almost immediately,” Will […]

Obama 2008’s George W. Bush

John Steele Gordon makes some very slight edits to the NYT’s 2000 endorsement of Al Gore over George W. Bush: Mr. Obama has asked to be judged by something more than his positions. He offers himself as an experienced leader who would end the culture of bickering in Washington and use wisdom and resoluteness in […]

Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Court

A judge overseeing war crimes cases in Guantanamo Bay has been dismissed from trial without much in the way of explanation. A judge hearing a war crimes case at Guantanamo Bay who publicly expressed frustration with military prosecutors’ refusal to give evidence to the defense has been dismissed, tribunal officials confirmed Friday. Army Col. Peter […]

Spanish Miami’s Primary Language

Spanish-only speakers have an easier time getting by in Miami than English-only speakers, AP reports. In many areas of Miami, Spanish has become the predominant language, replacing English in everyday life. Anyone from Latin America could feel at home on the streets, without having to pronounce a single word in English. In stores, shopkeepers wait […]

Obama Proposes New Cuba Policy Before Exiles

Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama further elaborated on his “accidental foreign policy” agenda Friday in a speech before the Cuban American National Foundation, the Cuban exile group that historically has been a bastion of hard-line anti-Castro sentiment. In his remarks, Obama called for a “new strategy” towards Cuba and other Latin American nations and contrasted his […]

Obama’s Accidental Foreign Policy

Matt Yglesias and Charles Krauthammer don’t agree about much but they are in convergence over the origin of Barack Obama’s foreign policy: a gaffe at last August’s YouTube debates wherein he avowed that, if elected president, he would indeed meet, “without precondition … with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.” In […]

McCain’s Hamas ‘Hypocrisy’

Jamie Rubin, formerly Bill Clinton’s State Department spokesman, takes to the pages of the Washington Post to call out John McCain for hypocrisy in claiming that Barack Obama wants to “appease” Hamas. Riffing on John Kerry’s famous gaffe, the piece is subtitled, “McCain Was for Talking Before He Was Against It.” McCain is the last […]

Former Gitmo Commander Denied Pakistan Post

MG Jay Hood’s appointment as the top U.S. military officer in Pakistan has been pulled owing to Pakistani complaints about a previous stop in his career as commander at Guantánamo. When the Pentagon announced in March that Maj. Gen. Jay W. Hood would become the senior American officer based in Pakistan, it reflected the military’s […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Semper Fido Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Getting Away From Politics for a Minute…

For those of you out there who enjoy the pleasures of a fine cigar, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve become a reviewer over at the cigar review site My first review, of the La Gloria Cubana Wavell Natural, can be found here. La Gloria Cubana is in General Cigar’s large brand […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Herd Mentality Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Bush Era

Fareed Zakaria argues that John McCain’s foreign policy would be bellicose whereas Barack Obama’s would be conciliatiatory but, as Dave Schuler notes, both are “confrontational” and “interventionist,” just with slightly different priorities. Zakaria points to a recent McCain speech: Not only does it declare war on Russia and China, it places the United States in […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

Iran War Drums Beating?

As previously noted, Admiral Mike Mullen told a gathering at the Atlantic Council that he fears the United States and its allies “will have to deal with Iran in the very near future.” That statement left a lot of room for strategic ambiguity. He removed a bit in a press briefing yesterday, Ann Scott Tyson […]

Virginia School Bans Tag and Touch Football

An elementary school in McLean, Virginia (an affluent D.C. suburb) has banned tag and touch football. Robyn Hooker, principal of Kent Gardens Elementary School, has told students they may no longer play tag during recess after determining that the game of chasing, dodging and yelling “You’re it!” had gotten out of hand. Hooker explained to […]

Random Observation of the Day

I have noticed that if a political figure or pundit makes the observation that one political obstacle in changing our foriegn policies regarding Israel is the influence of the American Jewish population, then you are labled a “bigot” or “anti-Semite.” However, if you make the observation that one political obstacle in changing our foreign policies […]

Wright, Hagee, and the KKK?

It will come of little surprise that Christopher Hitchens uses the Obama-Wright controversy to take another whack at organized religion. Look at the accepted choice of words for the ravings of Jeremiah Wright: controversial, incendiary, inflammatory. These are adjectives that might have been—and were—applied to many eloquent speakers of the early civil rights movement. . […]

Kosovo and the Clash of Civilizations

Richard Fernandez argues that the rioting by Kosovar Serbs was entirely predictable: The wider impact of the Kosovo crisis is the precedent that it sets for many of the “frozen conflicts” of the world, ranging from Azerbaijan to the Basque region. Remarkably, many Muslim countries have refused to recognize Kosovo. And their reluctance is fueled […]

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