President Biden Sets His Priorities (Part 2 in a Series): New Direction in Foreign Policy

Every President tires to set a tone for their Administration in the first weeks in office. President Biden is no different. In the second installment of the series, we examine the dramatic shifts Biden has already made in his first month in office, and what that shows about where he wants to go.

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Biden Begins Quickly To Shape Foreign Policy-Unfortunately

In Honor of Holocaust Remembrance…

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, reminding us of the price 6 million Jews paid for the crime of being Jewish. In an historic event, the day was acknowledged in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the first time after each of these Arab Muslim nations signed peace deals with Israel in the last few months

On Tuesday, the day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Biden’s acting United Nations Ambassador Richard Mills announced to the UN that the US would renew relations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and would also reopen the PLO Mission in Washington DC  The Trump administration cut off most U.S. assistance to the Palestinians due to Palestinian leadership financially rewarding terrorists and their families, and ordered the PLO Mission closed in October 2018.

The strategy of refusing to run all peace negotiations through the PLO proved historically successful, with four Muslim majority nations recognizing and signing peace accords with Israel in the last 6 months.  John Kerry, President Obama’s Secretary of State infamously said he would never work with any Arab nation without including the PLO. When President Biden announced that he was nominating John Kerry to be a part of his cabinet, fears rose that there would be a move away from a Middle East policy that produced historic agreement and peace. It appears that move is taking place even faster than feared.

This Is Human Rights?

President Biden is considering rejoining and renewing funding for the UN Human Rights Council, which was discontinued under the Trump Administration. The Human Rights Council, as you would guess, is tasked with monitoring basic human rights around the world.  Current members include Cuba, Russia and China (who, by the way, has shipped hundreds of thousands of Uyghur people to forced labor camps). So in what universe does this sound like a good idea and a way to promote human rights?!

Biden’s First Executive Orders

Joe Biden was inaugurated yesterday as President. As promised, he signed several executive orders that undid Trump executive orders. One of those, was that Biden recommitted the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.

As this author wrote in 2017 as President Trump pulled out of the Agreement, the practical effect of the Paris accord was very small but the cost was very high.

In that piece (link provided below for ease), which is worth re-reading after President Biden’s actions, the discussion focused on objective measures which are often difficult to discuss since global warming/climate change has become almost a religion to so many people.

In short, it’s a bad agreement because: 1) China and India, the world’s two largest ‘offenders’, are not required to do anything on emissions for a decade. 2)  the US is required to foot the bill for several other countries to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, 3) it will cost the US economy an estimated trillion dollars is lost jobs and compliance expenses and 4) all of that is estimated, even by ardent environmentalist, to reduce the rate of increase in temperature by ONE DEGREE.  A pretty hefty price for one degree, even if everything works as well as proposed and every country completely complies.

Forget Paris. At a time our economy has already taken a big body blow, even if it were a good agreement now is not the time for the economy to take another hit.

Weekend Quick Takes

A busy week in the news, as the Supreme Court declines to review a lawsuit on the election results, another historic peace deal in the Middle East and news on law and order. Summaries of these, in this edition of Quick Takes

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Biggest Challenge For The Next President?

The incoming Administration will be faced with a lot of challenges. Part of that is the uniqueness of what has been the year 2020. Yet, the pandemic will hopefully be waning by the time that the new presidential term starts in January. The vaccines will presumably already being administered and medical professionals say that everyone who wants a vaccine could be vaccinated as early as June. If that is the case, then the primary issue with the pandemic will be the economic recovery and how to pay for the cost of the pandemic relief. The biggest challenge may be one of foreign policy, in an area that the Obama Administration failed miserably but has shown historic progress in the last three months.

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A New Hope For Peace

One of the more amazing things in the last couple of months, and encouraging to the whole world, are the growing prospects for widespread peace in the Middle East.

The leaders of Egypt and Israel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 after a deal brokered by President Jimmy Carter led to Egypt agreeing to recognize Israel and the two nations establishing normal relations. In the intervening 40+ years, little progress has been made on bringing peace to the Middle East by any nation or US President, Republican or Democrat.

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Peace In The Middle East? “A Distraction” Says Pelosi

The last two weeks have seen historic announcements regarding peace in the Middle East. Over the last month, three Muslim-majority countries announced peace agreements with Israel. Two of those were Arab countries and at least one of them is putting their embassy in Jerusalem. That’s pretty big news by any measure.

Whatever it took to bring that about, there is hope that there may be more to follow and that other Arab countries may also recognize Israel’s right to exist and begin to normalize relations.

On the domestic front, the celebrations for the peace agreements are much more muted, as a result of personal and political hatred and animosity. And that is sad. Continue reading “Peace In The Middle East? “A Distraction” Says Pelosi”

UN Discovers Cause Of Worldwide Pandemic

The United Nations released a statement on its official social media page,  commenting on the critical issues related to the COVID19 pandemic. The post read:

“The #COVID19 pandemic is demonstrating what we all know:  millennia of patriarchy have resulted in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture which damages everyone—women, men, girls and boys.”

Yes, men, you are responsible for everything to do with the worldwide pandemic.

And, yes, that’s one more perfect example of why we need to dramatically cut funding for the United Nations.