March 30, 2020
Crowd at NOC #BlackForumMN with Bernie Sanders

America is changing -- and presidential speech is changing to match.

More than a dozen congressional Democrats say they plan to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress amid conflicting signals over whether he will pull out from the March 3 address. Netanyahu struck a defiant tone during a campaign event in Israel on Monday, saying he was “determined” to present the case for why Israel opposed the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran “before the members of Congress and the American people.”

The cynical take believes that the U.S. has in fact changed its foreign policy as Obama claims and as his responses to the Arab Spring this year suggest, but has made an exception for Bahrain... The Bahraini opposition is largely Shia, but most Arabs (and most Muslims, for that matter) are Sunni. The "soft power" dividends of pushing Bahrain to reform, the U.S. may have decided, just aren't there.

The pyramid of power flipped because people all around the world are clamoring to be heard, and demanding to shape their own futures. The inverted pyramid makes integrating a consideration of the attitudes and opinions of foreign publics an essential component of the foreign policy decision-making process in the 21st century.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy leader and Nobel peace prize winner, has issued a passionate manifesto for freedom in an unprecedented international broadcast describing the continuing 21-year-long struggle against Burma's military junta and the inspirational impact of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.

Rupert Murdoch has warned China that it will encourage piracy and limit opportunities for its own booming movie market if it does not open up to foreign films, in the latest sign of western media owners' frustrations with Chinese restrictions.