The Marrakesh Declaration is a good—albeit late—start. Political and religious leaders in the Middle East’s Muslim-majority nations have much ground to cover to protect religious minorities. Shiites are targeted in Sunni-majority nations, Sunnis in Shiite-majority nations, and Christians virtually everywhere in the Middle East.
If Gitmo is “contrary to who we are,” to borrow Obama’s language, if EITs “caused immeasurable damage to the United States’ public standing,” to quote the Senate report, then what exactly is a drone war that metes out punishment based on guilt by association and amounts to execution without trial?
There are consequences to a foreign policy that is less committed to promoting democracy and less interested in buttressing an international system built on democratic ideals. It stands to reason that when the world’s strongest exponent of democracy and freedom pulls back, the democratic tide will lose momentum.
Some lament the fact that we live in such a violent world, but that’s precisely the point. Because we live in a violent world, governments must take steps to deter those who can be deterred—and neutralize those who cannot.
After months of warnings, the White House finally ordered the Navy to sail within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China. President Obama’s hesitant response to China’s aggressive behavior suggests he doesn’t grasp that there’s nothing new about the Navy challenging this sort of mischief. America has been keeping the open seas open for 215 years.
A year before America entered World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt shared his vision of “a world founded upon four essential human freedoms”: freedom of speech, freedom from fear, freedom from want and “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.”