At a conference this evening in Panama, President Obama announced after meeting with Cuban leader Raul Castro that "the Cold War is over."
"Part of my message here is, the Cold War is over," said Obama. "There's still a whole lot of challenges that we face and a lot of issues around the world, and we're still going to have serious issues with Cuba on not just the Cuban government's approach to its own people, but also regional issues and concerns.
"There are going to be areas where we cooperate as well. You know, Cuban doctors deployed during the ebola crisis made a difference, Cuban activity in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake made a difference. So there may be areas of collaboration as well.
Obama added, Cuba doesn't "implicate our national security in a direct way. We have to be very clear, Cuba is not a threat to the United States. That doesn't mean we don't have differences with it. but on the list of threats that I am concerned about, I think it is fair to say between ISIL and Iran getting a nuclear weapon, and activities in Yemen and Libya and Boko Haram, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the impact on our allies there. I could go down a pretty long list--climate change--so I think our approach has to be one of trying to work with the region and other countries, and be very clear about what we believe and stand for and what we think works and what doesn't."
Matthew Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon, explains why Jeb Bush has a problem in his foreign policy adviser James Baker. Baker recently spoke at a conference for the left-wing group J Street. Here's an excerpt from Continetti's column:
Former Texas governor Rick Perry said he was "alarmed" by reports the Obama administration is considering not supporting the state of Israel at the United Nations. Perry, who may run for president in 2016, said he urged Obama to "turn away from such a path."
Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.
Barack Obama wants us all to simmer down about Iran. He wants Senator Bob Menendez, a fellow Democrat, and the donors he represents to butt out of the sanctions debate. He wants Republicans to quit crying wolf about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He wants the media to stop hyping terror threats. He wants the American people in the dark about the secret correspondence he’s had for years with Iran’s supreme leader. He wants John Boehner to be mindful of protocol.
The crisis between the United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration. Building a crisis up or down is well within the administration’s power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.
This week's three-day White House summit on "countering violent extremism" ended Thursday, but the community-focused spirit of the summit lives on. In a Friday blog post at the State Department's "Dip Note," the Obama administration asks readers a question: "What Solutions Do You Think Are Most Critical To Countering Violent Extremism?"
The Obama adminstration begins its three-day summit on countering violent extremism with a "roundtable discussion" Tuesday afternoon led by Vice President Joe Biden and including "representatives from cities working to address the spread of violent extremism." President Barack Obama will join the summit twice this week, according to the Associated Press:
House speaker John Boehner criticized President Obama's ISIS war authorization, saying that it does not go far enough.
"ISIL is at war with our country and our allies," reads Boehner's statement. "If we are going to defeat this enemy, we need a comprehensive military strategy and a robust authorization, not one that limits our options.
Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker who became a hostage of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS, has been killed while being held by her captors. President Obama released an official statement Tuesday morning on Mueller's death, asserting that the "future belongs not" to terrorists like those aligned with ISIS.