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Sure, sure, it’s the economy that people want to hear about. But, you know, it wouldn’t have hurt President Obama or the press corps to have talked about

Jul 31, 2020
Sure, sure, it’s the economy that people want to hear about. But, you know, it wouldn’t have hurt President Obama or the press corps to have talked about foreign policy. There was a question on the Mexico border violence24 minutes in; Obama said he won’t send the National Guard right now but he reserves the right to send them at a later point “if the steps we’ve taken do not help the situation.” There’s going to be a new approach to the Afghanistan war announced in the next few days. Obama didn’t mention it. The press corps didn’t ask about it. Ah well.
Fifty minutes in and an AFP reporter asked about Israel/Palestine peace now that the Labor Party in Israel has decided to provide a fig leaf of moderationto a far-right Netanyahu government that has a dubious commitment to a two-state solution. Obama acknowledged that achieving peace “is not easier than it was,” which is possibly the closest any U.S. administration has come in 20 years to acknowledging that Israeli rejectionism exists and is as problematic as Palestinian rejectionism. He seemed unintimidated. “We do know this: the status quo is unsustainable,” he said, and reiterated the standard U.S. vision of two states living side by side in peace and security. Whether that’s a shot across Netanyahu’s bow remains to be seen, but Obama could have taken a much softer line toward the new right-wing Israeli government.
Iran was the only foreign-policy issue Obama brought up unprompted. He did it in the context of pledging that “the whole philosophy of persistence is one I will emphasize in the months and years to come.” He derided critics who mocked his Nowruz address for not immediately yielding a watershed in U.S.-Iranian relations. “We didn’t expect it to,” he said, but he’ll keep going. What he didn’t say is how he’ll judge the difference between persistence and willful blindness.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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