The White House's parallel universe

White House/Pete Souza

President Barack Obama and Ambassador Capricia Marshall, Chief of Protocol, wave to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan as he departs from the North Portico of the White House, Jan. 11, 2013.

Article Highlights

  • If ever there was a time for the US to reap a peace dividend, it is now.

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What relieves me about 2013 is how well things are going around the world. If ever there was a time for the United States to reap a peace dividend, it is now. If ever there was a time to turn from the world and “nation build here at home,” it is 2013. What strikes me repeatedly is how better policies in the last five years have delivered the goods when it comes to key international priorities like global warming, nuclear proliferation, peace in the Middle East, a job completed in Afghanistan, the rise of al Qaeda, the rights of women, and much more. I look at Iran’s willingness to give up its nuclear program, China’s refocus away from military build-up, the peace that we see in Pakistan, the eradication of al Qaeda from Yemen to Iraq to Africa, and the fact that post Arab Spring, we can turn from Egypt and Libya and Tunisia because, it’s all good. What’s a little rape, a little Christian killing? A hostage here or there. And where the hell is Mali anyway? Syria, well, troubling, yes, but how troubling really? Wake up in the night? Nah.

These are good times for America: Robust employment, peace abroad, low taxes, cheap gas, solid alliances. Good times. Good times.

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